Top 10 Different Types of Marriages

Let’s talk history. The word ‘wife’ is said to have its roots in the word ‘weip’ (‘to turn, twist or wrap). If not, it’s positively derived from the word ‘ghwip’ (‘shame’ or ‘pudenda’). Now the word ‘husband’ is indebted to ‘husbondi’ (‘master of the house’). Similarly, the word ‘spouse’ has come a long way from the word ‘sponsus’ (‘bridegroom’). ‘Marriage’ originates from the word ‘mas’ (‘male’ or ‘masculine’). Allegedly, the word ‘bride’ connotes the word ‘bru’, which is ‘to cook, brew, make broth’. But ‘groom’ just refers to ‘guma’ or ‘man’. All the same this is not all, buckle up for some more! I have a list ready, pirouetting on the top ten kinds of marriages. Make sure you have your reading glasses on.marriage

  1. Boston Marriage

Two women are married and they may or may not have a sexual relationship. This type of marriage has come a long way from the 19th or the 20th Century. Instead of being regular female friends, the women interacted with each other as a couple. These females felt that they had a way better rapport, based on mutual support and independence, with members of their same sex than those of the opposite sex. In fact Henry James went as far as to pen a novel named the ‘Bostonians’ in 1886!

  1. Polygyny and Polyandry

Polygyny is the marriage of a single man with quite a few women. Certain biological, economical and sociological reasons are thought responsible for these marriages to transpire. This kind of marriage is prevalent in Middle East Asia as well as among Muslims. Sororal polygyny is the marriage of a man with his wife’s sister or sisters. Polyandry is basically just the opposite of Polygyny, which means a woman is married to more than a few men. It comes about where the male population surpasses the population of the fairer sex. Seen as a form of family planning, polyandry helps in keeping the family property intact. Nonetheless, polyandry is less common than polygyny.

  1. Levirate and Sororate

The word ‘Levirate’ is derived from the word ‘levir’ or ‘the husband’s brother’. This sort of a marriage takes place between a man and a widow of his dead brother. The practice has been rampant in ancient Hebrew and Christian societies and in countries such as Africa, India and Australia. Many a time, the children born out of a Levirate marriage are regarded as the children of the first husband himself. In the light of Levirate Marriages, a marriage is more of an alliance between two families. Conversely, a Sororate marriage implies the union of a widower and the sister of his wife. This is frequent among the Maricopa Indians of Arizona. The progeny produced by the second wife is said to belong to the first.

  1. Common Law Marriage

Also known as the ‘defacto’ or informal kind of marriage, a Common Law Marriage entails the marriage of two people on the basis of a contract. In places where it is not legalized yet, it refers to as ‘cohabitation’. This is essentially one of the oldest forms of marriage still around. The man and the wife, by and large, share a monogamous relationship.

  1. Hypogyny and Hypergyny

In Hypogyny, a woman gets married to a man belonging to either a lower rank or social status or age. On the other hand, Hypergyny marriages occur between a woman and a man who is more established and recognized in the given society. Therefore, the groom is liable to demand a fat dowry from the bride and her family. Hypergyny thus signals the pervasiveness of male chauvinism and patriarchy.

  1. After Death Marriage

Legalized in nations such as France, After Death Marriages crop up after the demise of the either of the partners. In other words, it is acceptable to wed a deceased or departed person or for two dead people to get married. This marriage bolsters the notion that marriages are made in Heaven. The husband or the wife may have given up his or her ghost, yet the one who stays back emerges the epitome of loyalty and commitment! Ghost marriages have been going on in Japan, China and Sudan.

  1. Open Marriage

An Open Marriage approves either of the two to engage in extramarital affairs. A man and a woman may be very well married, nonetheless both of them stand open to sexual encounters outside marriage. Also, they don’t have to fear interference of the other as opposed to those intricate constrains of wedlock which result in tension and conflict. Therefore the sexual infidelity is mutual. However, the duo may have to lie to their friends and family. In swinging which has been around since the 1960s and the 1970s, the spouses try and uphold their being emotionally monogamous.

  1. Same Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples can legalize their relationship via Same Sex Marriages. These marriages are monogamous. There are a number of ways for them to produce offspring, the likes of which are surrogacy and adoption. This kind of marriage is also called gay marriage. Some of the countries which consent to it are Argentina, Norway, France, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Columbia, New Zealand, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States and so on and so forth.

  1. Polyamory Marriage

‘Poly’ is Greek for ‘many, several’ and ‘amor’ is Latin for ‘love’. Polyamory Marriages are a boon to all bisexual people. It allows them to have multiple sexual partners. But this is often deemed to be a taboo and is not sheltered by the law anywhere in the world. According to the Wikipedia, “It has been described as “consensual, ethical and responsible non-monogamy.””

  1. Devadasi Marriage

The literal meaning of ‘Devadasi’ is ‘maid servant of god’. In the southern parts of India, a girl is married to either a temple or a god. This marriage may chance even prior to the girl’s birth. But the girl needs to be diligent, handsome and sharp. On top of all these qualities, the girl is required to be a skilled dancer. Her duties would include singing and dancing in the morning as well in the evening. This way, she earns revenue for the temples in the form of donations from the spectators. Since it’s considered an honor to be married to a deity, a devadasi is more often than not eulogised as an auspicious being.

So did you get to know something new?

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Srijani Nag