The concept of marriage has been around in our society for ages. Marriage or matrimony is the socially recognized union between two individuals. It is a kind of relationship involving mutual rights and duties where two people are socially approved to establish a family. It is a universally accepted social institution. But, there is not just one recognized kind of marriage in the world. It varies form culture to culture and from religion to religion. With passage of time new forms have been added. Some are weird too but have been legalized and people practice it with complete freedom and liberty. Let’s check on what is going around the world in context to marriages today. Here is a list of the top 10 most amazing types of marriages that is sure to open up your mind and help you know beyond your communal or societal practices.
10. Common Law Marriage
Common Law Marriage is also known as ‘defacto’ or informal kind of marriage. Here the couple is married to each other on a contract basis. Well, it has been actually legalized in many countries. But in those places where it has not yet been legalized it is known as ‘cohabitation’. Though it is a modern and westernized kind of concept, it is more of the oldest forms of marriage which is still in practice till date. They are generally monogamous in nature and legal divorces after a particular time period ends the marriage tenure.
9. Hypogyny and Hypergyny
We are collectively dealing with Hypogyny and Hypergyny because both of them focus on the same aspect as their main theme remains the same. Hypogyny is a kind of marriage practice in which a woman is married to a husband of lower social status, rank or age. Whereas the concept in Hypergyny is ere a woman is married to a family of higher social status and is more recognized. It is mostly practiced in societies with dowry rituals where the bride’s family pays a heavy sum to match up to the groom’s level. It shows the male dominant part of the society.
8. Boston Marriage
We are all familiar with the current of gay and lesbian marriages. Boston Marriage is only the older version of the same concept practiced generally in the early 19th and 20th century. Two women living together who might or might not be sexual were married. They were engaged in a relationship and would interact in public as a couple rather than female friends. Today’s, is only a modified concept of the same. Boston marriages hold a unique place in history and were mostly practiced by those women who felt they had a better connection with females rather than males.
Polyamory is what we call as ‘bisexual’ today. It has not been legalized yet, but is still practiced in certain places. Bisexuality is one form of polyamory which signifies the same in a more open term. It is a system in which both men and women have more than one sex relational partners. However it is more popular in terms of bisexual people since this helps them express both sides of their sexuality. But is hardly accepted by the society.
6. Polygyny and Polyandry
Polygyny is a kind of marriage in which a man can legally marry more than one wife. There are certain biological, economic and sociological reasons behind the acceptance of this kind of marriage practice though. It is widely practiced by the Muslims of the Middle East and this system strictly discourages prostitution. Sororal polygyny is where the man marries one or more of wife’s sisters. Polyandry on the other hand is where a woman has more than one husband. Though it is much less common but it has happened to occur in many countries where males outnumber females in terms of population.
5. Levirate and Sororate
Levirate has been originated from the word ‘levir’ meaning husband’s brother. It is another kind of polygamy in which the man marries the widow of his dead brother. This inception dates back to the ancient Hebrew and Christian societies. In places like Southern Sudan it is known as ‘ghost marriage’. Sororate on the other hand means a kind of the marriage system in which the widower marries one of his wife’s sisters. Again, due to infertility and several other factors a sororate marriage is practiced in few societies like Maricopa Indians of Arizona.
4. Open Marriage
The concept behind open marriage is quite interesting and is approved legally too. It allows extramarital affairs for both the spouses and both of them have the option of maintaining outside relationships beyond the marriage terms. Swinging is another kind of open marriage. However, the difference is that swingers are emotionally monogamous and the origin of this kind of marriage practice is dated back to 1960s and 70s. It is not socially accepted because of which people generally hide it from their family and friends.
3. Same Sex Marriage
Same sex marriage has been hogging the limelight quite recently because of the increasing population of gay and lesbian couples. It is a kind of monogamy but with people of the same sex. It has been legalized in most of the countries including India where people are allowed to marry someone of the same sex. Though such couples are unable to produce children according to biological patterns, they go for adoption. Some gays and lesbians are polyamorous too.
Monogamy is by and large the kind of marriage practice that is widely accepted worldwide. In human nature, people consider it to be natural both socially and biologically. Monogamy can be either love or arranged. Monogamy in its core means marriage to one person for a lifetime. It also has subdivisions like strict monogamy and serial monogamy. In strict monogamy a person should not marry more than once whereas in serial monogamy as person is allowed to marry more than once, with the condition of one spouse at a time. It is widely followed in the US.
1. After Death Marriage
After Death Marriage is a bizarre form of marriage that is legalized in countries like France. In this form a person is allowed to marry a person of the opposite sex even after his death. It is socially accepted due to reasons like romantic quotient. Bible talks about this kind of marriage practice as ‘marriage in heaven’. It is the rarest kind of marriage among the societies of the world. It signifies union of souls even after death.
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