Husband

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A newly wed husband kissing his bride Bride-groom-kiss.jpg
A newly wed husband kissing his bride

A husband is a male in a marital relationship, who may also be referred to as a spouse or partner. The rights and obligations of a husband regarding his spouse and others, and his status in the community and in law, vary between societies, cultures and have varied over time.

Contents

In monogamous cultures, there are only two parties to a marriage, which is enforced by laws against bigamy and polygamy. Traditionally, the husband was regarded as the head of the household and was expected to be the sole provider or breadwinner, a role that continues in some cultures (sometimes described as paternalistic). Today, a husband is not necessarily considered the breadwinner of the family,[ by whom? ] especially if his spouse has a more financially rewarding occupation or career. In such cases, it is not uncommon for a husband to be considered a stay-at-home father if the married couple have children.

The term continues to be applied to such a man who has separated from his spouse and ceases to be applied to him only when his marriage has come to an end following a legally recognized divorce or the death of his spouse. On the death of his spouse, a husband is referred to as a widower; after a divorce a man may be referred to as the "ex-husband" of his former spouse.

Origin and etymology

The term husband refers to Middle English huseband, from Old English hūsbōnda, from Old Norse hūsbōndi (hūs, "house" + bōndi, būandi, present participle of būa, "to dwell", so, etymologically, "a householder").

At the conclusion of a valid wedding, the marrying parties acquire the status of married persons and, while the marriage persists, a man is called a husband. In heterosexual marriages the woman is called a wife; in same-sex marriages between males, each male is called a husband.

Although "husband" is a close term to groom, the latter is a male participant in a wedding ceremony, while a husband is a married man after the wedding and for the duration of the marriage. The term husband refers to the institutionalized role of the married male, while the term father refers to the male in context of his offspring, a state which may or may not indicate that a marriage ceremony has taken place.

In some cases of heterosexual marriage, before the marriage, the forthcoming husband or his family may have received a dowry, or have had to pay a bride price, or both were exchanged. The dowry not only supported the establishment of a household, but also served as a condition that if the husband committed grave offenses upon his wife, he had to return the dowry to the wife or her family. For the time of the marriage, they were made inalienable by the husband. [1] He might leave his wife (or wives), then widow (or widows), a dower (often a third or a half of his estate) to support her as dowager. [2]

As an external symbol of the fact that they are married, each spouse commonly wears a wedding ring on the ring finger; whether this is on the left or right hand depends on the country's tradition.

"Husband" further refers to the institutionalized form in relation to the spouse and offspring, unlike father, a term that puts a man into the context of his children. Also compare the similar husbandry, [3] which in the 14th century referred to the care of the household, but today means the "control or judicious use of resources", conservation, and in agriculture, the cultivation of plants and animals, and the science about its profession. [4]

Western culture

Historical status

Seuso and his wife Seuso and his wife at Lake Balaton.jpg
Seuso and his wife

In premodern heterosexual unions (ancient Roman, medieval, and early modern history), a husband was obliged to protect and support not only his wife and children, but servants and animals of his domain. The father (as the "patron") was awarded with much authority, differing from that of his wife (in these cultures, no polygamy existed). [5]

In the Middle Ages and Early Modern European history, it was unusual to marry out of love, but then doing so became an influential ideal. [6] [7] During this period, a husband in a heterosexual marriage had more opportunities in society than his wife, who was not recognized as legally independent. [8]

Contemporary status

In contemporary secularized Western culture, the rights of the spouses have been made equal. The civil marriage generally forces the wealthier spouse "breadwinner" to provide alimony to the former spouse, even after separation and also after a divorce (see also Law and divorce around the world).

The legal status of marriage allows each spouse to speak on the other's behalf when one is incapacitated (e.g., in a coma); a husband is also responsible for his spouse's child(ren) in states where he is automatically assumed to be the biological father. [9]

Religion

Islam

In Islamic marital jurisprudence, husbands are considered protectors of the household and their wives. As protector, the husband has various rights and obligations that he is expected to fulfill and thus is offered opportunities different from that of his wife or wives, not only in legal and economical affairs of the family but within the family as well. As in most cases in Islam law and culture, everything is being related to the Qur'an.

Many Muslims may agree on a perfectly equal relationship. [10] Islam is the only major religion that puts a cap on polygamy, limiting the number of a man's wives to four—provided the husband can do justice to all of them. Although some religions, such as Catholicism for instance, puts a cap on polygamy all together, or even serial monogamy, allowing one spouse until death does them apart, not even accepting divorce. According to the teachings of Islam a Muslim man should have a valid reason and have to get permission from his existing wife (without any force) if he requires to marry again. Islam vehemently abhors any intimate relationship outside the bond of marriage.

There is no external sign to show his status as a husband, unless he adopted the tradition of wearing a wedding ring.

Hinduism

A Hindu husband traditionally takes his wife to his home. He is expected to provide for her and to prove his abilities to do so. The marriage in Hinduism is a relationship for Seven births (सात जन्मों का रिश्ता). Before 1951 there was no divorce allowed in Hindu marriage.

In modern times once again after 1951, equal rights for women through society and law jurisdiction is given. In Hinduism, based on the different regions, marriage process is observed differently with the same Saat Pheras around agni kund (light pyre) to be taken to become a husband and wife.

The Encyclopædia Britannica mentions that "In Hindu law, the male members of a joint family, together with their wives, widows, and children, are entitled to support out of the joint property." [11]

Buddhism and Chinese folk religions

China's family laws were changed by the Communist revolution; and in 1950, the People's Republic of China enacted a comprehensive marriage law including provisions giving the spouses equal rights with regard to ownership and management of marital property. [12]

Christianity

In Christianity, according to the Bible, a husband in a heterosexual marriage has a number of honors:

Other cultures

In Japan, before enactment of the Meiji Civil Code of 1898, all of the woman's property such as land or money passed to her husband except for personal clothing and a mirror stand. [19]

Expectation of fidelity

Although there is generally an expectation for a spouse not to have sexual relations with anyone other than his spouse(s), historically, in most cultures, this expectation was not as strong as in the case of wives, a situation which was evident in legal codes which prohibited adultery, with male adultery often being criminalized only if "aggravating" circumstances existed, such as if he brought his mistress in the conjugal home, or if there was public scandal. [20] The double standard was also evident in divorce laws of many countries, such as the UK or Australia, which differentiated between female adultery, which was a ground of adultery by itself, and male adultery, which was a ground only under certain circumstances. [21] This double standard continues to be seen today in many parts of the world. For instance, in the Philippines, a wife can be charged with the crime of adultery (for merely having one act of sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband), while a husband can only be charged with the related crime of concubinage, which is more loosely defined (it requires either keeping the mistress in the family home, or cohabiting with her, or having sexual relations under scandalous circumstances). [22] [23]

A breach of this expectation of fidelity is commonly referred to as adultery or extramarital sex. Historically, adultery has been considered a serious offense, sometimes a crime. Even if that is not so, it may still have legal consequences, particularly a divorce. Adultery may be a factor to consider in a property settlement, it may affect the status of children, the custody of children, etc.

See also

Related Research Articles

Christian views on marriage Perspective of Christianity regarding marriage

From the earliest days of the Christian faith, Christians have honored marriage, or holy matrimony, as a divinely blessed, lifelong, monogamous union, between a man and a woman. According to the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (1979), reflecting the traditional view, "Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God," "intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture." However, while many Christians might agree with the traditional definition, the terminology and theological views of marriage have varied through time in different countries, and among Christian denominations.

Jewish views on marriage

The Jewish view on marriage, historically, provided Biblically mandated rights to the wife which were accepted by the husband. A marriage was ended either because of a divorce document given by the man to his wife, or by the death of either party. Certain details, primarily as protections for the wife, were added in Talmudic times.

Marriage Culturally recognised union between people

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws. The definition of marriage varies around the world, not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion. Over time, it has expanded and also constricted in terms of who and what is encompassed. Typically, it is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is called a wedding.

Polygyny Mating system in which the male partner may have multiple partners

Polygyny is the most common and accepted form of polygamy, entailing the marriage of a man with several women. Polyandry is another form of polygamy in which women practice having two or more husbands. Most countries that permit polygyny today are Muslim-majority countries.

Polygamy is the practice of marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, sociologists call this polygyny. When a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and wives, it can be called a group marriage.

Adultery is extramarital sex that is considered objectionable on social, religious, moral, or legal grounds. Although the sexual activities that constitute adultery vary, as well as the social, religious, and legal consequences, the concept exists in many cultures and is similar in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. A single act of sexual intercourse is generally sufficient to constitute adultery, and a more long-term sexual relationship is sometimes referred to as an affair.

Wife Female spouse; woman who is married

A wife is a female partner in a continuing marital relationship.

Mahr

In Islam, a mahr is the obligation, in the form of money or possessions paid by the groom, to the bride at the time of islamic marriage. While the mahr is often money, it can also be anything agreed upon by the bride such as jewelry, home goods, furniture, a dwelling or some land. Mahr is typically specified in the marriage contract signed during a marriage.

Legal rights of women in history

The legal rights of women refers to the social and human rights of women. One of the first women's rights declarations was the Declaration of Sentiments. The dependent position of women in early law is proved by the evidence of most ancient systems.

Marriage in Islam

In Islam, marriage is a legal contract between a man and a woman. Both the groom and the bride are to consent to the marriage of their own free wills. A formal, binding contract – verbal or on paper – is considered integral to a religiously valid Islamic marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom and bride. Divorce in Islam can take a variety of forms, some executed by a husband personally and some executed by a religious court on behalf of a plaintiff wife who is successful in her legal divorce petition for valid cause.

The Algerian Family Code, enacted on June 9, 1984, specifies the laws relating to familial relations in Algeria. It includes strong elements of Islamic law which have brought it praise from Islamists and condemnation from secularists and feminists.

Chinese marriage Traditional marriage customs

Traditional Chinese marriage, as opposed to marriage in modern China, is a ceremonial ritual within Chinese societies that involve a union between spouses, sometimes established by pre-arrangement between families. Within Chinese culture, romantic love and monogamy was the norm for most citizens.

Dower Legal document for a spouse

Dower is a provision accorded by law, but traditionally by a husband or his family, to a wife for her support in the event that she should become widowed. It was settled on the bride by agreement at the time of the wedding, or as provided by law.

Marriage in ancient Rome

Marriage in ancient Rome was a strictly monogamous institution: a Roman citizen by law could have only one spouse at a time. The practice of monogamy distinguished the Greeks and Romans from other ancient civilizations, in which elite males typically had multiple wives. Greco-Roman monogamy may have arisen from the egalitarianism of the democratic and republican political systems of the city-states. It is one aspect of ancient Roman culture that was embraced by early Christianity, which in turn perpetuated it as an ideal in later Western culture.

Marriage law area of law concerned with marriage

Marriage law refers to the legal requirements that determine the validity of a marriage, and which vary considerably among countries. See also Marriage Act.

The type, functions, and characteristics of marriage vary from culture to culture, and can change over time. In general there are two types: civil marriage and religious marriage, and typically marriages employ a combination of both. Marriages between people of differing religions are called interfaith marriages, while marital conversion, a more controversial concept than interfaith marriage, refers to the religious conversion of one partner to the other's religion for sake of satisfying a religious requirement.

Polygamy is "the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time." Polygamy has been practiced by many cultures throughout history.

The Republic of Afghanistan, which is an Islamic Republic under Sharia Law, allows for polygyny. Afghan men may take up to four wives, as Islam allows for such. A man must treat all of his wives equally; however, it has been reported that these regulations are rarely followed. While the Qur’an states that a man is allowed a maximum of four wives, there is an unspecified number of women allowed to be his ‘concubines’. These women are considered unprotected and need a man as a guardian.

Islamic marital practices Marriage of muslims

Muslim marriage and Islamic wedding customs are traditions and practices that relate to wedding ceremonies and marriage rituals prevailing within the Muslim world. Although Islamic marriage customs and relations vary depending on country of origin and government regulations, both Muslim men and women from around the world are guided by Islamic laws and practices specified in the Quran.

Repudiation is the formal or informal act by which a husband renounces his wife in certain cultures and religions. For example:

References

  1. Britannica 2005, dowry
  2. "Dower - Definition of dower by Merriam-Webster". m-w.com.
  3. See Wiktionary husbandry
  4. Merriam–Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
  5. "The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen Book I Chapter 5 Section 2". About.com Ancient/Classical History.
  6. "SGN Page 6". www.sgn.org.
  7. William C. Horne, Making a heaven of hell: the problem of the companionate ideal in English marriage, poetry, 1650–1800 Athens (Georgia), 1993
  8. William Blackstone, Commentaries upon the Laws of England
  9. Cuckoo's egg in the nest, Spiegel 07, 2007
  10. Heba G. Kotb MD, Sexuality in Islam Archived 9 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine , PhD Thesis, Maimonides University, 2004
  11. Britannica, Economic aspects of family law (from family law)
  12. Britannica 2004, Legal limitations on marriage (from family law)
  13. "Ephesians 53A26-27 ESV - - Bible Gateway". www.biblegateway.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  14. "Ephesians 5:28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself". biblehub.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  15. "Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her". biblehub.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  16. "Ephesians 5:29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church--". biblehub.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  17. "Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,". biblehub.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  18. "1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control". biblehub.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  19. Britannica, Legal limitations on marriages (from family law)
  20. Women and Achievement in Nineteenth-Century Europe at Google Books
  21. http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/seminars/finlay.html
  22. "Gender Equality in Philippines - Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)". genderindex.org. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  23. "A brief discussion on Infidelity, Concubinage, Adultery and Bigamy". Philippine e-Legal Forum. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2013.

Further reading