Under patriarchy, expectations of monogamy and compulsory heterosexuality mean women are conditioned from childhood to be on the lookout (or compulsively searching) for “the one,” her “soulmate,” or Mr. Right.  This is a fantasy induced by a combination of Disney princesses, white dresses and storybook weddings, as well as social and cultural influences, public discourse, mass media and celebrity culture.  What this means is that many of us are so eager to get married, and so conditioned to be the damsel in distress or unconditionally self-sacrificing for “love,” we often overlook some basic things that illustrate how, far from being a prince or knight come to rescue you, your intimate partner may be in fact dangerous to your sense of self, your individual identity and your independent thought.  You do not need rescuing, and no one should make you feel that you do.  If any man in your life exhibits the below behaviours, he is at worst an abuser or at best an emotional/financial drain; you are better off without him.  In particular, don’t marry him. He is so not worth it.  See also: How to Leave a Bad Relationship.

12 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry Him

  1. He interrupts what you are doing to demand his dinner. He demands his dinner. He seems to think his dinner is your priority/responsibility.
  2. He interrupts what you are doing to demand anything.
  3. He expects things from you he wouldn’t do for you, and doesn’t do himself – e.g. washing his clothes, caring for his children, paying for or “helping” him with his large bills/expenses.  He does not share equally in what would be the tasks of a marriage.
  4. His “affection” is always aggressive and only manifests when he wants something.  He withholds attention, and if he does give it, he expects/requires you to respond positively to his advances. Sisters of Resistance place coercion on the spectrum of sexual harassment, assault and rape. In our experience coercion is common and we call it when we see it. (In the case of rape, help is available. International Resources)
  5. He cuts you off from your friends and family. Tactics may include: judging your friends and relatives, telling you who he likes and doesn’t like, or who you are allowed to see and when, if at all. (See:  Narcissist Abuser).
  6. He has cheated on you.  Or when you got together, he was cheating on someone else.
  7. He doesn’t have a life. (See: Peter Pan Man)
  8. He puts you down, ridicules, or degrades you.  This wears away at your self-confidence while keeping you trying harder to win his love.  He may say he is just joking, but that shit ain’t funny. (Men have sayings that relate directly to this one: “Treat her mean, keep her keen” UK /  “You treat a girl like dirt, she’ll stick to you like mud “ USA) (See:  Narcissist Abuser).
  9. He is always negative/moaning/feeling sorry for himself.  He expects you to carry this emotional burden.
  10. He only speaks badly of his exes and past relationships, painting them always as being in the wrong.  He accepts no responsibility for the ending of past relationships and breakups.  (He probably doesn’t accept much responsibility anyway.)
  11. If he already has kids, and he has not raised them well, why would you (possibly) want to make more with him?
  12. If things have only gotten worse since you moved in together, why get married and make that shit permanent?


Feminists have long critiqued marriage as the oldest patriarchal institution and enabler of capitalism, as they emerged over the same historical time period.  A woman getting married is literally and symbolically “given away” by her father to her husband, as property and breeding stock handed from one man to the other. Radical feminists are known to regard and reject marriage as a form of legalised rape or prostitution. 

For a foundational socioeconomic and political critique of marriage, refer to Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State – Frederick Engels, 1884. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/index.htm

The below is reposted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_marriage.

According to Gerstel and Sarkisian, domestic violence, isolation, and housework increase for women (1) [as a result of marriage].

Some feminists seek the end of formal marriage: “The institution of marriage is the chief vehicle for the perpetuation of the oppression of women; it is through the role of wife that the subjugation of women is maintained.”(2)

Individuals such as Sheila Cronan claim that “[f]reedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage”(3) and point to historical, legal and social inequalities of wedding, family life and divorce.

Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice.—Andrea Dworkin

Early second wave feminist literature specifically opposed to marriage include: 

  • Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1969)
  • Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch (1970)
  • Marilyn French, The Women’s Room (1977)
  • Jessie Bernard, The Future of Marriage (1972)
  • Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (1970)
  1. Gerstel, Naomi, et al., Marriage: The Good, the Bad, and the Greedy, op. cit., p. 16.
  2. Marlene Dixon, “Why Women’s Liberation? Racism and Male Supremacy,” at Articles%20Semester%202/8%20Dixon.htm
  3. Sheila Cronan, “Marriage,” in Koedt, Levine, and Rapone, eds., Radical Feminism, p. 219