MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE, BOTH VERY COLOURFUL AND SENSITIVE WORDS. But I have serious doubts at the back of my mind about the clarity of knowledge about these terms in the minds of the world population. Marriage is an institution that admits men and women to family life. Edward Westermarck defined marriage as the more or less durable connection between male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of offspring. Lowie defined it as a relatively permanent bond between permissible mates. Malinowski defined marriage as a contract for the production and maintenance of children. According to Lundberg Marriage consists of the rules and regulations that define the rights, duties and privileges of husband and wife with respect to each other. According to Horton and Hunt marriage is the approved social pattern whereby two or more persons establish a family. According to Anderson and Parker marriage are the sanctioning by a society of a durable bond between one or more males and one or more females established to permit sexual intercourse for the implied purpose of parenthood. According to John Levy and Ruth Monroe people get married because of the feeling that being in a family is the only proper indeed the only possible way to live. People do not marry because it is their social duty to perpetuate the institution of family or because the scriptures recommend matrimony but because they lived in a family as children and cannot get over the feeling that being in a family is the only proper way to live in society.

Types of Marriages
Marriages are of different types across the world. Types of weddings are not to be confused with types of marriages, as weddings can of be of different types as per the community even if the type of marriage is Monogamous. Forms of marriage are also culturally driven and different types of marriages in the world are prevelant among varient societies. The types of marriages in sociology are as listed and explained below.

It is a form of marriage in which one man marries more than one woman at a given time. It is of two types --- Sororal polygyny and non sororal polygyny

It is a type of marriage in which the wives are invariably the sisters. It is often called sororate.

It is a type of marriage in which the wives are not related as sisters.

It is the marriage of one woman with more than one man. It is less common than polygyny. It is of two types---- Fraternal Polyandry and non fraternal polyandry.

When several brothers share the same wife the practice can be called alelphic or fraternal polyandry. This practice of being mate, actual or potential to one's husband's brothers is called levirate. It is prevalent among Todas.

In this type the husband need not have any close relationship prior to the marriage. The wife goes to spend some time with each husband. So long as a woman lives with one of her husbands; the others have no claim over her.

It is a form of marriage in which one man marries one woman .It is the most common and acceptable form of marriage.

In many societies individuals are permitted to marry again often on the death of the first spouse or after divorce but they cannot have more than one spouse at one and the same time.

In this remarriage is not allowed.

Group Marriage:
It means the marriage of two or more women with two or more men. Here the husbands are common husbands and wives are common wives. Children are regarded as the children of the entire group as a whole.

Types of marriages permissible to the society may vary.Here are a few examples:
No society gives absolute freedom to its members to select their partners. Endogamy and exogamy are the two main rules that condition marital choice.

It is a rule of marriage in which the life-partners are to be selected within the group. It is marriage within the group and the group may be caste, class, tribe, race, village, religious group etc.We have caste endogamy, class endogamy, sub caste endogamy, race endogamy and tribal endogamy etc.In caste endogamy marriage has to take place within the caste. Brahmin has to marry a Brahmin. In sub caste endogamy it is limited to the sub caste groups.

It is a rule of marriage in which an individual has to marry outside his own group. It prohibits marrying within the group. The so-called blood relatives shall neither have marital connections nor sexual contacts among themselves.

Forms of exogamy:

GOTRA EXOGAMY: The Hindu practice of one marrying outside one's own gotra.

PRAVARA EXOGAMY: Those who belong to the same pravara cannot marry among themselves.

VILLAGE EXOGAMY: Many Indian tribes like Naga,Garo,Munda etc have the practice of marrying outside their village.

PINDA EXOGAMY: Those who belong to the same panda or sapinda( common parentage) cannot marry within themselves.

ISOGAMY: It is the marriage between two equals (status)

ANISOGAMY: It is an asymmetric marriage alliance between two individuals belonging to different social statuses. It is of two forms - Hypergamy and Hypogamy.

HYPERGAMY: It is the marriage of a woman with a man of higher Varna or superior caste or family.

HYPOGAMY: It is the marriage of high caste man with a low caste woman.

ORTHOGAMY: It is the marriage between selected groups.

CEROGAMY: It is two or more men get married to two or more women.

ANULOMA MARRIAGE: It is a marriage under which a man can marry from his own caste or from those below, but a woman can marry only in her caste or above.

PRATILOMA MARRIAGE: It is a marriage of a woman to a man from a lower caste which is not permitted. For this purpose the urban families should be placed in a broad social context. The urban families are to be distinguished through the mode of earning a livelihood and sources of income, structure of authority, urban social milieu and social ecology and the emerging value patterns.

The socio-ecological factors like the settlement patterns, cultural environments of the urban migrants and associations to various occupational, political, ideological, cultural, economic groups influence and reorient the style and pattern of urban families. The urban centers are melting pots of traditional and modern values. Individualism is growing at a significant speed in the urban areas. Individualism is against the spirit of the joint family and questions the established authority of the patriarchal set up.

In the context of rapid technological transformation, economic development and social change the pattern of family living has been diverse in urban India. Life is complex both in the rural and in the urban areas .In the urban areas and even in the rural areas many couples are in gainful employment. They depend on others for childcare. With the structural break down of the joint family they face lot of difficulties in raising their children. For employment many rural men come out of the village leaving behind their wives and children.


A judicial declaration dissolving a marriage in whole or in part, especially one that releases the marriage partners from all matrimonial obligations. Or any formal separation of husband and wife according to established custom. However, if you want my personal opinion, I would follow the ancient intellectual authors of India. They defined and classified any union amon opposite gender as marriage. Be it Gandharva, where a couple fall in love at first sight and made love without caring about the society's consent like shakuntala and dushmanta, or caveman marriage, Rakhsasa, where a rogue stoneman carried off an unconscious woman after hitting her on the head,(symbolized by the vermilion sindur) and put iron shackles on her wrist to prevent her escape, then gradually made her pregnant and tame enough to look after his household chores. Between these two extremes any scenario where two persons of opposite genders decide to have a sexual relationship is a marriage. Whether any ritual is performed or not is absolutely immaterial. On the other hand divorce is more complicated. It is a legal , material process of separation.

We romanticize the concept of marriage a lot, especially during childhood and early youth. Only the state of actual marriage succeeds in bringing disillusion. Then only, humans realise how much hard work and material tedious routine marriage means. Previously, there was no legal escape from the drudgery, bitterness, petty mean monetary bargaining that daily married life contains. Romantic hearts broke, shattered into painful pieces, tried to find solace in homosexual , or heterosexual affairs both within and outside the family.

Now that divorce is legalised, lovers, especially the fiercely passionate couples are the earliest divorced lot. They hurt maximum to find the absence of romance in married life. Then comes the accounts of exploitation. Each partner tries to get maximum benefit from the process. When one half continuously feels aggrieved, they revolt. The repercussions are wide, and effects all the stratas of the society. The parents, relatives, and especially the children.

A married couple symbolizes a cosy nest, a happy home. A separation creates a pang of sorrow, pain of broken dreams, a breach of security all around. But still, hearts break, partners start finding happiness in humans outside their couple -dom, domestic violence either verbal, mental or physical creeps in, and a marriage decomposes. It is unhealthy to retain such a relationship, as like gangrenous tissue it spreads toxic waves all around. The partners then, are much better off to breath independently. Better be free than in love.
Let us love only if we can love freely.



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