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Medieval Marriage

Throughout the Middle Ages, the medieval church presented women with only two options in order 
to escape the "sin of Eve": to become celibate, i.e. nuns (the preferred choice), or to marry
and procreate.   The medieval women were passed over from father, brother or other relative to the 
husband.   In those times a woman had no say in her inheritance and absolutely no personal 
rights.   She belonged to her husband who had absolute power over her.

Consummation of Marriage: 

Some linked the sacrament of marriage to the nuptial blessing given by the church, but 
there were others who insisted that it depended on the physical consummation of the marriage. 
Virginity was of special importance, as loss of it could dishonor not only the girl, but 
the entire family and household.

Arranged marriages involved exchange of property, thus most couples did not wed for love, 
or even for sexual attraction.   Marriages were often loveless, unhappy affairs; nevertheless, 
both men and women carried in their heart the image of an ideal lover, even if they never did 
anything physical about it.

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