People get married for lots of reasons. And just because your reasons differ from someone else, that doesn’t mean they are the wrong reasons to get married. In fact, it’s fair to say that every single person has reasons that are unique to them.
That being said, this is one of the biggest decisions of your life. And while each individual’s reasons may be unique, that doesn’t mean some people don’t justify their decision with less-than-sound reasoning. This is truly unfortunate, because if you jump into marriage for the wrong reasons, it is far more likely to lead to relationship problems.
With that in mind, this post seeks to shine a light on some of the “wrong reasons to get married” that people use. If these sound like you, take a step back and really think carefully about your decision before going through with it.
5 Poor Excuses for Getting Married
It’s the next logical step. All couples are different, and there’s no right or wrong time to get married (or not). Just because you and your partner have been dating for eight years and living together for six, you shouldn’t feel pressured to get married.
Our society may make it seem like “the next step” in relationships… but that doesn’t mean it should be the next step in your relationship.
All your friends are getting married. It can be hard seeing a lot of your friends getting married. Especially if you’re still single or just casually dating.
But you shouldn’t rush down the aisle out of peer pressure. You need to be sure you’ve found someone you can actually see yourself spending the rest of your life with first.
You want to be happy. There will hopefully be plenty of happy moments during your marriage, but marriage will not make you happy. It is not a fairy tale ending, but rather the beginning of the next chapter of your life story.
And just like with every story, there are going to be high and low points in your marriage. You and your partner need to be prepared to support one another — both through the good and the bad. A good marriage requires hard work.
You want financial stability. There’s nothing wrong with wanting stability in your life. But dating someone who makes six figures or has paid off their mortgage isn’t necessarily the basis for a good union.
You’re scared of ending up alone. There’s still a lot of pressure in our society to “be with someone.” Because of that, some people may view staying single or ending a relationship before marriage as a sign of failure.
However, that doesn’t mean you should go into a marriage because you’re scared you’ll never find anyone else. That kind of decision demonstrates a lack of self-respect — and a lack of respect for your partner.
Really Understand Your Reasons to Get Married
Think about the reasons you want to get married. Is it because you love your partner? Because you want them to be your lifelong companion? Because you want to grow with that person and be with them through the good and the bad?
If so, you’re considering marriage for the right reasons.
If you and your partner are thinking about tying the knot, consider making an appointment with me. Attending pre-marriage therapy doesn’t mean your relationship is in trouble. On the contrary, it’s a good way for many couples in healthy relationships to learn skills that will keep their partnership strong as they enter this next stage of their lives together.
Originally published 6/25/2014. Updated 3/17/2021.