In this novel, hardly anybody fares well in marriage, even if they love each other. Married people rarely love each other and, even when they do, they use violence to try to control their spouse’s behavior. Romantic relationships also aren’t limited to marriage; this book is full of characters fluidly trading spouses and lovers. The one stable marriage exists between the protagonist’s sister and a Reverend, but this relationship isn’t necessarily better or happier than the protagonist’s relationship with her same-sex lover.
In The Color Purple, marriage is an institution that serves few purposes other than a method and a means for men to control women.
Though men and women take marriage seriously in The Color Purple, it does not imply monogamy.