CONSIDER THE FIVE WRONG REASONS TO GET MARRIED:
1) YOU THINK YOUR PARTNER IS THE BEST YOU CAN DO
I have heard story after story from individuals that they have had some bad apples along the way, so when they met their husband, they thought he walked on water. When they reflect back, they realize he was “better” than the rest, so they thought he or she was the best that they could do. Therefore, they ignored the red flags when they decided to marry.
2) YOU WANT YOUR PARTNER’S MONEY OR TO INCREASE YOUR INCOME
Many people know this is a bad idea, but how many people would ever even admit to noticing their partner’s car before they even saw their partner? That can be a very extreme example, however, if you find yourself more drawn to your partner’s bank account or how they can relieve your financial stress, it may be a good time to consider what is really important to you.
3) YOU THOUGHT SOME ASPECT OF YOUR PARTNER COULD CHANGE
It is very common to hear one or both partners say in marriage counseling, “I thought he would grow out of it.” This is the case for many of the couples that I have worked with in my office. He or she says, “This is the way I was when you married me” and he or she says, “I thought you would change.” If your partner is focused on video games, sports, shopping or going to mom’s house every Sunday, there is a good chance that will carry into the marriage!
4) FELT PRESSURE FROM YOUR PARTNER THAT IT WAS THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP
So you dated through college or spent the last few years together and your partner keeps pushing you to take the next step. You figure, ok, I guess that is the natural thing to do. Be careful if your main motivation is to please your partner or if it just seems like the “thing to do”! If you are not 100% committed, getting married won’t change things.
5) YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SINGLE ANYMORE
Many people have not learned how to be alone or to take care of themselves, so they feel they will get married and someone else will be there to fill the void. Many will start to think, “Who wants to be the last one to get married?” or “I am not getting any younger and I want to have kids!” Marriage is about partnership and it comes with enough pressure, so be careful that you are not getting married out of loneliness or with unreal expectations of your partner.
If you can identify with any of these reasons, it is important that you take time to be honest and evaluate the reasons behind your desire to marry. You can start with sitting down and writing out a pros and cons list with your partner about the relationship. It is important to know yourself and your own needs. We cannot expect someone to fulfill our needs if we do not know them. It is healthy to have goals within a relationship. You want to express your needs and expectations before you marry, so there are no surprises after you said, “I do.”