I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics.




Cheap Weddings are Best

Economists at Emory University, Atlanta, looked at 3,000 Americans and found an inverse correlation between money spent on a wedding and how long the marriage lasts. Those who spent less than $1,000 had divorce rates 53% below average, while those who spent more than $20,000 had divorce rates 46% above average.

On the other hand, the more people that watch you get married, the more successful your marriage is likely to be. Randy Olson, a Ph.D. student at Michigan State, found that couples who marry in front of more than 200 people are 92% less likely to get divorced than those who have only a couple of witnesses. Olson found more generally that as the number of guests increased, the likelihood of divorce decreased. 

Choosing a Spouse

According to Herodotus: in the 5th century BC, all the marriageable women in a Babylonian village would assemble once a year for auction as wives. The auctioneer began with the most desirable women, who were sold for the highest price. Then came the twist: as the auctioneer reached the less desirable women, the auction went into reverse. It became not ‘How much would you pay for her?’ but ‘How much would you have to be paid to take her as your wife?’ Whoever put in the lowest tender got the bride. This way even the least desirable girl got a husband, and the dowries for the less attractive ones were funded from the fees paid for the more attractive.

Spartans sometimes decided who married whom by putting all the local eligible men and women in a room and blowing out the candles. Your future spouse was whomever you first groped.


Personally I know nothing about sex because I have always been married.

LORD BYRON (1788-1824)

I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all.

(Un)Honoré de Balzac

Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) wrote: ‘A man ought not to marry without having studied anatomy and dissected at least one woman.’This is from a book called The Physiology of Marriage, a kind of self-help book for how to survive in marriage, which Balzac wrote in 1829. Dutch gynaecologist Theodoor van de Velde (the man who first demonstrated that women only ovulate once in each menstrual cycle) corrected Balzac 100 years later, writing: ‘careful study may obviate the need for actual dissection.’ 

Balzac recommended that a man should weaken the will and strength of a wife by ‘tiring her out under the load of constant work’, so that she has no energy left to cause trouble. Also: ‘Never allow her to drink water alone; if you do, you are lost.’ Balzac was 30 when he wrote the book and unmarried till he was 50. In 1832, he fell in love with a married Polish-Russian countess, Eveline Hanska, who promised to marry him if and when her husband died. She kept him waiting for 17 years (more than half of them after the death of her first husband) and he died five months later they finally wed. Balzac’s deathbed was attended by his mother and Victor Hugo, but not by his new bride.

Marriage Proposal

On Orango Island just off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, Africa, it is the women who choose man who they will marry.
A girl will enter the man's hut with a meal cooked to an ancient recipe; if he takes a bite then he has accepted the girl's proposal. Once the proposal had been accepted, the man has to wait while the woman collects materials and builds the marital home. Only once that is complete can the marriage be considered official.
However, things are changing. Men from the island have recently been able to travel to mainland Africa, and further afield, and have picked up some bad habits. Actually, proposing marriage themselves. Though figures are unavailable, anecdotal evidence suggests that this new trend may be leading to a rise in divorce rates.

During Lord Byron's brief, disastrous marriage, he never ate with his wife as he claimed he could not bear to see women eat.

Marriage exists in all known human cultures.


More students at the University of St. Andrews marry each other than at any other British university.

More than half of all Patels in the UK are married to people called Patel.

Until 1857, a husband wishing to end an unhappy marriage could sell his wife. The cost was about £3,000 - roughly £23,000 in today's money.