If you get married for the wrong reasons, don’t be too surprised if you end as one of the many who get divorced (see this eye-opening infographic Divorce in America about the 50 percent of marriages that fail)
But what are the wrong reasons exactly? Here are the top ten things you should watch out for. It’s not to say that none of these reasons can be true, but that they shouldn’t be your only reasons to get married.
Friends and family may be itching for you to get married, but getting married only because they would like to see you settled will almost guarantee failure. Ask yourself, “Is this really what I want?” Don’t think about the people you’ll disappoint if you say no; don’t tell yourself that you’re getting older and can’t wait any longer. Follow your own heart and be completely honest with yourself and your partner.
It’s The Next Step
Maybe you’ve known each other for years and have been a couple for longer than most people remember. Maybe you’ve been living together already and just feel like it’s the next logical step. If you’re content living together or just being a couple, why not stay that way a bit longer? Why rush into marriage just because it’s what society expects? Some relationships work best when a couple just live together. They can do so for years, maybe forever. Marriage can ruin some relationships as it can lead to a feeling of being stifled or boxed in, when there was no such feeling before and both were faithful to each other.
He asked, so you feel you have to say yes. You don’t want to hurt him or let him down. Maybe you’re worried you’ll never have another chance and would rather marry than miss out. If you’re not entirely sure, ask for more time to decide.
Maybe your family is old fashioned and wants you to be married rather than living together. Or your parents are getting older and want grandchildren so they pressure you to start a family. While you don’t want to let your family down, don’t let yourself down by settling to marry a guy you’re not ready to marry. Think how much more it will hurt your family if you do split up further on down the road, especially if you have children.
Even a baby on the way is no reason to rush into marriage these days. It’s far better to be a single parent than to be shackled for years to someone you don’t love until the inevitable divorce.
He’s Good Enough
When you marry there should be more to your reasons for wanting to marry him than, “he’s a good man” or “he’ll do”. You should want more from a marriage than some kind of making do with someone who’s just good enough. Love absolutely must be there, along with respect, and a desire to be happy together for the rest of your life. You’re not doing yourself or your partner any favors by settling for second best.
Running Out Of Time
Whatever your reasons for wanting to push yourself to get married within a particular time frame, they are not valid if they mean you’re settling for a relationship you’re not altogether sure about. The biological clock ticking is no reason to rush into marriage with the wrong person.
You’re Great Friends
It’s important to be good friends with the man you marry, but again, it shouldn’t be the only thing you have, otherwise you can turn quickly into room mates rather than husband and wife. Marrying your best friend is good if you also feel attraction and passion, but why bother marrying if you only have friendship?
Marriage sometimes gives you a better deal when it comes to tax returns and residence status but don’t rush into marriage for practical reasons.
As important as it is to have a good dose of passion in a marriage, good sex isn’t enough. You might be great together in the sack, but what about other areas of your lives? Is there respect and love? How well do you solve problems together and how compatible are you in other things, such as interests, life goals, or how you deal with issues? Good sex won’t last forever unless there’s more to build the relationship on.
You Owe It To Each Other
Maybe he wants to save you from a bad situation at home or you don’t want his parents to look down on him for being with someone long-term without getting married. Maybe you feel he’s been there for you so many times, you owe it to him to be there for him for the rest of your life. But marriage is not about owing each other anything. It’s about being there because you want to be there.
Over to you: Have you ever been married for the wrong reasons? Please share in the comments below.