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									                                    Simple English: Lesson 17

Prepared by: Richard L Berry

1. Reading: Marriage

    Marriage is a relationship and a bond, usually between one man and one woman. The man and
    the woman are the centre of a family. Usually the man and woman are married for life, but
    divorce is possible and in some societies it is quite common.
    Purpose of Marriage
    Marriage is a public and legal act that is approved by the couples’ families, by society and by
    the state. It is a safe, secure and loving environment where children can be born and brought
    up and taught moral values.
    Basis of Marriage in “Western” Countries
    In the West, marriage is usually based on personal attraction between a man and a woman. A
    man and a woman may be attracted to each other because of beauty or because they share a
    common interest or because of wealth.
    “Arranged” Marriages
    In some societies marriages can be arranged between two families. The father and mother of a
    boy would meet together with the father and mother of a girl and agree to marry them. If one
    family lives overseas they may make a trip “back home” to find a suitable husband or wife for
    their child.
    Meeting “Mr. Right” or “Miss Right”
    In the past, young people could be introduced to each other using the services of a “match
    maker”. Nowadays, young people can meet suitable partners using dating agencies. These are
    companies that keep personal data about unmarried people. Individuals pay a fee to be
    introduced to people with similar interests. Newspapers also contain “Personal Columns”
    where individuals advertise themselves.
    This is when a couple announces their intention to be married. In the West, the man usually
    presents the girl with an engagement ring. Usually this ring is made of gold or silver with a
    single diamond. Another word for “engagement” is “betrothal”. The ring symbolises the
    man’s promise to marry the girl.
    Civil Marriage
    In many countries it is possible to have a simple “civil” marriage. This is done by a
    government official. The ceremony may be very simple, and there may be only a few
    witnesses present. After this, the man and woman are considered legally married. Young
    people may choose a civil ceremony if they do not profess any religion, if the marriage is not
    approved by their parents, or if they simply want a quiet marriage.
    Traditional Marriage
    A traditional marriage is usually a big, happy public celebration. Members of both families,
    friends and colleagues are present at the wedding. The actual wedding is done during a ritual
    when the man and woman make promises to be faithful each other. They are now considered
    husband and wife. After the ceremony, the newly weds invite the guests to a wedding feast.

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                                    Simple English: Lesson 17

     The Honeymoon
     In Western countries, immediately after the wedding, the couple go on holiday together. This
     is their first time alone together, and often the holiday destination is kept secret so that they
     will not be disturbed.
     As part of the marriage agreement, the couple promise to be faithful to each other for the rest
     of their lives. This means that they will love each other and support each other. They will
     remain married even if one of them falls sick or if they have financial problems. They promise
     to love only each other and to break any other relationships they may have.
     When a marriage breaks down the couple may divorce. This may happen due to
     unfaithfulness. If the husband or wife has a relationship with someone else it is called
     “adultery” and the spouse may divorce the unfaithful partner. Divorce may also occur due to
     many other problems. If the couple are constantly arguing, they should try to find a way to
     settle their quarrels. Marriage counselors may be able to help.
     Children and Home
     One of the reasons for marriage is that the couple may have children. The couple bring up
     their children and teach them the things they have learned from their own parents. The family
     should be a happy and loving environment where children are physically fed; where they learn
     their language and culture; and where they learn moral values (what is right and what is

2. Vocabulary

 1      Relationship         Rel|A|tion|ship
                             The way two people are connected to each other, or the way they feel
                             toward each other.
                             “I have a good relationship with my boss”
                             “John, what is your relationship to Bill?” “Bill is my brother.”
 2      Bond                 A strong connection. Like “to bind” or tie two things together.
                             “bond of love”
                             “The emotional bond between mother and child”
 3      “for life”           For your whole life until you die
                             “A man and woman are married for life”
                             “For some crimes you may go to prison for life”
                             “In the old days you could have a job for life”
 4      Divorce              The separation of husband and wife
                             “My parents were divorced when I was young”
                             “Are you single, married or divorced”
                             “In Brazil the divorce rate is high”
                             “Jane took the house as part of the divorce settlement”
 5      Western              This is a loose term used to describe West European countries, North
        countries            America and Australia/NZ. The “Western” way of doing things or
                             “Western” values are those values practiced in “Western” countries.
 6      Polygamy             Pol|Y|ga|my
                             Where one man marries several women
                             “poly” = “many”
                             “Polygamy is not permitted in Western countries, it is considered a crime”
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                                    Simple English: Lesson 17

 7     Monogamy              Mon|O|ga|my
                             Where one man marries one wife
                             “mono” = “one”
                             “Monogamy is practiced in most societies”
 8     Heterosexual          Het|er|o|SEX|u|al
                             Relationship between two people of different sex, that is between a man
                             and a woman.
                             “hetero” = “different”
                             “heterosexual relationships are the normal relationships between man and
 9     Homosexual            Ho|mo|SEX|u|al
                             Relationship between two people of the same sex, that is between man
                             and man or woman and woman.
                             “homo” = “same”
                             “Homosexual marriages are not recognised in most countries”
 10    Gay                   Popular word for homosexual men
                             “Gay rights”
 11    Newly Wed             A couple only just recently married
 12    Wedlock               Marriage
 13    Out of Wedlock        This is an expression used for children who are born to unmarried parents.
                             “Sally was born out of wedlock. Later her parents were married.”
 14    Illegitimate          il|leg|IT|i|mate
                             Illegal. Also used for children who are born to unmarried parents.
                             “The prince was married but he had seven illegitimate children born to
                             other women.”
 15    Concubine             CON|cu|bine
                             A woman in the past to lived with a man who already had a wife, and was
                             looked after by him, but who was socially less important than his wife.
 16    Mistress              A woman who is a lover of a married man.
                             “He thinks it is a secret, but everybody knows that he has a mistress”
 17    Spouse                Married partner
                             “Spouses are invited to the company Christmas dinner”
 18    Widow                 A lady whose husband has died
 19    Widower               A man whose wife has died
 20    Adultery              a|DUL|ter|y
                             If a married man or woman has sexual relations with another person, it is
                             called adultery and the person is called an adulterer.
                             “Most people would consider adultery to be a very serious and in some
                             countries people caught in adultery can be executed”
 21    Incest                Marriage between closely related people
                             “If I marry my sister or my cousin it is called incest”
 22    In-law                The close relations of a person’s spouse
                             “My wife’s father is my father-in-law”
                             “My wife’s sister is my sister-in-law”
 23    Dowry                 A sum of money given by a bride’s father to the man or his family
 24    Bride                 Wife to be
 25    Groom                 Husband to be

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