There are many reasons why a woman may choose to marry. Some make sense while others
may seem quite ridiculous. Perhaps the moral of this paper is that no matter what, whether the
reasons may make sense or not, the best kind of decision a woman can make is based on her
own sense of reason. After all, while the decision to marry can be influenced by others,
the marriage itself must be endured solely by the woman who chooses to wed the
man. Thus, the best decision is one that is decided by the woman herself.
Some women marry because they are, simply, told to do so. There are many forms of these
kinds of marriages, the common ones being the arranged marriage and the marriage by
consensus. These marriages may or may not be happy unions. But the good thing about such
marriages, if they fail, is that they are someone else's responsibility.
The arranged marriage comes about like this: two parties, usually the families of the husband
and wife, encourage marriage because they have something to gain from the union. In some
countries, one party gains social status or at least a considerable dowry with which they can
use to start a family business or pay off the educational debt of their children. In situations like
these, the families look favorably on the marriage because they are gaining a nice son-in-law,
read doctor or lawyer, or nice daughter-in-law, read woman belonging to a moneyed family
willing to provide large dowry. These unions can be happy ones because, as most people will
agree, many marital problems stem from problems with the in-laws and if the in-laws are
happy it is likely that the husband and wife will be too. They can also be unhappy ones if the
husband and wife are not inclined to like, much less love, one another. These sort of trivial
details are a hundred times magnified when husband and wife find themselves forced to live
with someone that they do not like. But arranged marriages, like many good things in life,
should be judged after some time has passed. Husband and wives who dislike each other
at the beginning may find themselves happier with each other after the trials and tribulations
of life -- for instance, having children or supporting a spouse after major surgery or even buying
a house together. There is little in life that cannot be fixed by the passage of time.
Thus, women who find themselves in arranged marriages may find happiness, after all.
The marriage by consensus is similar to the arranged marriage. In the marriage by consensus,
everyone surrounding the potential husband and wife approves of and encourages marriage.
The parents love him, the friends rave about her, their horoscope predicts a happy union --
all things point to a happy marriage. There is a downside to this however --- those not
necessarily in love may feel pressured to marry simply because everyone else, if not the
person actually getting married, loves their potential partner. This may lead to feelings of
resentment and rancor. There may even be potential affairs and love trysts that are justified
by the lamentation "Don't I deserve love?" Such marriages, while seemingly felicitous at the
outset, are doomed to failure.
Some women marry because they are in love with the idea of love. Of course, she cannot
be blamed since our culture provides many fantasies that influence one’s idea of love and
marriage. The woman in love with love relishes the idea of meeting one’s life partner across a
crowded room or at a friend’s wedding. She enjoys and creates drama in her relationships in
order to feel the intensity of emotions often associated with the melodrama. Often she is
disappointed because her partners do not measure up to her standards of the passionate
Heathcliff or dashing Vronsky. She is fated to live an unsatisfied life because her lover will
always fall short of her expectations.
There are those who are desperately in need of being loved. Some may point to a cold
childhood or to the other extreme a spoiled one as the root cause of such blatant neediness.
Those women who must always feel loved and needed consider marriage as another form of
a necessary dependency. Hysterical women tend to fall into this category. Such women marry
because they need to be constantly reassured that they are loved, needed and very much so
wanted. They usually find themselves in happy marriages because they seek out their natural
counterpart, the male father figure.
Thus, there are many reasons why a woman might get married. There are good reasons and
bad reasons and neither kind seem to accurately predict the outcome of a marriage.
Perhaps the best thing that women can do is to ignore what anyone else says and marry for
their own reasons.