Now that you’re gone
All that’s left is a band of gold
All that’s left of the dream I hold
Is a band of gold
And the memories of what love could be
If you are still here with me
“Marriage is considered a civil contract but of a peculiar character and subject to peculiar principles…. It, certainly, does differ from ordinary common law contracts, by reason of its subject-matter and of the supervision which the State exercises over the marriage relation, which the contract institutes….”
“… the marriage relation, in its legal aspect, has no peculiar sanctity, as a social institution, a due regard for its consequences and for the orderly constitution of society has caused it to be regulated by laws, in its conduct as in its dissolution…”
“Marriage is more than a personal relation between a man and woman. It is a status founded on contract and established by law. It constitutes an institution involving the highest interests of society. It is regulated and controlled by law based upon principles of public policy affecting the welfare of the people of the state.”
“Marriage is not a contract within the meaning of the provision of the Federal Constitution which prohibits the impairment by the States of the obligation of contracts…”
“The Domestic Relations Law provides in great detail when and how marriage may be entered into, how the relation may be dissolved, the grounds for divorce and annulment, the rights and liabilities of husband and wife, the age at which the relation may be entered into and the class of persons who are disqualified from marrying.”
“From time immemorial the state has exercised the fullest control over the marriage relation ….”
“There are, in effect, three parties to every marriage, the man, the woman and the state….”
Marriage from legal definitions
According to modern definition and outlook, marriage is a social institution with which a man and woman can establish their decision to live as husband and wife, by legal commitments and celebrated with religious or non-religious ceremonies. In many places in the Western World today, couples of same sex, have won legal battles to live as partners, under the legal definition of this institution. This why we get married in a Church but sign a registry, yet when you get a divorce, you end up in court. There is a ritualistic legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, accompanied by social festivities, which helps to emotionally cement or finalize the decision to take that important step. Many of these ceremonies have been elaborate, costly and as important producton as the next Broadway play. Also because marriage is such an important step/decision in our modern lives, many f/t and occasional supporters of religion go ape shit when marriage takes a decidedly turn to same sex marriage, or ceremonies that takes place in nontraditional ways, i.e., eloping, Las Vegas, City Hall, etc.
Over the centuries, poems, songs, odes to love and marriage have been handed down through the generations and many a officials have admonished wives to submit to their husbands, most notably ex-Roman collaborator Paul from the European Fantasy book called the Bible. Today many a misogynistic men have echoed the same of marriage being one where the woman submits to her man, do his bidding and don’t complain. This ass backward belief is further given credibility by modern women, who don’t have the same challenges their earlier sisters had, and who therefore had to concede to the demands of the stronger more aggressive males from yore. No these modern women cosign this cave man like belief of the woman’s inferiority to the one who naturally should be her COMPLIMENT, and not a competition or master. Society has changed, a few even believe for the better, but the more things change the more they stay the same. For as we see, marriage is and has been romanticized while couples in this legal contract, do so not by the benevolence of the state but by some misguided belief that an intoxicated euphoric state (called Love) actually lead to this institutional endeavor.
You took me from the shelter of a mother I had never known
Who loved any other
We kissed after taking vows
But that night on our honeymoon
We stayed in separate rooms
There are many variation of the origin of marriage, however since this peculiar modern version of the institution has a decidedly European centric personality, we should delve into its origin and symbolism. According to some sources, the actual physical symbolism of the man “getting” his woman (actually speaking to many females it seems it’s the woman getting her man) came from Cave man’s his-story, where marauders would raid neighboring village for women.
Modern marriage, just like the modern interpretation of relationship is Eurocentric in its views and practice. We all recognize the picture of the cave man clubbing his woman over the head, throwing her over his shoulder and hauling her back to the sanctuary of the cave, up in the mountains.
The wedding party is where enterprising young men from one village or cave environment, raids another village or cave to take a woman for his own.
The throwing of the rice came from the aggrieved villagers and the families of the women, throwing rocks and other implements to ward off the marauders, when the screams of the women alerted the village to the kidnapping.
The wedding ring was originally the rope/cord/vine used to bind her wrists and feet to control her struggles. The garter belt is also symbolic of these ropes attached to her legs. Even up to recently men would brawl to get that piece of object that sat near the wife’s crotch. However, this is slowly being phased out for the throwing of the bouquet.
The ring bearer is symbolic of the kidnappers cohort, he carried the extra rope and the grooms men are the 2-3 other marauders necessary to accomplish the deed in as quick a time as possible.
The best man was the man who actually went into each cave/village to steal the woman and then meet up with the groom’s men to carry her away.
Carrying her over the threshold is the kidnapper bringing the stolen woman to the lip of the cave – now her new home-this was practical as she wasn’t going to voluntarily walk into the cave.
The honeymoon is the breaking in or cooling out period, when she realizes that resistance is futile. He has already raped her, maybe if he has a conscience attempts to placate her, but she could never go back, so she comes around to accepting her fate.
The maids of honor are the women in the new tribe that helps the new bride adjust to her new home.