Wedlock or deadlock?: Marriage Lines

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Marriage is the only evil that men pray for.

Greek proverb.

Marriage is a romance in which the hero dies in the first chapter.


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

William Congreve, The Old Bachelor, 1693

Every man plays the fool once in his life, but to marry is to play the fool all one's life long.

William Congreve, The Old Bachelor, 1693

Love is blind, but marriage restores its sight.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms, 1764-99

Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.

Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

Advice to persons about to marry - don't.

Mr Punch's Almanac, 1845

It doesn't much signify whom one marries, for one is sure to find out the next morning that it was someone else.

Samuel Rogers, Table Talk, ed. A.Dyce, 1856

No man is regular in his attendance at the House of Commons until he is married.

Benjamin Disraeli

A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

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

Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, 1893

If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry

Anton Chekhov

Marriage is a good deal like a circus: there is not as much in it as is represented in the advertising.

Edgar Watson Howe, Country Town Sayings, 1911

In matrimony to hesitate is sometimes to be saved.

Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

The conjugal bedroom is the coexistence of brutality and martyrdom.

Karl Kraus, Half Truths and One and a Half Truths, 1986

A marriage is likely to be what is called happy if neither party ever expected to get much happiness out of it.

Betrand Russell, Marriage and Morals, 1929

There are various forms of a certain disease, the victim of which is unable to say "No". Some of these forms are more serious than others and often lead to electrocution or marriage.

Robert Benchley

Marriage is the waste-paper basket of the emotions.

Sidney Webb, Baron Passfield, quoted in Autobiography by Lord Russell, 1967

Marriage is a vulgar effort on the part of dull people to bring boredom to a fine art.

JB Morton, "Beachcomber"

Marriage is based on the theory that when a man discovers a brand of beer exactly to his taste he should at once throw up his job and go to work in the brewery.

George Jean Nathan, 1958

A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he is finished.

Zsa Zsa Gabor, in Newsweek magazine, 1960

It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963

Marriage... the most advanced form of warfare in the modern world.

Malcolm Bradbury, The History Man, 1975

Bigamy is having one husband too many. Monogamy is the same.

Anonymous woman, quoted as epigraph to Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, 1975