Do you think a prenuptial agreement should be signed between a man and woman?
In my opinion, a prenuptial agreement ruins (lerombol) the romance of a marriage. It shows that the groom and the bride don’t trust each other and think about what if something goes wrong. I think marriage is sacred (szent). It’s when two people agree to live together in good and bad no matter what will happen.
What is your opinion about pre-arranged marriages?
Pre-arranged marriages are very popular in some other cultures, for example in India. It’s when the parents of the couple agree on the marriage of their children. I don’t think that I would be able to live with someone who is not chosen by me. I believe it’s very important to get to know and cohabit (együtt él) with the person you want to establish a family with. The period of courtship (udvarlás) before one gets married is vital (alapvető). That is the time when you get familiar with your girl or boyfriend. You have time to decide whether she/he is the person you can imagine your whole life with. In a pre-arranged marriage, you have no chance to decide about it and it can also happen that a very young girl is given to an elderly man, which would probably not happen under normal circumstances.
Is cohabiting before marriage important?
I firmly believe that people should not get married without living together for at least a year. This is the only way you can get familiar with your spouse’s habits, let them be good or bad. It can be quite shocking to realise after the honeymoon that your husband snores and his feet smell, or your wife cannot even prepare the most basic dish for you. I think that cohabitation reduces the risks of a bad marriage and this way the number of divorces will also decrease.
What can be the pros and cons of getting married at an early age?
I believe that getting married early is not very fashionable nowadays. Young people want to go on to higher education instead of starting a family. They think that they should enjoy life until they can and it is enough to find a future husband or wife at the age of 30.
The advantage of an early marriage is that the generation gap between the parents and the children would be not so large.
However, most early marriages ends in divorce. In most cases, these people are not mature enough to bring up children and to provide them with the necessary financial background. It is very difficult to make ends meet (kijön a fizetéséből) without the support of the whole family.
What do you know of polygamy and polyandry?
In order to make judgements (ítélet) about polygamy (többnejűség) and polyandry (többférjűség), we have to have a clear picture about what the two words derive from (ered). Polygamy is a form of marriage in which a man has more than one wife at the same time. It has been widely practised at various times in many societies throughout the world, and it is still common (gyakori) in Muslim countries and in some parts of Africa where it is legal under Islamic law. In the United States it is also common in some Mormon communities in Utah. Although laws prohibit (megtilt) polygamy, thousands of people practise it. It can have several advantages and disadvantages. As far as the husband is concerned (érdekelt), polygamy is an attractive form of marriage for several reasons: it means greate economic contributions (hozzájárulás) from the wives to the household income; it provides increased sexual availability and companionship; and it attracts greater social status and prestige to be able to afford to look after more than one wife. Polygamy may also prove (bizonyul) attractive to women because it provides a role for women in societies in which there is no accepted social role ascribed (tulajdonít) to unmarried women; and it means shared child-rearing (gyereknevelés) and domestic labour (házimunka).
Can you imagine having more spouses?
I don’t think I could live with more than one spouse at the same time. However, a lot of people have partners or mistresses (szerető) who they cheat on their spouse with. Unfortunately, adultery (házasságtörés) is a very common issue in our world. People might think that it is normal as they see it on television all the time. Being faithful does not mean too much for young people. All they want is sexual satisfaction and not a normal relationship.
What is the ideal age to start a family?
I don’t think that there is an ideal age to start a family. It depends on the person, his/her maturity and way of thinking. Nowadays, as more and more people go to university, an ideal period can be after graduating from higher education. There are, however, plenty of issues to consider (fontolóra vesz) when founding a family: Are you ready for a serious relationship or do you want to enjoy life a little more? Most people would say that enjoying life a bit is a good choice. They believe that having a child is a burden (teher) on them. Also, whether you are ready to support a family or not is the most important question to answer. If you don’t have a good, well-paid job, it is almost impossible for one person to earn the money for the whole family. Another issue is the age difference between the husband and the wife. Today it is a trend among young women to choose a man who has already achieved something in life. They need someone they can rely on, someone who would be faithful and a caring husband.
What was the situation a hundred years ago?
Even in the middle of the twentieth century, most people got married right after high school. Young couples struggled (igyekezett) together to make end meet and to bring up their children. It was considered abnormal if a girl who was over 20 was still single. Women wanted to avoid remaining spinsters (hajadon) and they thought it was a shame if no one choose them. Another important factor was the social status of the young. It was obvious (nyilvánvaló) that two people from different levels of society do not match each other. It was quite rare for people with different backgrounds to get married. If it happened, there were usually family feuds (családi viszály), young men were sometimes disinherited (kitagadták) by their fathers if they dared (merészelt) to marry someone inferior (alsóbbrendű) to their ranks (rang).
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