DEAR MARGO: This is a dumb guy question, but why do people get married? The institution seems hopelessly outdated. This concept of being with one woman for the rest of your life is totally unnatural from a man's perspective.
The irony is that after a certain length of time being married, most men report being reasonably happy (most lobotomy recipients would probably classify themselves the same way), while a majority of women report themselves miserable. So I'm extrapolating that the concept of marriage works for neither party in the long run. We all know the high cost of divorce as well.
I guess if you want to have kids, it makes sense. What say you?
In case you wanted the real answer:
DEAR ER: Well, people get married for lots of reasons. Among them, love, sex, security, status, other people's expectations or even revenge. We're in quasi-quicksand on this one, because many cultural anthropologists say that it is not in the male's nature to be faithful -- and yet, there are many such marriages.
As for "miserable women," who knows how they would feel were they single? Not to beg the question, but I know of marvelous marriages, along with some you'd think were a punishment from God. If this were more than an idle question, I would say that marriage is for you if you think it is.
To quote an English essayist from a few centuries ago on the subject of remarriage, "It is the triumph of hope over experience." Perhaps the real answer is that men and women, since time began, have wanted to be together, and to be recognized as being together.
--- MARGO, CONJECTURALLY