Marriage is one of the most ancient, important, universal and indispensable social relationship which has been in existence since the inception of human civilization.
· According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Marriage is a physical, legal and moral union between man and woman in complete community life for the establishment of a family.”
· According to Malinowski, “Marriage is a contract for the production and maintenance of children.”
· Marriage is a permanent bond between husband and wife. It is designed to fulfill the social, psychological, biological and religious aims.
· Marriage is a specific relationship between two individuals of opposite sex and based on mutual rights and obligations. Relationship is enduring.
· Marriage requires social approval. The relationship between men and women must have social approval without which marriage is not valid.
· Marriage establishes family. Family helps in providing facilities for the procreation and upbringing of children.
· Marriage creates mutual obligations between husband and wife. The couple fulfills their mutual obligations on the basis of customs or rules.
· Marriage is always associated with some civil and religious ceremony. This social and religious ceremony provides validity to marriage. Though modern marriage performed in courts still it requires certain religious or customary practices.
· Marriage regulates sex relationship according to prescribed customs and laws.
· Marriage has certain symbols like ring, vermillion, special cloths, special sign before the house etc.
· Regulation of sex life and inheritance or procreation
· Marriage leads establishment of family
· Provides economic cooperation
· Marriage contributes to emotional and intellectual interstimulation of the partners
· Marriage aims at social solidarity
· On average, husbands and wives are healthier, happier and enjoy longer lives than those who are not married.
· Men appear to reap the most physical health benefits from marriage and suffer the greatest health consequences if they divorce.
· Married mothers have lower rates of depression than single or cohabiting mothers, probably because they are more likely to receive practical and emotional support from their husband and his family.
· Married couples build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples.
· Married men earn more money than do single men with similar education and job histories.
· Married women are economically better off than divorced, cohabiting or never-married women.
· Less likely to be poor or to experience persistent economic insecurity.
· More likely to stay in school, have fewer behavioural and attendance problems, and earn four-year college degrees.
· Less vulnerable to serious emotional illness, depression and suicide attempts.
· More likely to have positive attitudes towards marriage and greater success in forming lasting marriages.
· Married women are at lower risk for domestic violence than women in cohabiting or dating relationships.
· Boys raised in single-parent homes are more likely to engage in criminal and delinquent behaviours than those raised by two married biological parents.
· Married women are significantly less likely to be the victims of violent crime than single or divorced women. Married men are less likely to perpetrate violent crimes than unmarried men.
· The institution of marriage reliably creates the social, economic and affective conditions for effective parenting.
· Being married changes people’s lifestyles and habits in ways that are personally and socially beneficial. Marriage is a “seedbed” of pro-social behaviour.
· Marriage generates social capital. The social bonds created through marriage yield benefits, not only for the family, but for others as well, including the larger society.