Marriage contracts have become fashionable in this twenty first century. This is where the husband and wife agree to be married only for a period of time. This can be done formally or informally. Usually this is characterized by writing of wills. The contract springs from the arbitrary will of the people involved. In this case the husband and wife. This usually shows who will own the property after the contract expires.
The contract is usually formal when there is a common will between the parties. This is where there is alienation of a thing, and in this case one of the parties has a negative moment. There is also appropriation of the thing where the other party has a positive moment. Marriage is usually understood as a social institution. It generally constitutes of social, religious, communicative, and contractual dimensions. There are usually conflicting needs and natural inclinations when marriage is viewed as a contract.
Philosophy of Marriage
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The philosophy of marriage acknowledges that this institution provides security for the people there in. This philosophy stipulates that the parties involved have to take full responsibility to children until they are old enough to be independent. This means that the fruits of procreation will always exist in a marriage. This is where individuals will provide protection and support to each other. In the marriage philosophy, there exists mutual respect between the parties. Each partner brings in love, and care to the relationship. In this case there is no overriding partner or superiority is not exercised in this case. There is equality between the parties. 
Philosophy of Love
This shows that people get married to the people they love and those that they are attracted to. The philosophy of love acknowledges that love normally diminishes with time when the parties get married. There are different types of love .This includes the Eros that is characterized by excitement and intimacy. This commonly exists between people of the different sex. Love is important to any marriage set up. There is also the agape and philia love.
There are various forms of religion in the world today. The marriage union may bring together people of diverse religions. Among the religions available includes Christianity, Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhists etc. Due to high mobility rates individuals in marriage may be from different religions. This factor has influenced formation of marriage contracts. This is where either of the parties doesn’t want to change his or her religion or stay with someone of a different religion forever.
They then agree to stay together just for a period. In case children are born in such set up then they may be allowed to choose for themselves once they are mature enough. When the children are still young it becomes hard to decide which religion they belong. Parties can cope by allowing children be of father’s religion till they are old enough to choose.
Rearing of Children
Most marriages are normally blessed with children. Some partners may agree not to have children at all. In contract marriages, partners provide care, support and protection to children when the contract still exists. When the contract expires, the parties agree who will take custody of children. Some partners may share the kids between themselves. Most of them let the mother take custody of the children and the father supports financially. In this case the father may be allowed to visit. This is how the parties cope.
Communication is an important aspect in any marriage set up. In marriage contracts, communication is normally very good when the parties are still married.
In marriage the parties should be open to each other. They share joys, even fears. When the contract expires communication dwindles. Parties become reserved. Individuals cope by looking for new friends at work or in the neighborhood.
When parties are married, they may have joint accounts. Each of them has to contribute some amount of money to wellbeing of the family. They are accountable to each other on how they spend their money. When the contract expires each individual chooses what to do with their finances and is not accountable to the other party. Parties may cope by taking up extra job to meet their needs.
When the individuals are married, intimacy is inevitable. The individuals will automatically have sex within the marriage institution. When the marriage contract expires, the parties will no longer enjoy the conjugal rights. Neither of the parties will demand from the other. Some individuals may still be intimate even after the marriage contract expiring. Other parties cope by having other sexual partners.
Personal and Spouse Independence
They are very little personal independence when parties are still married. When the contract expires the man and woman expect to be independent. The individuals are no longer accountable to each other. Each person minds his or her own business. Some parties who want their personal independence after the contract may relocate to other places.
When in marriage individuals enjoy social activities like partying, swimming or jogging together. The parties are free with one another. Such social activities bring joy to the marriage. Coping with such an issue can be tricky because the individuals could have gotten used to each other. Some may continue having social activities after the contract expires. Some cope by getting new friends to socialize with.
When parties are still married occupational issues are affected in relation to family responsibilities. For instance a wife may remain at home and take care of kids while the husband goes to work. When the marriage contract expires the wife may cope by getting a job and employing a house help. This is because the husband may never give her much support as before.
In marriage set up, the husband and wife normally share the household responsibilities. This includes laundry work, cleaning, cooking and things like baby sitting. When the marriage contract expires, parties may cope by employing house helps or end up doing all the work by themselves which may be quite strenuous. This may need resigning from work.
Marriage in itself encompasses so many issues. There are religion issues, money, intimacy, communication among others. It is always better when the parties stick together throughout their lifetime for better and for worse. While marriage contracts are thriving in this century, they are not the best. This is because children are adversely affected. The individuals find it hard to cope .This is in relation to intimacy issues, rearing children and shouldering other responsibilities. It is needless to say that two are better than one, because when one falls down, the other can pick him or her up.
- Danley, J. R. (1979): Contracts, conquerors, and conquests, IN: Southwestern journal of philosophy. – 10:no. 1:171-177
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