Marriage versus living together - Essay Example

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The essay describes that both marriage and living together are similar and different in various respects. In certain conservative families living together is looked down upon and the aspect of living together has not always been accepted well especially by the conventional elderly population…
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Marriage versus living together
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Marriage versus living together
Marriage can be traditionally defined as a religious and legal bond or commitment between a man and a woman. It is also defined as the ultimate expression of love and union. The legitimacy of marriage between two people often depends on the degree of authoritativeness carried by the derived definition of marriage. Living together is an indispensable component of this social bondage. However it may also happen that a man and a woman may decide to live together without getting engaged in the social bond. The two aspects of marriage and living together are both similar as well as different from various angles.
Both marriage and living together requires two individuals to adjust and share the same roof. Compatibility is an inherent component of both these acts. In their day to day life, two individuals need to interact, share their bathroom, dining space and perhaps even the bedroom. This aspect of sharing automatically requires a minimal respect for each other’s existence.
Both the cases involve a need based approach of the two individuals. An adult gets married owing to their sexual orientation and more specifically in order to have a decent and socially acceptable sexual life. At times two persons may go a step further and set themselves to enjoy a sexual life without paying heed to social bindings. Work division occurs automatically as both the individuals share the household chores and even the earning pattern at times. It is apparent they will live together as long as the urgency or the need is there. (Stanton, 1997)
Despite being similar in many respects there are certain differences in both these practices. In case of marriage the social binding is stronger than need sometimes. In conservative families women might be forced to live with her man despite becoming tired of him or even being tormented. This is more evident in the Muslim families and some Asian countries like India. However in general if one needs to break a marriage he or she has to undergo legal proceedings which will not take place in case of living together. When the two people are tired of each other, they might decide to move apart or even start living with different partners.
Another difference is that in case of living together sexual need is not always the cause. It could be financial needs or other such materialistic inclination. Marriage usually takes place for the sake of meeting sexual needs and in order to find a legal sexual partner. Most of the times, an individual does not choose to come out of marriage because he or she is shy to face the court. In case of living together a person enjoys more freedom.
Marriage is more commonly accepted between heterosexuals and not gays. (Stritof, 2004) Living together is offcourse is easy and it is entirely the consent of the two people deciding to stay together. Although gay marriage is legalized in certain handful of nations, this will not provide as much freedom to an individual as possible.
Therefore, the paper shows that both marriage and living together are similar and different in various respects. In certain conservative families living together is looked down upon and the aspect of living together has not always been accepted well especially by the conventional elderly population. Marriage sometimes maintains caste barrier or ethnic barrier which is easier to overlook while living together. As far as love and union of souls are concerned, this is irrespective of the social bondage. Two souls may meet both after marriage as well as before. Hence the love factor is not associated with marriage or living together. It is mainly due to the added advantage in terms of freedom factor that living together is gaining more popularity than marriage.
Stritof, S. B. 2004, “Massachusetts Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision”, available at: (accessed on February 1, 2009)
Stanton, G.T. (1997) “What are the benefits of marriage versus living together?” Focus on the Family, available at: (accessed on February 1, 2009) Read More
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