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Will the concept of marriage disappear in the future?

My answer to: Will the institution of marriage disappear in the future? (To vote and comment on Quora, visit the link here.)

(Slightly from an Indian perspective)

Success of marriages in general have a lot to do with one of these two things:

  • level of equality between the two sexes
  • emotional stability of the two spouses

If the first one is missing, the second one doesn’t come into picture. Because, the wife is nothing more than a trophy and slave for the man and his family. She just has to accept whatever the family believes. That is why arranged marriages in India have been so successful. The woman can’t walk out of a marriage, the man doesn’t expect the wife to have her own thought process and independence, and life runs without actual love. The woman doesn’t often feel having been wronged because this concept of a “wife” has been fed to her since childhood. Things are gradually changing in modern India, but there’s a long way to go.

If the first one is there, the second one is what makes a marriage survive. As a lot of Western societies and the most progressive Indians root for women’s rights, the woman is gradually getting empowered. She is going out to work, she has her independent thought process, she has her likes and dislikes, she has financial, emotional and sexual freedom. This is a very healthy trend for our society, but when two adults who feel equally free in this world attempt to live together for five decades, disagreements are bound to happen. The reason behind divorce rates is not an unhealthy society, but a healthy egalitarian society. When we approach egalitarianism, we require emotional stability and strength in the spouses in order to make a marriage survive. Because that is what will help them through in times of disagreements.

So the answer to your question is that the institution of marriage will be heavily crippled in the decades to come, as women and men approach equality. Emotional and psychological strength is gradually decreasing in both genders because of a renewed definition of personal freedom that is more about “absolute freedom” where one doesn’t feel the need of restrictions at all. Despite how one utilizes their sexual freedom, the need of one permanent partner is an emotional necessity, and after a particular age, one does feel that need in life. And that genuine need of a spouse is what will drive marriages in the future, unlike the need to fulfil a social obligation to be married after a certain age, as it stands today.

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