An article by Rabbi Schmuley at the New York Observer. I liked this bit:
Jewish tradition sees things differently. Adam, the first human, was a hybrid of male and female. When Adam fell asleep, God removed a tzela – often translated as rib but actually meaning ‘side’ – the feminine side, from its person.
The result was the compartmentalization of masculine and feminine, man and woman, with each being incomplete without the other. Ever since, each instinctively and erotically seeks unification with the lost half.
This is the mystical reason why even in a secular age the ideal still remains marriage, with every Hollywood chick flick ending with a wedding. We don’t marry to obviate loneliness, because shacking up would afford the same degree of companionship. Rather, we marry so that two halves can be sewn together as an indivisible whole.
He who separated us is He who can unite us.
Humans intrinsically strive to achieve an ever elusive wholeness, which can only be achieved through the spiritual union of marriage which is why so many people who are not church-goers still want a church wedding.
In its most romantic passage the Book of Genesis expresses it thus: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother. He shall cleave unto his wife. And they shall become one flesh.”
Of all the benefits of marriage it is perhaps the sense of invincibility and invulnerability which is strongest. Once a man has a wife, even if his boss tells him he is worthless his wife tells him he is essential.
We men are sick of existing as human doings, always having to prove ourselves through productivity. We seek to become human beings, feeling appreciated for our souls, existence, and personhood. Marriage, rather than career, can provide that.