Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The home... is the lens through which we get our first look at marriage and all civic duties; it is the clinic where, by conversation and attitude, impressions are created with respect to sobriety and reverence; it is the school where lessons of truth or falsehood, honesty or deceit are learned; it is the mold which ultimately determines the structure of society." - Perry F. Webb, fully Perry Flynt Webb or Perry Flint Webb

"Lo, soul, seest thou not God’s purpose from the first? The earth to be spann’d, connected by network, the races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage, the oceans to be cross’d, the distant brought near, the lands to be welded together." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal." - Louis K. Anspacher, fully Louis Kannan Anspacher

"Each marriage in a divorcing society is a monogamous one so long as it lasts, but, since all marriages in such a society are permanent by accident rather than permanent in principle, what a divorcing society tends to produce is a kind of serialized polygamy and polyandry." -

"The Christian ideal of marriage is that of indissoluble unity… It is difficult to see on what ground failure in marriage should be treated as if it was the one failure for which the penitent cannot be forgiven." - Sydney Cave

"What makes a marriage is the consent of the partners, their serious intention to live together in some sense, however dimly perceived, as “one flesh,” a union of their two separate existences into still a third existence, the marriage itself… The question of external status is entirely and altogether unnecessary." - William G. Cole

"Parenthood: that state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage." - Marcelene Cox

"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." - Robert C. Dodds

"Only a marriage with partners strong enough to risk divorce is strong enough to avoid it." - Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, pen name Amanda Cross

"Marriage itself is not solely an institution for the propagation of children, but is also for the fruition of that richer fellowship God intended when he saw that it was not good for man to live alone." -

"Much marriage difficulty and unhappiness are due to the failure of the partners to accept the fact of their finiteness and its meaning. Instead, they hold themselves up to ideals of performance possible only to God." - Reuel Howe, fully Reuel Lanphier Howe

"Marriage is the only sacrament which transforms a human action into an instrument of the divine action, using a human act which up to then had been used for a natural end." - Jacques Leclercq

"All ceremonies of transition, such as birth... marriage and death correspond very closely with each other in that on every occasion they repeat the drama of primeval creation." - Hans Schärer

"The most important and the concluding stage in the life of a man is death. It does not mean passing away and extinction of life, but returning home to the divine world and being taken up again into the social and divine unity of mythical primeval time. Death is a passage into a new existence, the transition to a new and true life. It is thus an event of the same kind as birth, initiation, and marriage, and it is not only the most important of all of these stages of life, but receives the fullest and the most detailed ceremonial expression: all the other stages reach their culmination and final conclusion in this." - Hans Schärer

"The true problems of living – in politics, economics, education, marriage, etc. – are always problems of overcoming or reconciling opposites. They are divergent problems and have no solution in the ordinary sense of the word. They demand of man not merely the employment of his reasoning powers but the commitment of his whole personality." - E. F. Schumacher, fully Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher

"In marriage reverence is more important even than love… A steady awareness in each that the other has a kinship with the eternal." - Frank Sheed

"Marriage must incessantly contend with a monster that devours everything: familiarity." - Honoré de Balzac

"Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action." -

"Success in marriage requires continence as well as potency. In other words, character is indispensable in well-ordered sexual life." - Alexis Carrel

"All married couples should learn the art of battle as the should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership." - Ann Landers, pen name created by Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist Ruth Crowley in 1943 and taken over by Eppie Lederer in 1955

"A happy marriage is a new beginning of life, a new starting-point for happiness and usefulness." - Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, known as Dean Stanley

"It is only in marriage with the world that our ideals can bear fruit: divorced from it, they remain barren." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Marriage is a great institution, and no family should be without it." - Channing Pollock

"You can be cured in 14 days patients afflicted with melancholia if you follow this prescription. Try to think every day how you can please someone. It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow man who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring. All that we demand of a human being and the highest praise we can give him, is that he should be a good fellow worker, a friend to all other men, and a true partner in love and marriage." - Dale Carnegie, originally spelled Dale Carnegey

"There are six requisites in every happy marriage. The first is Faith and the remaining five are Confidence." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love." - Ellen Key, fully Ellen Karolina Sofia Key

"The institution of marriage makes a parasite of woman, an absolute dependent. It incapacitates her for life’s struggle, annihilates her social consciousness, paralyzes her imagination, and then imposes its gracious protection , which is in reality a snare, a travesty on human character." - Emma Goldman

"There is radicalism in all getting, and conservatism in all keeping. Lovemaking is radical, while marriage is conservative." - Eric Hoffer

"Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity." - George Bernard Shaw

"Marriage is like a war. There are moments of chivalry and gallantry that attend the victorious advances and strategic retreats, the birth or death of children, the momentary conquest of loneliness, the sacrifice that ennobles him who makes it. But mostly there are the long dull sieges, the waiting, the terror and boredom. Women understand this better than men; they are better able to survive attrition." - Helen Hayes

"It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination." - Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

"The intellect of most men is barren. They neither fertilize or are fertilized. It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, that gives birth to imagination." - Henry David Thoreau, born David Henry Thoreau

"An idol may be undeified by many accidental causes. Marriage, in particular, is a kind of counter apotheosis, as a deification inverted. When a man becomes familiar with his goddess she quickly sinks into a woman." - Joseph Addison

"Marriage is the union of two divinities that a third might be born on earth. It is the union of two souls in a strong love for the abolishment of separateness. It is that higher unity which fuses the separate unites within the two spirits. It is the golden ring in a chain whose beginning is a glance, and whose ending is Eternity." - Kahlil Gibran

"The first bond of society is marriage; the next, our children; then the whole family and all things in common." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"Love is the invention of a few high cultures, independent, in a sense, of marriage - although society can make it a requisite for marriage, as we periodically attempt to do... But in terms of a personal, highly intense choice, it is a cultural artifact." - Margaret Mead

"Love is the invention of a few high cultures… it is cultural artifact. To make love the requirement of a lifelong marriage is exceedingly difficult, and only a few people can achieve it. I don’t believe in setting universal standards that a large portion of people can’t reach." - Margaret Mead

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." - Mignon McLaughlin

"Our first work must be the annihilation of everything as it now exists. The old world must be destroyed and replaced by a new one. When you have freed your mind from the fear of God, and that childish respect for the fiction of right, then all the remaining changes that bind you-property, marriage, morality, and justice-will snap asunder like threads... Any dictatorship can have only one aim; self-perpetuation." - Mikhail Bakunin, fully Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin

"It was long ago observed that `rites of passage’ play a considerable part in the life of religious man. Certainly, the outstanding passage rite is represented by the puberty initiation, passage from one age group to another (from childhood or adolescence to youth). But there is also a passage rite at birth, at marriage, at death, and it could gbe said that each of these cases always involves an initiation, for each of them implies a radical change in ontological and social status." - Mircea Eliade

"Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgets them." - Ogden Nash

"Filial obedience is the first and greatest requisite of a state; by this we become good subjects to our emperors, capable of behaving with just subordination to our superiors, and grateful dependents on heaven; by this we become fonder of marriage, in order to be capable of exacting obedience from other sin our turn; by this we become good magistrates, for early submission is the truest lesson to those who would learn to rule. By this the whole state may be said to resemble one family." - Oliver Goldsmith

"The most essential requirement for a happy marriage is soul unity - similarity of spiritual ideals and goals, implemented by a practical willingness to attain those goals by study, effort, and self-discipline." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"Two persons who unite their lives to help each other toward divine realization are founding their marriage on the right basis: unconditional friendship." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." - Peter De Vries

"Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive? The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults." - Peter De Vries

"The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality but must live with a character." -

"It is a fusion of two hearts - the union of two lives - the coming together of two tributaries, which after being joined in marriage, will flow in the same channel in the same direction… carrying the same burdens of responsibility and obligation." - Peter Marshall