short, the Enlightenment privatized marriage, taking it out of the public sphere, and redefined its purpose as individual gratification, not any “broader good” such as reflecting God’s nature, producing character, or raising children.
So one of the classic purposes of marriage was very definitely to “change” men and be a “school” in which they learned how to conduct new, more interdependent relationships.
But Lipton argued that marriage was traditionally a place where males became truly masculine: “For most of Western history, the primary and most valued characteristic of manhood was self-mastery. . . . A man who indulged in excessive eating, drinking, sleeping or sex—who failed to ‘rule himself’—was considered unfit to rule his household, much less a polity. . . .”
Never before in history has there been a society filled with people so idealistic in what they are seeking in a spouse.