What is Marriage? What constitutes a marriage? Why are there so many different types? What are the different types? These are the questions I pondered in an attempt to understand what marriage is and how it began.
How did marry get started?
The beginning of marriage started back in Genesis 1 and 2, on the sixth day. God started marriage with one line, Genesis 2:24. It was simple back then.
The first recorded marriage between a man and a woman was in over 2,350 B.C. in Mesopotamia. It’s was the start of institutionalizing marriage because society was becoming more organized, agricultural and agrarian.
Why are there so many different types of marriages today?
Throughout history marriages have changed due to culture, governments, religions, caste and group perceptions of the marriage institution. What do I mean? Marriage seems to change as people allow it to. This is why I included the alternatives to marry, because there are agreements, contracts, that can, if indicated do the same as a legal marriage document.
30 Different Types of Marriages
Marriages are based on purpose and perception of the individuals defining it.
1. Civil and Religious Marriage
A Civil marriage is recognized by the state, and a religious marriage is when the recognition is received from a religious body, such as the church. Often combined into one.
Where people get married because they meet, fall in love, and then take the next step of getting married.
3. Monogamous Marriage
It is when two people are married to each other without getting emotionally or sexually involved with anyone else outside the marriage. Most commonly practiced.
4. Court Marriage
A couple goes directly to the court house and applies for a marriage certificate.
5. Shotgun Marriage
When a couple decides to get married because of an unplanned pregnancy.
6. Interfaith Marriage
People from two different religions are married.
7. Mixed or Inter-racial Marriage
People from different races or nationalities come together in the union of marriage.
8. The “Traditional” Roles
This is the old TV show type marriages where the wife stays at home and takes care of the house and kids; the husband goes to work and comes home and reads the paper or watches TV. Roles in the marriage are clearly defined and different.
9. Common-law Marriage
When two people have decided that they are married and live together like husband and wife but do not have a certificate of registry.
10. Cohabitation Agreement (Alternative)
Are contracts negotiated between a couple and should be recognized and enforceable in all state jurisdictions. They are used the same way as married couples use prenuptial agreements. The can dictate what happens if the relationship ends.
11. Polygamous Mmarriage
It is when people have more than one official spouse. There are two types: Polygyny is when a man has more than one wife; and polyandry is when the woman has more than one husband.
12. Left-handed or Morganatic Marriage
This is when two people from unequal social rankings get together in a union of marriage.
13. Secret Marriage
When two people are secretly married but have not informed their family, friends or society.
14. Child Marriage
This type of marriage is legal in some parts of Africa and Asia. It’s usually between a girl, under 18, and an adult male or another child. It usually occurs due to gender inequality.
15. Same-sex Marriage
It is when a person who wish to marry an individual of the same sex (man marries man or woman marries woman) come together to get married.
16. Arranged Marriage
It is when the family finds a suitable match for an eligible single man or woman, keeping in mind factors such as race, religion, occupation, caste, and any other specifics that are important to that family.
17. Convenience Marriage
Two people get married for reasons that bring convenience (comfort or financial security) to their lives, and not because of love.
18. Parenting Marriage
This is when two people decide to stay married to each other for the sake of their kids. Then, wait for the children to grow up, and become independent, before they separate or file for a divorce.
This is when you both are docile and nice to each other in front of other people but behind closed doors, you don’t share any sort of a relationship.
20. Group Marriage
When one or more men are married to one or more women. This is a group of people is married to each other.
21. Safety Marriage
This is a marriage that occurs because something tangible, mostly materialistic, is decided to be given in return. Basically, these terms are decided before marriage.
22. Open Marriage
It is when two people who are officially married, mutually agree, to see other people outside the marriage.
23. Swinging, Wife-Swapping, Husband-Swapping or Partner-Swapping (Alternative)
It is when both partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activity outside of marriage or their committed relationships. Also a form on non-monogamy and is an open relationship.
24. Time-bound Marriage
This agreement of marriage is bound by time. The couple decides that they will only stay married to each other for a specific time period.
25. The Partnership
The husband and wife act a lot like business partners. They are equals in so many ways: child-rearing, house responsibilities, financial responsibilities, and romance. They share the loads of marriage by balancing their efforts equally.
A couple who maintains their individuality and independence while being married. They tend to live separate lives alongside each other, gives each other their space, less physical togetherness, work separately in their areas of interest, housework and at their own time.
27. The Degree Seekers
A couple in this type of marriage are in it to learn something. Many times the husband and wife are quite different—even opposites. One could be good at something, and the other not so much, and vice versa. They are constantly learning from each other.
28. The Companionship Marriage
The husband and wife want a life-long familiar, loving, friendship-type relationship. They want someone to share their life with, be by their side, and hang-in there with them.
29. Domestic Partnership
Is a legal relationship under the laws of a state that provides committed, unmarried couples that are living together certain, but limited guaranteed rights.
30. Marriage by Proxy
A proxy marriage is when the marriage is performed despite one party, or both parties of the marriage, are not physically available at the ceremony.
It’s the practice of marrying someone from within one’s own tribe or group. Exogamy is the practice of marrying outside the group or tribe.
I stopped here, but know this, as society changes, there probably will be more. Unfortunately, what was started by God in Genesis 1 and 2, has once again, been overdramatized, institutionalized, and developed into whatever society (mankind) deems it to be. Marriage is too important for us not to know the truth.
Here’s the link to my podcast that will give you more insight: Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast.
Lyvita Brooks is a Bible teacher, book reviewer, founder of The Me Project Academy, and an author who loves hanging out with Jesus. You can find out more about Lyvita and what she does by joining her newsletter. That’s where “the pondering” goes to another level.
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