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What Are Marital Rights?

Some people believe that when a man marries a woman, he is entitled to marital rights.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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Marital rights is a term that refers to the entitlements of a husband. In Christian-based marriages, a husband generally has the right to have sex with his wife and to act as head of the household. The term marital rights is not generally used to address any entitlements that a woman may have as a result of being married.

Marriage is often referred to as a contract. If historical examples are studied, it may become apparent how similar marriage was to a business arrangement. In many present day cultures, this similarity still exists. Throughout history, the union of a man and woman has often been surrounded by material exchanges and the negotiation of entitlements of the parties.

Once a man marries a woman, he is generally entitled to a minimum of two things. The first of his marital rights entitles him to have sex with his wife. The frequency and the timing can be subject to dispute. The need for procreation is believed to be the original reasoning for granting this entitlement to men.

In many instances, men's exercising of this right has led to marital rape. Marital rape is now widely condemned, and in some countries it is a crime. This crime did not always exist, however. In some countries, there still are no charges to be brought for what is known as marital rape.

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The second of a man's marital rights is the authority to control the affairs of his household. This right is believed to be based on the superior status that the Bible grants to men. It is further believed that such an arrangement was needed to ensure cooperation. In many societies, life is structured so that power struggles could be chaotic and problematic. They could lead to serious problems, such as the starvation of a tribe.

Though the concept of having marital rights still exists in many Christian cultures, it generally doesn't play as prominent of a role as in times past. This may not be the case in Islamic societies.

Marital rights in Islamic countries tend to be more complex than those in Christian countries. Islamic marriages also grant men the rights to have sex with their wives and to be leaders of their families. In many cases, however, men receive numerous additional rights. For example, a man may be entitled to exclusive access of certain property. This can include his wife, meaning that she is forbidden from having sexual relations with another man.

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anon338156
Post 5

One U.S. citizen accompanied another U.S. citizen to Bangladesh and married a girl in Bangladesh who is a Bangladeshi citizen. He registered the marriage with Bangladeshi law there and the accompanied person was a witness on his behalf during the marriage registration.

He came back to the USA after about three months, telling the girl that he would apply to have the girl come to the USA. But after he got back to the USA, he is saying he won't do this and threatening the girl not to communicate with him. He is not fulfilling the marriage contract. What is the solution to this problem?

anon236609
Post 2

Personally I think a lot of marriages would be better if men felt the responsibility to attend to the wife's pleasure.

anon94083
Post 1

Well, obviously a married woman should not be allowed to have sex or anything the like with another man. What is this world coming to? Somehow this adulterous practise has become commonplace. Often depicted in our pop culture as normal. How many shows have you seen where a woman cheats on her husband? Vice versa? Perhaps someone could share their story of a marriage that hasn't failed because you and your spouse are entirely faithful to each other.

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