Love and Marriage Ideaology

Love and Marriage Ideology
In America: Then And Now

The definition of marriage can be viewed a number of ways. George Bernard Shaw described marriage as an institution that brings together two people “under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions. They are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.” Although amusing, this quote does beg the question; what reason do people have to get married? Is it based on the passionate, irrefutable idea of love or is there a more substantial, rational reason for such a consummation?
Radical Idea of Marrying for Love
In the past many psychologists, anthropologists, and historians argued that romantic love was a recent Western invention, which is untrue. The idea of falling in love has shown up in numerous cases but basing a marriage on just that was seen as irrational. This unrealistic expectation was originated by the theory of happily ever after.   This theory states that individuals hope to find love, or at least “tranquil affection” in marriage. Firstly, they must love one another unconditionally and choose each other based on their decision with no outside interference. Secondly, each must make the other a top priority, putting the relationship above all else. In-laws and parents are not to interfere in the marriage. Lastly married couples are best friends, sharing their most intimate feelings and secrets. They must show affection and address problems immediately and of course they are to be sexually faithful.
This theory was prevalent through the decade of the 1950s. It was the peak of individuals courting, getting married at will, and establishing their own household. The consensus was that men should be the breadwinners and women were to stay at home and tend to the children. In 1957, a nationwide survey indicated that four out of five people believed that anyone...