Soon after venturing out of the cave, humans commenced developing a formalised union that protected the investment, created a stable social environment for the issue, which in turn protected the accumulated property for inheritance and succession.
Women quickly saw advantage in the protection angle and the men saw it as a way of exclusive possession.
The old 'give half your tucker away to get your half cooked' theory.
The churches quickly adopted it as a control of the flock mechanism with the associated guilt and damnation overtones. The commitment bit became a serious problem when the participants became enemies and the church forbade dissolution. That outcome was not all bad as the sanctuary for the spawn was maintained, even if it left two miserable unfulfilled people sleping in the "bed" they had made.
In modern times the sanctity of the contractural bit about Marriage has been eroded and diminished to the point where the vows made at commitment to the union are almost meaningless leaving me with the urge to stand up and say something such as "yeah right" as vows to love honour and cherish are stated with all the gravitas imaginable, you knowing he probably had it off with the bridesmaid last night and in all probability will do it again before the ink is dry on the contract.
As in all contracts commitment is soon sacrificed for convenience, a male does not hang about for the birth of his spawn and the bloody law is toothless in enforcing the cost of raising the child on him. Welfare makes it no care and no responsibility and further erodes the institution.
The recent Labour leader admitted marriage for her was a political ploy to placate some of the conservative support base forced on her by some of her then party leadership.
I see no solution to the diminishing of commitment in Marriage and this cynical old bugger who has been utterly loyal and indeed in love with the same woman for nearly 50 years sees the current welfare system as regards union and the issue therefrom as nothing more than a trainwreck and we are standing on the platform.
Is a first step to addressing the problems that come from the casualisation of the institute of marriage a rejig of welfare to stiffen the resolve to make it work instead of making it increasingly easy to walk out. Of course that will further erode the number of people who will voluntarily enter that formidable institution.