Marriage is a HUGE Commitment Device

Marriage is a HUGE Commitment Device

Feb 21, 2024


Last week, we discussed the laws governing the properties of married couples in the Philippines. If you missed that, click Of Pre-nups and Balance Sheets.

As I write the final installment of the FQ Trilogy, I am reading and re-reading a lot of materials about commitment devices. I have also discussed this subject in my past articles, podcasts, and videos. (Here are some of them –,,

A commitment device is a choice that our present-self makes, restricting the set of choices which may include some form of punishment or reward to our medium-term self, in order to control impulsive behavior for the good of our future-self.

Marriage is a commitment device, a huge one! It is the legally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship. It is a very old institution that started some 4,350 years ago. But do you know that in the beginning, if Tina Turner asked the question she popularized in her song, “What’s love got to do with it?” the answer would have been “nothing?” Yes, marriage was not about love, it was a transactional union. Its purpose was for a man to “own” a woman and to guaranty that the children were his. Thus, if the wife was unable to bear children, the husband could give her back and marry someone else.

Later on, the Roman Catholic Church became a powerful institution and consequently, got the authority to legalize marriage. It was a positive development for women because this gave them greater respect – both parties had to be sexually faithful to one another and it forbade divorce. Marriages continued to be arranged. Then love has entered the picture in the 12th century as some historical records show. The French introduced the concept of men wooing women in order to win them for marriage.

Marriage continues to be popular today. Weddings have become such a pageantry and a huge business as so many wedding elements have been invented.

Let’s look at the commitment device aspect of marriage.

There are always two sides of a coin. The strong legal bond has made it very difficult for someone to free him/herself from it, if caught in a bad marriage. On the other hand, there are several advantages to having this commitment device. For today’s article, we will focus on the advantages.

1. The exclusive commitment in marriage removes the distractions of other possible partnerships (no more what ifs, TOTGAs, etc.), and each partner can concentrate in making what they have really work.

2. Physical and emotional intimacy improves the general well-being of spouses in a committed relationship.

3. There is stability in knowing that someone is there to come home to, share your problems with, laugh with, and make great memories with.

4. Because of the exclusiveness of the bond, spouses also lower their chances of getting sexually transmitted diseases.

5. It is easier to raise children when you have a co-parent spouse.

6. Lifelong companionship generally promotes better health and quality of life as we are social beings.

7. Provided that the breadwinner and the homemaker spouses acknowledge their respective roles in the family and observe the laws of money governing their marriage, they can have a better financial condition as they are entitled to financial benefits such as shared expenses, higher tax benefits, and other entitlements.

8. Studies show that the risk of mortality of married couples is twice lower than that of unmarried couples.

9. Married couples also tend to take better care of themselves because of their commitment and responsibility to their family.

10. In general, married couples live longer and happier lives.

Despite all the above advantages, it must be noted that marriage is not for everyone. If you are in a marriage, embrace it and recognize that this huge commitment device can actually work well for you in the long-run. The point of articulating the advantages is to remind us that despite our general love for having the freedom of choice, restricting our choices is oftentimes better for us, and that is the case when it comes to our life partners.

Enjoy the rest of the love month, and cheers to high FQ!


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