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quotations about marriage

Marriage quote

I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one's life, the foundation of happiness or misery.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Burwell Bassett, May 23, 1785

Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists

A man ought not to marry without having studied anatomy, and dissected at least one woman.

HONORE DE BALZAC, Physiology of Marriage

Marriage is for woman the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.

BERTRAND RUSSELL, Marriage and Morals

Getting married is like permanently grafting your hand to the cookie jar. No matter how sweet those cookies may taste, you can't help but wonder what would have happened if you'd chosen some other dessert--brownies, for instance, or frozen yogurt ... or maybe chocolate strudel.

JEROME P. CRABB, Marriage Quotes and Quibbles

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that.

ANTHONY KENNEDY, Supreme Court of the United States ruling on the legality of gay marriage, June 26, 2015

Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful molder of human destiny; how can such an all-compelling force be synonymous with that poor little State- and Church-begotten weed, marriage?

EMMA GOLDMAN, Anarchism and Other Essays

Wives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses.


To make a happy fire-side clime
To weans and wife,
That's the true pathos and sublime
Of human life.

ROBERT BURNS, To Dr. Blacklock

Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart.


When a match has equal partners, then I fear not.

AESCHYLUS, Prometheus Bound

Those marriages generally abound most with love and constancy that are preceded by a long courtship.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Dec. 29, 1711

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.

JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice

A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late.

FRANK SINATRA, The Joker Is Wild

Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.

JANE AUSTEN, Pride and Prejudice

Marriage, n. The state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.

AMBROSE BIERCE, The Devil's Dictionary

Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?


I always compare marriage to communism. They're both institutions that don't conform to human nature, so you're going to end up with lying and hypocrisy.

BILL MAHER, Rolling Stone, Aug. 24, 2006

I never did, nor do I believe I ever shall, give advice to a woman who is setting out on a matrimonial voyage; first, because I never could advise one to marry without her own consent; and, secondly, I know it is to no purpose to advise her to refrain when she has obtained it. A woman very rarely asks an opinion or requires advice on such an occasion, till her resolution is formed; and then it is with the hope and expectation of obtaining a sanction, not that she means to be governed by your disapprobation, that she applies.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Lund Washington, Sep. 20, 1783

I'm never going to get married again. Three strikes you're out. I think if I would try to get married again in California I have to go to prison don't I? I think you only get three.

ROSEANNE BARR, Larry King Live, Mar. 2, 2006

The present relationship existing between husband and wife, where one claims a command over the actions of the other, is nothing more than a remnant of the old leaven of slavery. It is necessarily destructive of refined love; for how can a man continue to regard as his type of the ideal a being whom he has, be denying an equality of privilege with himself, degraded to something below himself?

HERBERT SPENCER, An Autobiography

When a man marries a woman, they become one--the trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

CROFT M. PENTZ, The Complete Book of Zingers

If men were wise they would see that the affection that God has implanted in us is amply sufficient, when not weakened by artificial aid, to ensure permanence of union; and if they would have more faith in this all would go well. To tie together by human law what God has tied together by passion, is about as wise as it would be to chain the moon to the earth lest the natural attraction existing between them should not be sufficient to prevent them flying asunder.

HERBERT SPENCER, An Autobiography

Courtship to marriage, as a very witty prologue to a very dull Play.


Marriage quote

Marriage is like life in this - that it is a field of battle, and not a bed of roses.

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON, Virginibus Puerisque

Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source
Of human offspring, sole propriety,
In Paradise of all things common else.

JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

Though women are angels, yet wedlock's the devil.

LORD BYRON, Hours of Idleness

Marriage has some thorns, but celibacy has no roses.

VERNON K. MCLELLAN, Wise Words and Quotes

It's terribly hard to be married ... harder than anything else. I think you have to be an angel.


Men marry because they are tired; women because they are curious. Both are disappointed.

OSCAR WILDE, A Woman of No Importance

Marry'd in haste, we oft repent at leisure.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanac

Marriage is a land mine. A really intimate land mine. Adultery to kitchen fires. Never a dull [moment].


Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.


In courtship everything is regarded as provisional and preliminary, and the smallest sample of virtue or accomplishment is taken to guarantee delightful stores which the broad leisure of marriage will reveal. But the door-sill of marriage once crossed, expectation is concentrated on the present. Having once embarked on your marital voyage, it is impossible not to be aware that you make no way and that the sea is not within sight--that, in fact, you are exploring an enclosed basin.

GEORGE ELIOT, Middlemarch

The marriage state, with and without the affection suitable to it, is the completest image of Heaven and Hell we are capable of receiving in this life.

RICHARD STEELE, The Spectator, Sep. 1712

Wasn't marriage, like life, unstimulating and unprofitable and somewhat empty when too well ordered and protected and guarded? Wasn't it finer, more splendid, more nourishing, when it was, like life itself, a mixture of the sordid and magnificent; of mud and stars; of earth and flowers; of love and hate and laughter and tears and ugliness and beauty and hurt?


Two such as you with such a master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.

ROBERT FROST, The Master Speed

Marriage is commonly a meal wherein the soup is better than the desert.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

Weddings to me are wondrous because they are so filled with tomorrows.

Marriage is the agreement to let a family happen.

BETTY JANE WYLIE, Family: An Exploration

Marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries.


There is almost no marital problem that can't be helped enormously by taking off your clothes.

GARRISON KEILLOR, "The Old Scout," The Writer's Almanac, Oct. 4, 2005

Never marry but for love; but see that thou lov'st what is lovely.

WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of Solitude

Some women marry for love, some for money, and some for a home. It is not known why men marry.

EDGAR WATSON HOWE, Country Town Sayings

Marriage is a fight to the death, before which the wedded couple ask a blessing from heaven, because it is the rashest of all undertakings to swear eternal love; the fight at once commences and victory, that is to say liberty, remains in the hands of the cleverer of the two.

HONORE DE BALZAC, Physiology of Marriage

Many brief follies--that is what you call love. And your marriage puts an end to many brief follies, with a single long stupidity.

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The essential matrimonial facts: that to be happy you have to find variety in repetition; that to go forward you have to come back to where you begin.


If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.

JOHNNY CARSON, The Tonight Show

Marriage follows on love as smoke on flame.

CHAMFORT, The Cynic's Breviary

There are four stages to marriage. First there's the affair, then there's the marriage, then children, and finally the fourth stage, without which you cannot know a woman, the divorce.

NORMAN MAILER, News summaries, Dec. 31, 1969

The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

To "catch" a husband is an art; to "hold" him is a job.


Marriage does not unite two people; it entangles them.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

No, there are three people in a marriage, there's the woman, there's the man, and there's what I call the third person, the most important, the person who is composed of the man and woman together.

JOSÉ SARAMAGO, All the Names

You never know anyone until you marry them.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, Book of Common Sense Etiquette

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Marriage - Wikipedia article.

Poems for Weddings - a collection of poems appropriate for wedding ceremonies.


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