Why Be Married? To Cover Your Parents' Debts
I found this fascinating description of marriage in Bali today, with yet another reason to be married:
"For Balinese, a marriage in Bali is not just a union of two individual but also a passing of the baton religious and social responsibilities from father to son. Son inherits everything, wealth, debt, religious and social obligations, family temple, and of course obligation to perform cremation ceremony for his parents."
The wife moves into the husband's home and cuts her responsibilities to her family of origin to help him meet his.
No sons to offer in marriage? Offer a daughter. There's a special marriage form in which you adopt your son-in-law, giving him all the rights and responsibilities of a married son. He moves in with your daughter, abandons his responsibilities to his parents.
If that's a problem, because he's an only son, there's a special third form, seen as less desirable than the first two, in which he takes on the responsibilties and rights of both families.
I have not attempted to verify if this is an accurate description, but It's got me thinking once again about our reasons for marrying.
Too often, we focus on what we expect to get from marriage, rather than what we are offering to do. Happiness research has shown satisfaction comes from feeling part of something bigger than ourselves. The happiness of physical and emotional pleasures from a spouse is fleeting and must be renewed constantly, but the satisfaction of feeling part of something meaningful and larger than ourselves is much more long-lasting.