Marriage Types: 30 Types Of Marriage You didn’t Know


What are the marriage types you know? Stay tuned as I expose you to all the types of marriage; both the ones you know and don’t know.


In our world today, the institution called marriage has evolved into many different gems, reflecting historical and personal nuances as well as culture. Did you know that arranged marriage alone constitutes almost 53 percent of unions globally?


Helen Rowland once said, “Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning handsprings, or eating with chopsticks: It looks easy until you try it. Join me in this blog post as we look into the marriage types, the historical origins, and the statistics of marriage.


After reading this post, you will know all the marriage types and which type of marriage is the best. If you are ready, let’s dive in. What are the different types of marriage?


Marriage Types: 30 Types Of Marriage You Didn’t Know About:


1. Monogamy:-


Monogamy is a form of partnership or marriage in which you only have one spouse or partner at a time. This marriage type has evolved and has been influenced by social, cultural, and religious factors.  Historically, monogamous marriage has been prevalent in many societies. It is seen as the best way to establish stability in families, inheritance rights, and social order.


2. Polygamy:-


Polygamy is a marital practice where you are free to have multiple spouses simultaneously. Polygamy has its historical roots in various religions and cultures around the world, often reflecting economic, social, or religious considerations.


In some societies, polygamy was a way to maintain large families, enhance social status, or form alliances between families or tribes.


In the modern era, it’s most commonly associated with certain religious groups, such as certain sects of Islam and some offshoots of Mormonism.


Note that polygamy can take two forms: polygyny ( which means one man having multiple wives) and polyandry (one woman having multiple husbands).


3. Civil Marriage:


Civil Marriage is a legal union of two people, recognized by the government without any religious ceremonies. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Rome, where marriage was initially a civil institution.


In more recent history, civil marriage gained dominance during the entertainment era, when the separation of state and church became an essential Principle. The concept of civil marriage began to take root during this period, emphasizing the significance of a legal contract between consenting adults rather than a religious sacrament.


4. Shotgun Marriage:

This refers to a forced or rushed marriage that often happens because of an unplanned pregnancy. The term shotgun means that the groom’s family would use violence or a threat (often symbolized by a literal shotgun) to make the couple get married.

Shotgun marriage has its historical roots dating back to various periods and cultures where family honor and societal norms played an important role in dictating such marriage.

 In some cases,  when a woman has an unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock,  her community and family force the man responsible for the marriage to marry her to avoid scandal and to maintain social respectability.



5. Polyandry:


Polyandry is one of the marriage types that is interesting to note. In this form of marriage, a woman is married to multiple men simultaneously. History shows that this type of marriage has been practiced in different parts of the world, though it is far less common than polygyny (a man marrying multiple wives).


One example of polyandry is found in places like Tibetan and Nepalese culture, where brothers decide to share a wife to keep their resources and land within the family.


This was influenced by many factors including the desire to avoid dividing properties among multiple heirs and limited land.


6. Interracial Marriage:


Interracial marriage involves two people from different racial backgrounds forming marital unions. This marriage type challenges traditional social norms and promotes cultural diversity.


An example of interracial marriage is between Meghan Markle, who is biracial, and Prince Harry, who is a member of the British royal family. Such marriage contributes to breaking down racial barriers and improving understanding among different communities.


7. Open Marriage:


An open marriage refers to a consensual arrangement between two people in a committed relationship, allowing them to engage in a romantic or sexual relationship with other people even as they maintain the primary partnership.


In an open market, communication, clear boundaries, and trust are the most important things to ensure that both partners are emotionally protected. For example, John and Jane have an open marriage where they openly discuss their other relationships and prioritize honesty.


These two people believe that this setup will strengthen their bond as they explore connections outside their marriage.


8. Covenant Marriage:


A covenant marriage is a form of marriage that involves a greater level of commitment than a traditional marriage. It typically requires premarital counseling and stricter grounds for divorce and is often limited to cases of adultery, felony, and abuse.


Covenant marriages are legally recognized in some few U.S. States and are intended to facilitate stronger marital bonds as well as reduce divorce rate by making it almost impossible for couples to divorce


Covenant marriages are legally recognized in a few U.S. states and are intended to promote stronger marital bonds and reduce divorce rates by making separation more difficult.


9. Child Marriage:


You can’t talk about marriage types without talking about child marriage. Child marriage refers to the act of marrying children that are under the age of 18. It is a harmful and concerning phenomenon that happens in several parts of the world.


Child marriage can have severe negative impacts on the development and well-being of the young person. It often deprives them of their childhood education and health. It is also considered a violation of human rights and efforts have been made globally to stop this practice and to protect the rights of the children.


10. Group Marriage:


Group marriage is also known as communal marriage and it is one of the marriage types where multiple individuals are married to each other at the same time.


Unlike traditional monogamous marriages, group marriage involves many partners who share multiple responsibilities, commitments, and most times sexual and emotional relationships.


This type of marriage can differ widely in its structure and dynamics, and it challenges conventional notions of exclusivity and partnership in intimate relationships.


11. Love Marriage:


Love marriage is the next on my list of marriage types I have for you. It is simply a type of union where people choose their partners based on condition, mutual affection, and emotional compatibility.


Unlike arranged marriages, love marriage is typically initiated by the intending couples themselves, and it often streams from romantic feelings and shared experiences, igniting a foundation of understanding and intimacy.


12. Sororate Marriage:


Sororate Marriage is a form of marriage practice where a man marries the deceased wife’s sister. This custom has been noticed in various cultures and serves as a way to maintain social responsibilities and connections.


It also serves as a way of providing good care for the children from the previous marriage. It is a form of kingship arrangement that ensures continuity and support in an extended family


13. Arranged Marriage:


Arranged marriage is also one of the marriage types that is popular today. It is the type of marriage that is practiced where matchmakers or families arrange a marriage between their children.


This type of culture is typically based on factors like financial status, caste, or religion. The individuals meet for the first time to get married and the decision is made unanimously by both families involved. This practice varies widely across cultures and can be found in almost every part of the world.


14. Forced Marriage:


Forced marriage is described as a type of marriage where one or both of the parties in a marriage are married without their consent or their will. This can involve several forms of pressure, threats, coercion, or emotional manipulation.


Forced marriages are often a result of cultural, familial, or social factors rather than the genuine consent of the parties involved. It is a pure violation of human rights and it can have serious negative emotional, physical, and psychological impacts for those affected.


15. Companionate Marriage:


This is a type of marital relationship that prioritizes emotional connection, companionship, and mutual support among partners. Unlike traditional marriage, which was usually arranged for practical reasons, compassionate marriages began in the late 19th and 20th centuries as a response to the changing social norms and deals


The best about this type of marriage is that the spouses are usually seen as friends, equals and with emotional intimacy being the main goal of the relationship. This concept accentuates love, partnership, and respect, giving the parties satisfaction and happiness in their marriage.


16. Religious Marriage:


Religious marriage is a union that involves a spiritual or religious component. In this type of marriage, the couple’s union is recognized and blessed by their religious institution or faith traditions.


This type of marriage usually includes prayers, rituals, and readings that hold value within a particular religious belief.


The ceremony differs widely and it depends on the religion, however, it significantly serves as a sacred devotion between the couples and their chosen higher power. It is also witnessed by the members of their religious community.


17. Same-Sex Marriage (marriage types)


Same-sex marriage refers to a legal union that is between two people who are of the same sex or gender. It grants them the same legal rights and privileges as traditional heterosexual marriages. People in same-sex marriage also have benefits like tax advantages, medical and inheritance decisions


Over the years, many countries around the world have legalized same-sex marriage, and it has also been recognized as a matter of human rights and equality.


18. Levirate Marriage:


This is a cultural practice where a man decides to marry the widow of his deceased brother. This tradition is often rooted in social, religious, and economic reasons. The main purpose of this type of marriage is to ensure that family ties are maintained.


Also, the widow’s well-being is placed in high esteem to secure inheritance rights. The term “levirate” came from the Latin word “levir, and it means “husband’s brother.”


This practice has been practiced throughout history though its significance and predominance differ across different areas.


19. Consanguineous Marriage Types:


This is a marriage between two people who are closely related by blood, generally, within the extended family or immediate family. Consanguineous marriage involves two individuals who share a common ancestor, like cousins, or other relatives.


This practice can have social, cultural religious, or religious significance in some societies. However, this type of marriage can increase the risk of health issues in offspring due to the potential for inherited genetic mutations being passed down from both parents or genetic disorders.


20. Ghost Marriage Type:


This is also known as posthumous marriage is a cultural practice where a person who has died is married to a person who is still living. The ritual is often carried out so that the deceased person has support and companionship in the afterlife.


It can vary in form in different places and cultures and some involve symbolic ceremonies and other legal paperwork. The living person might be a relative, spouse, or even a stranger which is closed for that very purpose. Many countries and cultures have been observed to have indulged in this practice, including Africa, China, and other indigenous cultures.


21. Patrilocal marriage is a cultural practice where a newly married couple resides with or near the husband’s family or relatives. In such a marriage arrangement, the wife typically moves to the husband’s community or household, adapting to his family’s social and economic structure.


This is in contrast to matrilocal marriage, where the couple would live with or near the wife’s family. Patrilocal marriages often reflect traditional gender roles and kinship systems within various societies.


22. Avunculate Marriage: 


This also known as avunculocal marriage, is a type of marriage practice where a man marries his maternal uncle’s daughter, who is his cross-cousin. This kind of marriage is found in certain cultures and societies around the world and serves to strengthen social and kinship ties between families.


It is one form of cousin marriage, where the marriage occurs between individuals who share a common ancestor, in this case, the maternal uncle.


23. Temporary Marriage Concept:


This also known as Nikah Mut’ah, is a concept within certain branches of Islam that allows for a time-limited marriage contract. It involves a specified duration for the marriage, agreed upon by both parties at the time of the contract. This type of marriage is recognized in Shia Islam, but it is not accepted in Sunni Islam. The contract typically includes the terms of the marriage, such as duration, dowry, and other conditions.


Once the agreed-upon period ends, the marriage is considered terminated unless both parties decide to renew or extend the contract. It’s worth noting that there are varying interpretations and opinions within the Islamic community about the permissibility and significance of temporary marriage.


24. Secret Marriage:


A secret marriage refers to a union between two individuals that is deliberately kept hidden from family, friends, or the public. This could be due to various reasons such as cultural, religious, legal, or personal considerations.


Secret marriages are typically conducted without a public ceremony or announcement, and the couple may choose to reveal their marital status at a later time or under specific circumstances. Keep in mind that legal requirements for marriage vary by jurisdiction, so it’s important to understand the legal implications.


25. Matrilocal marriage:


This is a type of marriage arrangement where the married couple lives with or near the wife’s family or her community, rather than with the husband’s family. This contrasts with the more common patrilocal marriage, where the couple resides with or near the husband’s family. Matrilocal marriages can have varying implications for social dynamics, inheritance, and family relationships depending on the cultural context.


In Conclusion:


Now you know all the marriage types,  which of them made you amazed? Share this post with your friends and neighbors if you like it.

Aik: AIK UCHEGBU is a writer and an authority in anything that matters about marriage and how to build it successfully. His followers have been greatly enhanced by his findings. You will not be disappointed by coming to this site.