Marriage as an American Partnership
In America marriage is the social institution designed to harness for the benefit of society (as well as of the marital partners) the energy of an intimate partnership. Marriage is always a social contract, although the social functions it fulfills are more prominent in some societies than in our own. This is in part because we think of it, ideally, as initiated and maintained simply for the benefit of the two people who fell in love. In our society when two adults who are able to support themselves fall in love they are expected to get married.