By Brook West
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that almost half of all marriages end in sweatpants divorce.
(Who knew marriage was a disease?)
I recently crossed over the mid-20s hump, which means all of my friends are getting married. So far, I know of fourteen weddings that are scheduled for this year. Fourteen! My friends are excited, thrilled, and basically obsessed with their big day. Everything seems so perfect for them right now, but I can’t help but wonder which marriages are going to last, and which are not.
Don’t get me wrong. I wish all my friends well, and I truly want nothing but happy, healthy, loving, and lasting relationships for them all. But the statistic is daunting – half of these marriages will not last.
It makes me think, why are my friends getting married? Why does anyone get married? There are plenty of great reasons to get married that reflect personal, religious, and legal purposes. For starters, you get married because you’re in love and want to share a lifelong, legal commitment with your partner.
There are also plenty of reasons why couples shouldn’t get married. Are you getting married because you think you’re supposed to? Because it’s what society wants? Because you’re looking for a tax break? Reflect on why you want to get married, and consider these reasons why you shouldn’t tie the knot.
You Want to Save Your Relationship
Is your relationship ruled by jealousy? Did your boyfriend or girlfriend leave you? Do they want to be single? Has there been infidelity? A marriage license will not magically mend the problems in your relationship. If you are already experiencing relationship problems, these issues must be addressed and resolved before tying the knot. Any problems that are left unresolved will most likely carry into your marriage.
You Think You’re at ‘That Age’
Do you feel like you’re supposed to get married because you’re at “that age?” You’re most likely feeling the pressure from social “expectations” and this is not a reason to get married. Even if all your friends are getting married, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to rush to the alter for the sake of being “too old.” There is no age limit for marriage. If you’re feeling pressure from friends and family to get married, tell them to keep waiting. You have to get married when the time is right for you and your partner, and you know you can spend a healthy and fulfilling life together.
You Want a Wedding
Do you fantasize about having a wedding day? The flowers? The dress? The food, the people, the music? You shouldn’t get married just because you want to have the wedding itself. A ceremony and a party will be only one day of your life – a marriage is intended as a lifelong commitment.
If you’re thinking about getting married to financially save yourself, you’ll want to think twice. For the majority of people, getting married will not make you rich. Although there will most likely be two incomes, and this will probably reduce some financial stress, it is not a reason to get married.
Are you aware of any and all loans, student and otherwise? Do you know each other’s credit history? Keep in mind that once married, you will share any and all financial burdens and need to be prepared for this prior to marriage.
You Feel Like You ‘Owe It’ to Your Partner
Is guilt the reason you’re still together? Do you have a loving, caring, magnificent partner, but you’re still not completely happy? That’s ok. Both you and your partner deserve to be happy. If you’re not ready for marriage, or know that this person is not right for you, don’t get married because you think your partner deserves it.
No one wants to be a statistic. Reflect on why you want to get married, and make sure you’re taking a lifelong journey with your partner for the right reasons.
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