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Love & Marriage

In chapter seven of Family Systems, Family Lives, Reading 53 Marriage and Love, Emma Goldman speaks about the differences in the meanings of love and marriage. These words may be thought of as synonyms to most people but Goldman explains they are actually antagonistic to one another.  Goldman believes that love and marriage are popular notions and like most popular notions they are based mainly on superstitions.

Every girl is raised to believe that the best day of her life is her wedding day. Every little girls plans out her wedding and hopes for it to be as magical as she imagines it to be, however, this only happens if she is a “good girl” suitable enough for a wealthy empty-minded man. Marriage, Goldman believes is the institution in which a woman suppresses her womanly desires in exchange for a ring and a two car garage. She even compares marriage to an insurance plan, saying that your husband is the premium and “she pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life.” I personally loved this reading, Goldman highlights what every girl (sensible individual that is) who has ever truly thought about the cons of marriage.

Is marriage a notion of love or a piece of paper which grants you extra priveleges? I personally feel marriage is very important. I mean people have fought, and are still fighting, for the right to marry their loved one. However, I believe the fantasy view of a “perfect” marriage is non-existent.

Referring back to what Goldman was pointing out in her reading, I do not follow nor agree with the typical view of marriage life that even my own culture poses. I believe marriage should be an equal partnership, not an “insurance plan”. You take the power to share your life with another human being because you love them for all that they are and not what they have. Lately, it seems as if marriages start just as quick as they end, just look at the length of Kim Kardashian’s marriage.


  1. Tammy Burt says:

    It is believed that when two people say their wedding vows for better or worst, for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health. Are they just caught up in the moment of the excitement of getting married. Or do they really focus in on what these vows mean? Something arise in a marriage that tears two people apart and this bond can not be mended. Such as unforgiveness.

  2. khamida23 says:

    Tammy you are right. People seem to not understand the vows they are saying to one another, nor obey them in a marriage. Yet we see two people who are unmarriede and in love for many many years obey these vows, which are unsaid to one another. I myself do not understand why changing your relationship status through a documentation of marriage takes such a broad toll on a couple.

  3. lyndseyhage says:

    I also agree with you Tammy. I really believe that marriage for a lot of people is all about the excitement of getting married, rather than for the sake of love. This is why the rate of divorce is so high nowadays.

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