Can women in Judaism initiate divorce

Lexicon> marriage

As marriage (Old High German: ewa, "Eternity, Law, Law", legal-historical Connubium) is a socially recognized cohabitation of two or more people, which is established by generally applicable, mostly legal rules, who are referred to as spouses, married couples or spouses.
In many, but not all, states and religions, marriage is defined as a community of exactly two people. Many, but not all, of these states or religions, in which marriage is restricted to exactly two people, assume that the two spouses must be of different sexes.
The meaning of marriage and the framework conditions that affect it are heavily dependent on social and cultural ideas and have changed again and again in the course of human development. The term marriage in Germany today generally means that Civil marriage. The legal dissolution of the marriage is denoted by the term divorce.
As a genealogical symbol one uses? (Unicode U + 26AD) or oo.

Forms and delimitation

Characteristics of marriage

In most countries, a legal requirement for marriage is that of the opposite sex; in some, however, this is no longer the case - see same-sex marriage. The female spouse can use the terms wife, Mrs or wife, ancient too wife to be designated; was historical too woman common for it. Before and during marriage, a woman is called bride designated. A male partner becomes before and during the marriage groom and after marriage husband, man or spouse, ancient too husband called. Is also out of date from Sponsored (from Latin sponsus, sponsa = bridegroom, bride). Colloquially, a spouse is sometimes referred to as a “better half”.
The ideas about the characteristics of marriage differ fundamentally. In the Roman Empire, marriage was seen as a non-legal social fact through an actual communion between men and women. The Roman Catholic view sees marriage as a holy sacrament. The view of civil marriage, after all, always regards marriage as a kind of civil contract. This opinion often requires certification by a notary in a special procedure (e.g. by a registrar).
Marriage creates personal and economic rights and obligations between the spouses. The precise content of the contract and the way in which it is concluded depend to a large extent on the respective culture and society. Marriage very often has the task of providing material sustenance. This is z. B. realized through claims to maintenance, property rights compensation or in the Islamic legal system through the morning gift. In many societies, particularly patrilineal, marriage also secures a certain legitimate lineage.

"Marriage without a marriage certificate" / cohabitation

The number of marriages has been falling in Germany for several decades. While 510,318 couples in Germany (Federal Republic and GDR) got married in 1976, in 2006 there were only 373,6811. Today, many couples bind themselves without a marriage certificate in a marriage-like community (colloquially also known as “wild marriage” or part of life partnership), referred to as cohabiting in Switzerland, or enter into partnerships and love relationships with less commitment. This can partly be explained with the change in social values ​​and the emancipation of women.
For example, the anthropologist Helen Fisher sees a major cause in the declining interdependence of the partners, caused by the better education and greater economic independence of women, which reactivates strategies of reproduction and family formation that have existed since the prehistory of mankind
However, some family sociologists point out that the situation was statistically similar before the 19th century and that the social significance of marriage is not necessarily diminished as a result.
In fact, unmarried couples are treated the same as married couples in only a few countries.
A same-sex cohabitation based on traditional marriage can also be referred to as marriage.3 The legal options for the official recognition of same-sex partnerships restrict this use more to such legal institutions.

General framework


wedding party
Nowadays, marriage begins in most cases with a marriage, in the course of which a certificate is issued by the commissioned institution. In most western countries, the registry offices are responsible for the certification of legally binding marriages and the churches for church weddings. In some countries, religious communities are also responsible. Obtaining the required documents and evidence (in Germany, certificate of descent for the registry office, baptismal certificate for the parish office) usually only takes a few weeks. However, in cases where different legal systems are affected (e.g. in the case of binational marriages), it can take considerably longer.


The marriage usually ends with the death of one of the spouses. Depending on the legal, cultural and religious group, the further options for distancing yourself from a closed marriage differ. Often, marriages can be terminated by divorce or legal annulment. In the Islamic legal system, repudiation is a prerequisite for the termination of the marriage. Not only, but mainly in Catholic canon law, the annulment serves to dissolve a marriage retrospectively from the time it began, since divorce is not permitted there.

As common causes for Marital crises apply among others:
  • lack of marriage preparation
  • missing role models
  • Relationship overload, e.g. B. through children and / or unemployment
  • increasing individualization
  • Faithlessness (colloquially cheating)
At least 35% of marriages in Germany are divorced again.
Many societies are familiar with the divorce process for ending marriage. The recognition of divorce is regulated differently in different worldviews. An important difference is whether the requirements for divorce are linked to certain acts of unlawful marriage caused by a spouse (as in Germany and the USA before the 1970s) or whether the objective failure of the marriage is sufficient (principle of disruption). Such a breakdown is usually only found if the marital relationship no longer exists for a certain period of time and restoration can no longer be expected. In Germany or Canada the period is fixed at one year. However, it can also be a multiple of this (Switzerland two years). Since the Catholic concept of marriage does not know divorce, there is only the possibility of annulment. The consequence of such a declaration is that the cohabitation is treated retrospectively as if there had never been a marriage from the beginning.
Obligations of the partners beyond the duration of the marriage are regulated very differently by national laws (the PR China, for example, has no obligations). Obligations for common children from marriage exist almost everywhere. Although there are intergovernmental agreements to dissolve marriages, the often incompatible national marriage dissolution procedures create considerable difficulties for the increasing number of binational marriages.
Criticism of the principle of longevity came, for example, from the Spanish poet Cervantes; He suggested that the marriage should be limited to three to five years from the outset, after which, like other contracts, it could be terminated or extended.

Incest taboo

All known civilizations have always tabooed marriage with blood relatives to varying degrees, especially between parents and their children. Almost all peoples forbid brother and sister marriage. In many cases, marriage between second-degree relatives is also prohibited. Many peoples have imposed further restrictions on themselves, such as marriage with persons with the same family name or with persons with the same totem animal. See also the article on marriage rules.
An exception was ancient Egypt, where marriage between brother and sister was permitted in the Pharaoh's family; this privilege was denied to the people and could have served to concentrate power and vitality in a family.
The consequence of the incest taboo is the demand for an exogameric marriage related to another group. Ethnologists emphasize that the incest taboo serves to promote social cohesion (see brotherhood).


Certain religious communities, social groups and peoples also promote marriage within a certain group (endogamy) and call on people to marry someone from their own ranks. Racist laws of the past that sought to forbid connections between different racial members can also be seen as examples of endogamy.

The story of marriage

Prehistory and early history

We know nothing empirically about the beginnings of “marriage” beyond the animal-human transition field, even archeological grave finds that can be interpreted do not go back that far.
Older social evolutionists assumed a linear evolution of couple bonds among humans: At the beginning of mankind there was promiscuity, which would then have developed into group marriage and finally through polygamy to monogamy. In this view, monogamy was seen as the culturally highest form of marriage. According to the same logic (a later development inevitably represents a "higher" form of development), the frequent change of spouses nowadays in view of the high divorce rate should also be regarded as a "higher" form of marriage, compared to the previous standard form of a lifelong marriage. Very few of the older social evolutionists, however, draw this conclusion from such a teleological logic.
Recent anthropological studies by Helen Fisher, for example, show many similarities and recurring characteristics in human mating behavior and elective affinities
Monogamous peoples seem to have been little widespread in pre-Christian times (according to Tacitus' writings, the Germanic peoples with their monogamy were an exception among the barbarians of antiquity, but there was also a "triple marriage" polyandry in the Germanic culture, which was relatively late from the Catholic Church was abolished). In fact, even today societies practicing strict monogamy are a minority among human cultures. Only a few societies are known in which polygyny and polyandry were practiced at the same time (see group marriage and pseudo-group marriage). Mainly through the expansion of monotheistic religions, the successful spread of European norms and values ​​since the 15th century and Christian proselytizing, monogamy became the predominant form of marriage in many regions of the world. But monogamy was not a compulsion in ancient Judaism and is not the rule in contemporary Islam.
"Wedding ring, 7th century]]
The marriage was probably primarily a peace and alliance treaty between clans and - by means of often complicated exogamy and endogamy rules - a link between clans or phratries. Since ancient times, it has also been considered a prerequisite for the beginning of a family, which was seen as a building block of a community and society. The installation of marriage thus served not only the interests of two individuals or their children, but also the purposes of religious and secular elites. (Up until the modern era, for example, in the high nobility, "left-hand marriage" was possible without legitimacy and right of inheritance for children after the father.)

Roman Empire

Marriage in the Roman Empire

middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, not all people in Western Europe were able to marry. From the respective landowner or landowner as well as from corresponding offices in the city (magistrate, guild, guild) only those who were also able to maintain a family were allowed to marry and start a family. As a result, more than half of the population was excluded from marriage. Due to the prevailing religious and ethical principles at the time, this also meant a de facto exclusion from the possibility of fathering children and starting a family.

Modern times

Since the beginning of the modern era, marriage has been in an on-going process of secularization and legalization in many countries. Ideally, however, the Christian church there retained a great influence on the form of coexistence in partnership well into the 20th century. Christian marriage was supposed to guarantee that offspring would be conceived and grow up in a protected space and assigned the parents to gender-segregated areas of responsibility.5 Entering into a marriage was almost inevitable for women, since most families could not afford the financial means to have a woman to entertain in their celibacy (for example when entering a monastery). For men, marriage was a desirable state of affairs due to the almost free purchase of domestic work and care for the common offspring. Marriage developed from a medieval instrument of dynastic networking into an economic connection. Depending on the social status of the spouses, political and economic interests were pursued through them or they were essential for the survival of both partners
The more liberal sexual practice in modern western culture compared to the Middle Ages, as well as the relative ease of divorce within the same national legal system and remarriage, led to an increase in so-called serial monogamy during the 20th century.

Marriage settlement

Marriage settlement
In order to regulate the conditions of the marriage differently from or further than in the general legal system, it is possible to conclude a marriage contract, the effect of which is nevertheless bound by legal limits. This could z. B. Details on the power of keys and the woman's needle money, or the agreements of the spouses regarding the consequences of a divorce are regulated. In the German legal system it is common for marriage contracts to contain regulations on the following topics:
  • Property regime (e.g. gain compensation)
  • Pension equalization
  • Entertains

While maintenance regulations are also common in other legal systems, the regulations on profit compensation depend on the marital property regime provided for by the respective legal system (the prerequisite for a profit compensation is that the form of the profit community is known) as well as on the possibilities of the respective social system (requirement for a pension compensation is a statutory pension insurance or similar).

Same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage
In Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and Argentina, six US states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York) and the District of Columbia and Mexico -Stadt, same-sex couples can also marry. However, recognition of these marriages is generally limited to these countries and territories; Due to the Defense of Marriage Act, however, such marriages are not recognized by the US federal government, which is responsible for important legal areas such as regulating immigration and collecting federal income tax. Israel also accepts all same-sex marriages abroad as valid. In Austria7 and Germany8 there are also same-sex marriages; However, these were entered into by partners of different sexes and only became same-sex through a change of sex under the transsexual law.
In Germany there is a registered civil partnership as a counterpart to marriage, but this is severely restricted, e.g. the same tax, pension and maintenance regulations do not apply as in a "real" marriage.

Marriage and religion

Many religious communities have extensive rules for marriage.


Church wedding
In the Old Testament, the creation of the woman from Adam's rib is the basis of marriage: "That is why the man leaves his father and mother and binds himself to his wife, and they become one flesh." Marriages reported and the kings of Israel often had many wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13). The jealousy and rivalry in polygamous marriage is described in the life of Jacob - one of the ancestors of Israel - in Genesis 30: 1-23. There are no examples of polygamous marriage in the New Testament.
After the fall of man in Paradise, God set man as head over woman, so that in the “biblical hierarchy” the woman is subordinate to her husband and both to Christ (1 Corinthians 11: 3). Men are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the church for which he gave his life (Ephesians 5:25).In the same way that men and women should submit to Christ, women should submit to their husbands (1 Peter 3: 1-2) and love their husbands and children (Titus 2: 4). So that no one is led to fornication, every man should have his own wife and every woman her own husband (1 Corinthians 7: 2).
Regarding divorce, Jesus said that it is adultery to divorce his wife and marry another unless his wife has betrayed him (Matthew 19: 7-9). Anyone who marries the one dismissed by a man also commits the marriage (Luke 16:18). Jesus also says in the Sermon on the Mount that whoever looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5: 27-28). If a woman separates from her husband and marries another, she is committing adultery (Mark 10:12). But if she is divorced, let her stay unmarried or be reconciled with her husband (1 Corinthians 7:11). What God has put together, man should not divide (Mark 10: 9). Marriage should be honored by all, for the fornicators and adulterers are judged by God (Hebrews 13: 4).
Canon law knows certain reasons that can prevent the formation of a valid marriage from the outset. A valid marriage is fundamentally binding for Christians until the end of their lives. Divorce is not provided for in Christianity, but is accepted as a necessary evil in some denominations, such as B. in the case of adultery. In Christianity, based on the two divine covenants in the Old and New Testament, there is also talk of the marriage covenant, an idea that also played an important role in the development of the so-called covenant marriage.
In its 24th session, the Roman Catholic Council of Trent dealt extensively with the sacrament of marriage.


In Buddhism, marriage is neither strengthened nor advised against. However, it teaches how to have a happy marriage.


Marriage in hinduism
Hinduism sees marriage as a sacred task that entails religious and social obligations. The couple make the marital covenant by walking around the sacred fire seven times, bound by knotted cloths. While mythology also knows polygamy, monogamous marriage is the ideal today. It is considered samskara, a Hindu sacrament.


Islamic marriage
According to Islamic understanding, the intimate areas of life of marriageable women and men are fundamentally separate; marriage is the only place where this separation is legitimately broken. The Koran highly recommends marriage with this background; it helps, among other things, to spiritual perfection and is therefore gladly seen. Every Muslim and every Muslim who is able to marry (including financially and healthily) should try to comply with this.
The Islamic marriage takes place through the mutual declaration of intent of the marriageable Muslim and the Muslim in the presence of an imam (according to the Hanafi school of law; other schools of law also require the consent of the bride's parents), with the assistance of two Muslim male witnesses and the MEHIR (so-called bridal gift ).
The previous or imminent civil marriage is recommended to “secure” the wife. A wedding reception or ceremony is not mandatory, but it is recommended by the Prophet Mohammed for the purpose of publicizing and announcing the marriage.
Monogamy is preferred, polygamy on the part of the man is undesirable, but allowed. If the relatively rare polygamy occurs, each wife must be provided with her own household as well as financial resources that the woman can freely dispose of. In general, the husband is obliged to ensure both equality and the equal treatment of all his wives, which is often very difficult. In addition, Muslims are generally obliged to adhere to the applicable laws of the country in which they live, provided these do not conflict with the principles of Islam.
There is also a divorce in Islam.


In the Old Testament, the creation of the woman from Adam's rib is the basis of marriage: "That is why the man leaves his father and mother and binds himself to his wife, and they become one flesh." Marriages reported and the kings of Israel often had many wives and concubines (2 Samuel 5:13). The jealousy and rivalry in polygamous marriage is described in the life of Jacob - one of the ancestors of Israel - in Genesis 30: 1-23. After the fall of man in paradise, God had set the man as head over the woman, so that in the "biblical hierarchy" the woman is subordinate to her husband.
Marriage is very important to Orthodox Jews because they believe that a man has the task of finding his second half, that is, his wife. Reform Judaism, to which marriage is also important, claims that it is not only the man's task to find a wife, but also vice versa. Marriage is a major mitzvah for both of them and is considered one of the largest and most important life decisions for both partners.

National peculiarities


historical development

Until the end of the 18th century, marriage was solely a matter for the churches and synagogues. The influence of French law (cf. Code civil) favored civil marriage, as French civil status law was applied in many territories in western Germany. The first completely independent German particular legal laws did not come into being until the 1850s (Frankfurt, Oldenburg, etc.). The first civil law wedding in Oldenburg took place in Varel in 1855. At that time the Baptist preacher August Friedrich Wilhelm Haese and Meta Schütte got married. Especially “dissidents” like her, who did not belong to any of the major denominations of the time and who were refused a legally recognized church marriage in some places, contributed to the introduction and enforcement of civil marriage.
As a result of the Kulturkampf, state registry offices were introduced throughout Germany in 1876, in which marriage is concluded regardless of an ideological creed (civil marriage). A church marriage may also take place - but from 1877 to 2008 only after the civil law marriage. Since January 1, 2009, an amendment to the Personal Status Act has also allowed a purely church marriage without legal consequences.
National Socialism forbade “racial mixed marriages” through a marriage law, often separated such marriages and promoted “thoroughbred” reproduction for the state (Hereditary Health Act).
The constitutional form of Article 6 of the Basic Law after the Second World War can also be understood against this background: marriage is under the special protection of the state, but its core area is withdrawn from its direct access. The model of equality applies to today's form of marriage. In the marriage law of the BGB this was not implemented as early as 1949, but in several steps since 1953. Important points were:
  • Abolition of the man's right to unilaterally determine matters relating to joint conjugal life, in particular the home and place of residence;
  • Abolition of the need for man to give consent to work for women; a contract concluded without the consent of the man could be terminated by the man with the consent of the guardianship court if the woman's activity impaired marital interests;
  • Replacement of the statutory matrimonial property regime, which provided for the use and administration of part of the woman's property by the man while the man was at the same time paying for the marital expenses, by the community of gains;
  • New regulation of parental authority (custody) on the basis of equal rights for both spouses;
  • Elimination of the model of housewife marriage.

If one looks at the changes in the understanding of marriage with regard to the mutual rights and obligations of the spouses, there is a development away from historical models of a contract, which had the protection of the state, towards a simple acknowledgment, with due consideration (right to refuse to testify) by the state , clear. In 1950:
  • Marriage was a lifelong contract tied to a code of conduct on how to treat one's partner.
  • Only if one partner did not comply with this code of conduct could the other partner request the dissolution of the marriage. And only as long as the misconduct has not been eradicated by the renewal of the marriage through the sexual act.
  • If the marriage was ended, a breach of the code of conduct would result in the forfeiture of all civil law claims against the partner who was loyal to the contract.
  • Marriage was protected by the criminal offense of adultery.
  • The marriage was protected under civil law insofar as adultery after a culpable divorce resulted in a ban on marriage to the lover.
  • The marriage was the publicly documented free decision in the sexual union of the parties.
  • Only legitimate offspring were entitled to inheritance from both parents.
  • In the case of illegitimate descendants, the father had the obligation to provide for a living with financial means, but had neither access nor visiting rights.

Todays situation

In comparison, marriage today (2007) is as follows:
  • The marriage is concluded for life (1353 | bgb | juris para. 1 sentence 1 BGB). If the marriage fails, the marriage can be divorced without the fault of one or both spouses being relevant (1565 | bgb | juris para. 1 BGB). If the spouses have been separated for a year and both consent to the divorce, or if the spouses have been separated for three years, the failure of the marriage is irrefutably suspected (1566 | bgb | juris BGB).
  • The spouses can regulate rights and obligations during and after the marriage in a marriage contract, although there is no unrestricted freedom of design (e.g. maintenance for children cannot be waived). Even without a marriage contract, the spouses have legal rights and obligations towards each other and towards the state.
  • Adultery is no longer a criminal offense.
  • The adulterer can be married after the divorce.
  • The right to sexual self-determination also applies in marriage: marriage is no longer considered general consent to sexual union.
  • The offspring have the same rights regardless of their parents' legal relationship.
  • Unmarried fathers are only entitled to parental custody together with the mother if they marry the mother or make a declaration of custody in the same way as the mother.

Spouses are granted economic advantages such as spouse splitting when calculating income tax, the entitlement to free health insurance for the partner in the family insurance, the regulations for spouses in inheritance law and the survivor's pension in the event of the partner's death. However, spouse splitting only brings economic advantages if the income of the spouses is different from one another. In return, the individual entitlement to social assistance of every individual against the state is primarily shifted to the partner through the unconditional mutual maintenance claim of the spouses, since a marriage represents a community of needs under German law. However, there are also other forms of benefit community (life companions, civil partnerships) for which the splitting in income tax does not apply, although the partners have assumed the same obligations. Because of its incentive to "housewife marriage", the splitting of spouses is criticized by representatives of feminism. Other advantages such as trust and mutual stimulation are promoted by various groups (marriage encounters, family works on the political or ideological side and others). What has been lost, however, is how the state can or should contribute to increased trust between spouses, except through the already existing right to refuse to testify.
Of the 21.1 million couples in Germany, 88.5 percent were married in 2006; their share has fallen by four percent since 1996. The proportion of married parents among families has also fallen from 95 to 92 percent since 1996, according to the 2006 microcensus. In 2006, 9,681,000 married couples lived without children. 6,476,000 couples have at least one child under the age of 18.910
The average age at marriage of single German men and women rose steadily from 1991 to 2008: for men from 28.5 to 33.011 and for women from 26.1 to 30.0 years
The registered civil partnership, which was legally introduced in Germany on August 1, 2001, legally equates same-sex partners to a marriage. Exceptions are civil service law, adoption law and mostly tax law.
See also: Protection of marriage and family

More often binational couples

Of the total of around 21 million couples in Germany, 6.3 percent were binational in 2005 (an increase of three percentage points since 1996 to 1.3 million, i.e. 84 percent more foreign couples within nine years). In 602,000 married couples, the wife is of foreign origin (in 545,000 the man). In the case of unmarried couples, on the other hand, foreign men predominate (104,000 to 80,000). Most of them come from non-EU countries (around 3: 2 each).

Purely foreign partnerships

The proportion of purely foreign partnerships fell between 1996 and 2005 by over 2 percentage points to over 6 percent of all German couples. The number of purely German couples decreased by more than 3 percentage points in the same period.


In Austria, a purely church marriage is easily possible; such marriages have no meaning under civil law.


Please refer

United States

US marriage law is regulated by the individual states. This results in a complex patchwork of different property and divorce laws. As a kind of contract between the two spouses, marriages concluded in one state are also recognized in other states. Same-sex marriages are an exception to this; here the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 allows the federal and state governments not to be required to recognize these marriages. Since this law does not have constitutional status, like the provision on mutual recognition of contracts, it is currently disputed whether it is constitutional. In some states, same-sex marriages are currently legal; these are only recognized by the state and local authorities of the states of New York and Rhode Island, as well as in foreign states that allow same-sex marriages.
Many effects of marriage, e.g. B. in the assessment of federal income tax or migration issues, are regulated by the federal government. Until 1967, marriages between people of different races were not legal in all states. That year, the United States Supreme Court sentenced Virginia to recognize a marriage in the District of Columbia between a man of European and a woman of African-Indian descent.
Before getting married, a marriage license must be applied for. Only through them is marriage legally recognized. In the United States, religious and legal marriage ceremonies can take place at the same time. If the marriage is entered into by a clergyman, he can act as registrar at the same time and thus also legally enforce the marriage. This requires the marriage license to be signed. A purely religious ceremony is easily permitted, but has no legal consequences.
Since the 19th century, alternative groups organized legally unrecognized group marriages, all adult members married (see Oneida). More recently, namely together with the queer movement and the bi movement, the polyamory subculture emerged, starting in the USA and here in the region around San Francisco, for permanent, non-monogamous and mutual love relationships between several partners. There are possibly inexpressible members of this subculture today in all western and southern European countries.
According to a 2007 regular census, more than half of all women in the United States are unmarried. For the first time, single mothers and unmarried women outnumbered their married mates. In 2007, married couples with and without children lived in only 49.7 percent of the 111.1 million American households, compared to 52 percent five years ago in 2002.13


Israel is one of the few states that to this day does not allow a purely civil marriage. Mainly due to the influence of Orthodox Jewish parties on politics, marriages can only be concluded there in front of clergymen of the respective religious communities. However, marriages concluded by the state abroad are recognized; Quite a few secular Israelis are getting married today in Cyprus, the closest country to secular marriage.


Main Products: Marriage and Divorce in Japan

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's civil status legislation is based on Islamic law, the Sharia. This solidifies patriarchal structures. Same-sex marriage is not allowed in Saudi Arabia due to the prohibition of homosexuality. Marriage is not understood as a sacrament, but as a civil contract. This contract is to be signed by witnesses, and includes a certain amount of money ("more") to be paid by the man to the woman. In the early 1990s the value was an average Mores between 25,000 and 40,000 Saudi rials; occasionally, however, couples found themselves practicing the Mores refused outright, and used a nominal amount to meet the formal requirements of Saudi marriage laws. The prenuptial agreement may also specify a certain amount to be paid in the event of a divorce or certain other conditions such as: B. Assure the woman the right to get a divorce in the event that the man marries a second woman. If there are no such or similar agreements, only the man can initiate a divorce. In the event of divorce, the children remain with their father, so that a woman can be separated from her children at the man's request.

Vatican state

In the Vatican State, marriage is a rare civil status, as most residents are celibate. However, many foreign couples want to get married in St. You must first present the relevant papers and hold a marriage preparation interview with the priest of the church who is responsible for the respective foreign congregation in Rome (see bridal mass).


A longitudinal study published in 2007 over 5 years with 8000 people including 1200 couples between the ages of 12 and 28 showed that newly married women and men put on significantly more weight than couples who only lived together but did not get married. The weight gains were lowest among singles. One author of the study suggested that marriage reduces the incentive to stay slim. 14


In the Spanish language are the term for Wives and the term for Handcuffs identical - read esposaswhich is popular hanger for jokes. In the Russian language the term is for marriage with the term for Committee identical - ????which also provokes humorous remarks.


  • Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim: The normal chaos of love. Frankfurt / Main 1990.
  • Heinz Duchhardt: [ The dynastic marriage], European History Online, ed. from [[Institute for European History (Mainz)]], 2011, accessed on: August 10, 2011.
  • Arne Duncker: Equality and Inequality in Marriage. Personal status of women and men in the law of marital partnership 1700–1914. Cologne et al. 2003.
  • Felicitas von Lovenberg: Do you fall in love often, rarely get engaged, never get married? The longing for romantic love. Droemer Verlag 2005, ISBN 3-426-27368-3
  • Klaus Jürgen Matz: Pauperism and population. The legal restrictions on marriage in the southern German states during the 19th century. Stuttgart 1980.
  • Josef Prader / Heinrich J.F. Reinhardt: Church marriage law in pastoral practice. Ludgerus-Verlag, Essen 2001, ISBN 3-87497-237-2
  • Carl Heinz Ratschow, Josef Scharbert, Zeev W. Falk, Bo Reicke and others: Marriage / Marriage Law / Divorce I. Religious History II. Old Testament III. Judaism IV. New Testament V. Old Church VI. Middle Ages VII. Reformation VIII. Ethical IX. Practically theological. In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie 9 (1982), pp. 308–362 (cultural and theological overview with lit.)
  • Marc Schüffner: Marriage protection and civil partnership, Duncker & Humblot 2007, ISBN 3-428-12438-3
  • Dieter Schwab: Basis and form of the state marriage legislation in modern times up to the beginning of the 19th century. Bielefeld 1967.
  • Eberhard Straub: Fragile happiness. Love and Marriage through the Ages. wjs-Verlag, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-937989-12-9
  • Elmar Thurner: [ Why don't our marriages last anymore?] Bludenz: Rhätikonverlag 2007, ISBN 978-3-901607-29-5
  • Bernd Wannenwetsch: Freedom of marriage. The coexistence of women and men in the perception of evangelical ethics. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener 1993. ISBN 3-7887-1470-0 (3-7887-1470-0)
  • Marianne Weber: Wife and mother in legal development. Tubingen 1907.

Fiction about marriage is numerous, though nowhere near as extensive as about love. For example, “The Elective Affinities” (Goethe 1809) or the “Artists' Marriage” (Schefer 1828) are among the highlights.

Related topics

  • General: betrothal - marriage ban - relatives marriage - wedding customs - robbery of women - bride gift - dowry - marriage - matrimonium - arranged marriage - sibling marriage - marriage of convenience - morganatic marriage - open marriage - widow - Joseph marriage - wild marriage - companionship marriage - illegitimate marriage - premarital marriage - gloves marriage - marriage Honeymoon - marriage counseling - visiting marriage - bridal service - temporary marriage

  • Old Federal Republic: Golden Age of Marriage

  • Middle Ages: Friedelehe - Muntehe - Wittum - Elective Brotherhood - Kebsehe - Winkelehe

  • Roman law: Conubium


Web links

  • 7975
  • [ Evangelical view of marriage]
  • [ Catholic Church in Germany: Marriage]
  • SELK: [ Marriage and church wedding from the perspective of the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church]
  • [ Ehe im Judentum]
  • [ Judgment in Loving vs. Virginia]



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