Marriage is an ancient institution that predates almost all the governments that enforce the marriage laws. In almost every culture, it is deeply intertwined with the State and the Church, both of which actively promote it as fundamental pillar of society and official license to procreate.
It seems that too many people fail to understand this when they sign the papers. People go in with good intentions, but for the wrong reasons. Some marry out of love, but the fact is you don’t need to marry someone to prove you’re sincere about it. Some people do it for prestige, treating that marriage license as if it were like some sort of diploma. As if to say, “Wow, now I’ve made it! I’m somebody. Now I get a seat at the table.”
To be sure, there are tangible benefits to marriage. For some it means new found wealth, for example. Nevertheless, too many people don’t see it for the dangling carrot that it really is until they start feeling the burden of having that monkey on their back. The State, Church & society at large in your ear, and looking at you to hold up your end of the deal. The pain of divorce proceedings is punishment for breaking with the establishment.
I’ve seen so many marriages fail not because of hate, but because of pressure and stress. Though now more than ever, young people are wising up and figuring out that they need to tread with care if they want to play the game. Or discovering like yours truly that it just isn’t worth a bother.