Marriage And Family: Essay, Research Paper
Marriage and Family:
Its meaning to me as a child, an adolescent, the present, and in the future.
When two people plan to unite and begin on that arrangement called marriage, they are usually getting into something which is, to say the least, adventurous. The New Standard Encyclopedia Dictionary defines marriage as the act of marrying, the state of being married, or any close union between two people. Traditionally, marriage has been looked upon as the primary purpose of founding and maintaining a home and family. Today many people marry for different reasons, like love, which may be based on physical attraction. People might marry for social, political or economical advantages also. The New Standard Encyclopedia Dictionary defines family as a group of people, consisting of parents and their children. Family in the past has always been looked upon as a major building block within society. From the vast social and cultural changes that have occurred since then, society looks at family and marriage much the same way, but with more diverse and trivial social interventions than the past. Most people would agree that marriage expectations and traditions have altered during the years. It is easy to see that our images and expectations about marriage and family are constantly being altered within society.
In the past, as a child my outlook on marriage and family was very little. What I saw in marriage were my parents and how they interacted with each other. No matter what the issue was, or whether it was good or bad, my parents always seemed to work together. Sometimes the decision was made by the family as a whole. We were a close knit unit. My mother spent her time at home, tending to the house and the children. In a sense she was the supportive and moral backbone of the family while my father was the financial and discipline backbone. My father sometimes worked two to three jobs, just to provide for the family and our well being. In that time period, society focused strongly on the family as being the major building block of society. Most men worked, while most women stayed in the home place. Society played a major role in the aspects of marriage and family. As a child, I remember wanting to marry someone and live happily ever after. Marriage, to me, was a fantasy. I was too young to realize that marriage was not just an act between two people. It involved coping with society, the family and supporting each other emotionally. As a child I had dreams of getting married and having that perfect life. My understanding and intervention with society was limited then. Perhaps if I had known how society interacted with the two I would not have been so intrigued by my childhood fantasy of marriage, like I am now.
During my adolescent years, I began to understand how society operated and how everything seemed to function within it. I began to see how times had changed and what affects they had on marriage. I saw that maintaining a family was much more than what I believed as a child. It was at this point in my life when I realized truly that my childhood fantasy of marriage had little chance of becoming true. During my adolescent years, my understanding of my parents became clearer. I could see how it truly was to maintain a marriage. The decisions that were faced with were not always simple. Sometimes they had to compromise with each other, in order to make a decision. Sometimes we even decided on things as a family, everyone had a vote. Having to worry about bills, food, and clothing. Not to mention the emotional support that everyone in the family required. The responsibility acquired from marriage and a family seemed immense to me at that time. Although my views on marriage were changing from my childhood fantasy, they were beginning to form more intellectually. My parents stayed focused on maintaining there family as well as being there for each other. I learned a great deal from them concerning marriage and family. I considered them non separable and assumed they would always be together. I realized then that marriage would play a role in my life, however it would be much later in life. I was more intent on being a teenager, my views on marriage were simple. To me, marriage was a commitment between two people. A commitment of love, companionship, dedication and support.
Today, marriage is still a commitment of love, companionship, dedication and support to me. Although society has changed economically and such, my basic vision of marriage remains the same. I look at my parents now, and see how close they are to each other. They are a dying breed though in this time. Unlike the past, marriages are more likely to end up in a divorce. It is how society has changed, that has caused the rise in divorce. To me people have lost the true meaning of marriage. People today, seem to fall in love and marry on a whim. They never stop to consider the responsibilities that come with marriage. Marriage is not at all like their childhood fantasies. Marriage is suppose to be a life time commitment. It is more like a second job. As we can see though, today?s marriage institution needs rebuilding. More and more people have realized the crucial importance of a successful marriage, and the responsibilities they must pass on to their children. At one point in time society was stable due to the importance that was put on marriage and family values. Since today?s marriage is badly wounded, society is full of instability.
Hopefully in the future, society will focus a little more on the arrangements of marriage and family. With the constant changes in the financial and economical aspects of society, I think that we will see more people marry at a later age in their life. One of the top reasons for marriages resulting in divorce is finances. People of the future may decide to stabilize their finances before marrying. If they did this, it would give them an advantage over most marriages that occur today. My vision of the future, as it pertains to marriage and family, will probably be the same as it is now.
Marriage is something that I will pursue in life, but it is something I will not rush into without any preparation. I hope to become financially stable before I marry, so that there is one less burden to deal with. Sometimes I still think about my childhood fantasy and still dream. I know the childhood dream will remain a fantasy. But I do have hope that one day, I will have a successful marriage and will maintain my family as my parents did theirs.