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The meaning of marriage has changed in contemporary times. Earlier it meant a kind of pledging together to belong to each other and it entailed doing for each other. This involved a sense of responsibility and dutifulness. Now it has come to mean fewer responsibilities and more rights. The question one asks oneself is what one is gaining and what one is losing in marriage; it is more of a deal that one strikes in life and therefore marriage now involves more conflict and aggression. For this reason marriage is now becoming an avoidable institution. In the most advanced societies fewer people consider it worthwhile to get married in comparison to what happened till a century ago. J. S. Mill and, then some feminist and other thinkers, have suggested that marriage can weaken one or both partners instead of strengthening them.

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