Social Studies

Forms of Marriage

Olawunmi Omosanya - Mon, 06th May, 2019 @ 17:49: PM

What is Marriage?

Marriage is an institution that has a very broad meaning based on a variety of factors. In this article, we will read about the various forms of marriage; but first, let’s understand the definition of marriage:

Simply put, Marriage also known as Matrimony or Wedlock is the coming together or union of a man and a woman to become husband and wife.

Children are gifts from God and are considered as an additional blessing to marriage.

The family, which is the smallest unit of a society can only be realized or formed when a man and a woman come together as husband and wife. The future of a society therefore depends on the families that it's comprised of.

 

Forms of Marriage

 

  • Covenant Marriage

A covenant marriage is applicable to most religious marriages. The couples make a solemn promise to each other that “They will remain together for better and for worse; for richer and for poorer; till death do them part”. Normally, they are expected to undergo premarital counselling before entering into this form of marriage. Divorce is strongly discouraged in a covenant marriage while separation may occur if one of the spouse is guilty of any of the followings:

  1. Adultery
  2. Physical abuse
  3. Sexual abuse on their child
  4. Felony
  5. Murder
  6. Isolation/loneliness and so on.

With regards to divorce and separation, please read our article on failed marriages HERE.

Note: Love and forgiveness is the basis for this form of marriage.

 

  • Arranged Marriage

An arranged marriage is said to exist between two strangers. This is so because the family of both parties choose a spouse for the man or woman. Families indulge in this kind of marriage to maintain their class, status, honour, pedigree and so on. It also called a pragmatic marriage and is somewhat popular in our world today.

 

  • Endogamy

In Greek, endo means “within” and gamy means “marry”. This is a marriage between two persons of the same tribe or ethnicity. Endogamy may be encouraged in certain tradition since it helps the minorities within a state or country to propagate their culture. Religious endogamy is when both parties must be of the same faith before they can marry. Some religion require endogamy for a marriage to take place. Such religion includes Yazidi in Northern Iraq, Orthodox Jews and Jehovah’s Witness

 

  • Exogamy

Exogamy is considered to be a marriage between two persons of different tribe or ethnicity. An example is a marriage between a Yoruba man and an Igbo woman.

 

  • Celestial Marriage

Celestial marriage is a marriage that is considered to go beyond this physical life and beyond the grave. This marriage is believed to continue for all eternity. For this reason, it may also be referred to as a heavenly marriage. This existence of this marriage is believed by mormons where the couples are considered to be sealed in the God’s presence.

 

  • Cyber Marriage or E-Marriage

This is a modern type of marriage made possible via the internet. An e-marriage is an electronic form of marriage that is done online. There is no form of physical marriage here. Both partners do almost everything over the internet. The couples may physically meet themselves once in a while; but the major point is; "the marriage is done online"

 

  • Incestual Marriage

An incestuous marriage is strongly prohibited in the Christian religion because it occurs between a man and a woman within the same nuclear or extended family.

Note: This marriage will also apply to a godfather and a goddaughter or the mother of the goddaughter.

Incestual marriage is as a result of incest (sexual relationship between relatives). In the bible, Lot's daughter committed incest with their father. Gen. 19:31-35.

 

  • Shotgun Marriage

A shortgun marriage or wedding is one done in order to avoid embarrassment from one of the parties involved. This is typically seen in an instance when a premarital sex between the male and the female led to an unplanned pregnancy. This wedding was named "shotgun" because it was assumed that the father of the pregnant bride-to-be must use a shotgun to threaten the unwilling groom into such marriage. wink

 

  • May-December Marriage

May-December marriage is said exist when one of the spouse is significantly older than the partner. At minimum, one of the spouse must be older than the other by 11 years or more. As example is when a 40 years old man marries a woman of 20 years.

 

  • Proxy Marriage

A wedding or marriage is considered to be a proxy when one or both of the intending marriage partners are not physically present on their wedding day; but instead, they are represented by some other persons. Such persons are said to “proxy” for the absent marriage couples. In most instances, proxy marriages are not considered or recognized as legally binding.

Note: If only one partner is absent from the wedding it’s simply called a proxy wedding but if both are absent, it’s called a double proxy wedding.

 

  • Secret Marriage

A marriage is said to be secret when it is carried out in the hidden, away from family and friends. Present on the occasion of this marriage is the man, the wife and the clergy or pastor or imam. In some cases, it’s also called a judicial secret marriage because it can also be held in a closed court session and only the presiding judge has a record of the marriage. The marriage license in a secret marriage remains valid in some countries. Couples may wish to mark the anniversary of their secret marriage.

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