Holy matrimony is considered as the greatest bond that can be established between a man and a woman. As we all know, a wedding takes place in the presence of a priest and with the blessings of kith and kin from the girl’s as well as the boy’s side. This is one archetypical mode of marriage which more or less everyone is familiar with irrespective of their caste, religion or nationality. However when it comes to the variety of marriages being practiced, be it in a country or worldwide, there are significant types. It is of course not possible for us to have an idea about the numerable kinds of marriages being practiced. But it is also amazing how diverse a ceremony could be. The types of marriages can vary with the coming up of culture, religion, nationality and even gender in play. Let us have a look at 10 types of marriages around the globe.
- Open marriages
There might seem to be no logic behind a marriage of this sort, but it is true that open marriages exist. Both the partners are consented by each other to go ahead and hold extra marital affairs without fearing the interference of the other. In a way the partners are allowing each other to indulge in sexual infidelity and that it simply mutual. Hence this causes no tension and conflicts between the two. One explanation to this could be the mutual disagreement of marrying each other and as a result allowing each other to live freely sans the intricate shackles of matrimony.
This may be seen as a step ahead of open marriages. The man or the wife is allowed to marry more than one person, even in the presence of the other. Some religions like Islam gives consent to such a form of marriage where a man is allowed to marry three to four times. In Mauritius Muslim men may choose to marry upto three to four times, but their other wives apart from the first one will not be given the status of a wife as per the law. However the practice is not seen as legal in the eyes of the law. In countries that annuls such marriages, polygamy there becomes a crime that is bigamy.
- Avunculate marriages
The partners of avunculate marriages are bind with a genetic relationship. Within this, a man can marry his niece or a lady can marry her nephew. This was a common practice in the royal families of Europe and was meant to preserve the family blood from being soiled by anyone from outside the family by entering into a marriage alliance with them. They rather preferred marrying off their daughters to their second or third cousins or even uncles. It might be seen as form of incest by many people but there are societies even today that are practicing such marriages and see no harm in it.
- Boston marriage
With the huge outcry of the legalization of homosexual marriages within several places in USA, people have really been happy with the decision for it marks a coming of new era. But it would be startling and amazing to know that homosexual, particularly lesbian marriages were legalized in Boston around late 19th century itself. Not only were women free to marry the woman they loved but also have a sexual relationship with them. Things were modern even back then, it just was not as popular as it is now.
- Levirate marriage
Within a Levirate Marriage a widow is to marry her dead husband’s brother. This is a method to ensure that the widowed bride of the family stays in the family. It is thus that an unmarried brother of the deceased husband is asked to step forward and marry the girl. If there comes a child out of this kind of matrimony then he or she would be considered the child of the deceased husband and not of the present one. So the main purpose of such marriage becomes to replace the place of the dead husband in a bride’s life. The replacement might be in practical but is not considered so in theory.
- Posthumous marriage
In a posthumous marriage one of the partners is deceased. It could be the widow marrying her dead fiancé or a widower marrying his dead fiancée. It is a legal practice in France, Sudan and in China. This kind of marriage originated in the 1950’s when a dam broke killing 400 people in France. In the list of the dead was a man named Andre Capra, who was engaged to Irene Jodart before his death. The latter requested the French President to allow her to proceed with her marriage and within months she was allowed to marry her dead fiancé. It became legal to marry a deceased to-be-husband or to-be-wife in France by Article 171.
- Hypergamy and hypogamy
Hypergamy is the practice of the marrying someone with the purpose of moving up in the social ladder. It could be a rise in terms of caste or even social position. This kind of marriage is particularly on a decline in the modern times and it can be attributed to financial independence and stability at large. The opposite of hypergamy becomes hypogamy that is marrying a person of low social status. The decision to be in hypogamy could be voluntary and even forced.
- Common-law marriage
It is an informal marriage where the couple considers themselves married with respect to a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions. The marriage is however not recorded formally that is by a state. It is not to be confused with a live-in relationship where the couple refuses to consider the each other as a spouse and also are not recognized as married by any framework. A common-law marriage is not registered as a civil marriage.
- Sororate marriage
This can be one reason why feminists across ages have felt excessive rage. The man on having discovered his wife as infertile is free to marry or have sexual relationships with his sister-in-law, in order to beget a child. The status of a woman through such practice reduces to that of a child carrying vessel. The man is also allowed to go ahead and marry his sister-in-law in case of his wife’s death. This is done with the intention of carrying forth with the familial bonds between the two families.
- Teen marriage
As the name suggests, teen marriage involves the marriage of a couple where one or both the partners are in their teen years. There could be several reasons attributed to a teen marriage and societal pressure in certain cultures to wed the daughter as soon as she turns a major, is a significant factor.
There are yet several and diverse forms of marriage which we might never have heard of or even never will in future.