Originally Posted by Cory
I used to wonder that too, but as I get older, I understand what it's purpose was: it was once established to make the prospect of raising a family and contributing to society attractive to beta men, who are the majority of men. Before the institution of marriage, women would naturally gravitate toward higher ranking males, regardless of the other women in that man's life, so it was a rather polygamous situation, not because women are naturally polygamous, but because they are hypergamous, meaning they are looking to find the highest ranking male available, which usually means they will fuck a guy who is already fucking other women, and compete with those women, ignoring the guys who would be reliable care givers. This ended up being bad for both men and women and the stability of society at large. So in early times when this was the case, it was a problem, because beta men were not motivated to work for the state because they needed the support of a woman to find motivation.
Compared to women, a relatively small % of males actually went on to reproduce, because women pick you, you don't really pick women, generally speaking. Women initiate well over 80% if break ups. Rape is actually not a norm, it is a violation of natural protocols, men, generally, submissively let the woman decide. In earlier times, I believe less than 40% of men fathered children, whereas with women it was well over 85%.
So the institution of marriage was established to give as many men as possible a chance to have sex and family, and societies who adopted marriage (as an institution that was hard to get out of after the commitment) did very well.
So the attraction of marriage is this: you are about to have kids with this person. You need to be able to rely on this person for the long term for the good of the kids and also for a sense of predictability, which is as necessary as food and water. It was known that women will generally leave you for brighter prospects of romance, (which there always are) so a contract was necessary to get her to put aside her feelings and be essentially a worker for her husband, who in turn, would be a worker for her. Working for the state needed to seem attractive to men, and restraining women with marriage was apparently the way culture made work seem attractive to men. Believe it or not, it was also more attractive for women, because a woman's beauty only lasts so long, and at about 40, she loses her appeal, and without a marriage, she would easily ended up in serious poverty. That exciting Alpha male who fluttered your heart with eloquent Solomon and Euripides riffs, ravishing you in his private quarters while your husband was wiping his brow toiling in some field? Doesn't give a fuck about you when your beauty fades, he has another harem of young girls up and coming. You're disposable to him, and when your husband finds out you're a cheat, you're gonna end up on the streets. Washing potatoes in a stream, maybe resorting to prostitution with burly, toothless men, praying to the Dear Lord to save you a spot in heaven. Life outside a marriage for a woman over 40 was not pretty.
Feelings of Love and Romance initially had little, if nothing to do with marriage: most women were not madly in love with their men, that's just not how life was for almost all of history.
Marriage was about the hard work of committing to the kids and being a reliable helper to your spouse for the stability of everyone, you, your husband and society at large. Without marriage our animal drives took over and the culture's stability weakened.
Marriage used to mean something very specific and had a very pragmatic purpose and for that reason it was hard to get out of, and this probably had it's advantages, at least relative to the times. Whether it has a logical role to fill in the present age, I'm not sure.
Now, marriage means something different entirely, it's more of an emotional and romantic thing, which is entirely the opposite of what it was about through the majority of history, and women can now indulge their hypergamous instincts to their hearts content, flipping through a catalog to pick a $5'000-10'000+ ring, entering a contract, getting bored of the man as quickly as she fell in love, maybe even having his child, and then moving onto the next man, but not without extortion of her previous lovers money, and she may repeat this until her beauty fades.
Many women, just can't find Mr. Right, because they have totally incorrect ideas about what life is about. It's not about finding the man of your dreams who will entertain you day in day out. He's the elusive Alpha male, and either a) has a preferences for women who are higher ranking than you, b) is an asshole who will treat you bad, or c) will satisfy you only for a little while until you spot a higher status male.
So yeah, there you have it. Marriage 101