As understood in most cultures, marriage is the union of two persons which is recognized by some authority be it religious, legal or social. There are and always have been many types of marriage – polygamous and polyandrous, there are cousin marriages, forced marriages, and in parts of the Islamic world temporary marriages. In ancient Egypt it was usual for a pharaoh to marry one of his sisters. In some countries in west now same-sex marriage has gained legal and social acceptance. Critics of Buddhism have sometimes claimed that it offers little guidance to the lay followers beyond basic morality. An examination of what the Buddha had to say about marriage will demonstrate how ill-informed this claim is.