Imagine this: you just got engaged. Cue the fireworks, pop the champagne, and sound the trumpets! You and your partner brace yourselves for the oncoming slew of “congratulations” and “oohs” and “ahhs” over the dazzling engagement ring.
Once all the excitement dies down, you immediately roll up your sleeves and jump into wedding planning mode. Your life suddenly turns into a big blur of appointments, parties, and cake tastings…
And before you know it, you’re at the altar, about to make a lifelong commitment.
You’ve hardly had any time to breathe, let alone sit down and ask yourself a very important question…
Am I getting married for the right reasons?
Let’s face it, a lot of marriages end in divorce. Statistics show that 50% of first marriages, 67% of second marriages, and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. A divorce is a huge headache that will detrimentally affect your life, financially and emotionally.
Many divorces happen because people marry for the wrong reasons, such as money, pregnancy, or the pursuit of happiness. If more people actually looked deep down inside and carefully evaluated the true reasons for tying the knot, fewer doomed marriages would be made.
If you have an altar date coming up, you should sit down and, as hard as it may be, evaluate your true reasons for marrying your partner. Look deep down inside and ask the following questions:
Do you have realistic expectations?
If you think marriage is all glitter and roses, you’re in for a rude awakening. The real nitty-gritty work of marriage begins once the honeymoon wears off. You’ll start arguing about bills, car insurance, and the way the dishwasher is loaded.
Many people get married because they believe that tying the knot will magically change their partner for the better. That, too, is unrealistic. Your partner will remain the same unless he or she proactively tries to improve himself or herself. If you’re realistic, you will also be aware of the fact that your partner will not always be fun and youthful, and he or she may lose his or her looks over time. You need to be prepared to accept all the ups and downs of marriage, which brings us to the next question…
Are you prepared to work at maintaining a successful marriage?
Your marriage will not always be perfect. You and your partner will face some obstacles that may drive a wedge between you two. Are you willing to fight through the rough patches in order to keep your marriage intact? If you feel that your relationship might fold under the first sign of trouble, you may want to think twice before getting hitched.
Do you and your partner admire and respect each other?
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, especially by his or her own spouse. Think about how you and your partner talk to each other. Do you criticize each other? Do you lose patience with one another? Do you make underhanded comments about each other in front of others? Do you complain about each other to your family and friends?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your relationship won’t be healthy until you and your partner start respecting and validating each other.
How well do you and your partner communicate with each other?
When it comes to relationships, communication is key. Are you two open and honest with each other, or are there secrets involved? Do you talk things out, or do you manipulate each other with games? Do you listen to each other? Think about how you and your partner communicate with each other, and how that would affect your marriage in the long run.
Does your partner share your values and life goals?
You two are starting a life together, so it’s important to be on the same page about a lot of things. What are your priorities? What are you long-term goals? Do you want children? Where do you want to live for the rest of your life?
If you’re not spiritually compatible with your partner, you two will be likely to grow apart.
Is your relationship free of any form of abuse?
If your partner:
– Micromanages your actions
– Physically harms you
– Constantly belittles you
– Threatens you
– Tries to isolate you from others
– Gets irrationally jealous
– Calls you names
Then you are in an abusive relationship. If that’s the case, the last thing you should do is to marry that person, because it’s only going to get worse.
Does your partner contribute to the relationship as much as you do?
Marriage is a two-way street. Both partners have to contribute to the relationship, or it will fizzle out. Does your partner help out with the housework? Are you emotionally available? If you feel that your partner takes too much from you without giving enough back, consider whether or not you would like to spend the rest of your life in this sort of arrangement.
Does your partner make you happy?
This is one of the most important questions you should ask yourself. You deserve to be happy for the rest of your life. If you constantly feel unhappy, nervous, or stressed out around your partner, then you should continue looking until you find someone who will make you smile every day.
Do you trust your partner?
Without trust, a relationship is nothing. Can you trust your partner to keep you safe, always be there for you, and to never abandon, reject, or shame you?
In your heart, do you really feel that this is the right decision?
When asking yourself this question, you must be ruthlessly honest with yourself. Identify everything that bothers you, and listen to your feelings. If you have doubts now, then you will probably continue to have doubts throughout the marriage. If you don’t have a peace of mind about marrying this person, consider not following through with the wedding until you’re absolutely sure you want to do it.
Bad reasons to get married
If you are getting married for any of the reasons on the following list, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate your decision.
– You are tired of being single.
– You feel pressured into getting married.
– You and your partner are expecting a baby.
– You want to achieve a certain lifestyle with your partner’s money.
– Everybody else is getting married.
– You are afraid that no one else will want to marry you.
– You – or your partner – need a green card.
– You want children.
– You want a mother or father for your child.
– You want to be free from your parents.
– You believe that marriage will bring happiness to your life.
– You want to experience your dream wedding.
– You have invested so much time into your relationship that marriage seems to be the only next step.
Good reasons to get married
Marriage is forever, so it’s very important to do it for all the right reasons. Here are some wonderful and sensible reasons to get married.
– You simply cannot imagine life without your partner.
– You can easily see yourself with your partner in 50 years.
– You and your partner are willing to be there for each other, no matter what.
– You want to grow with your partner, physically and emotionally.
– Your partner shares your values and life goals.
– You and your partner want to start a life together.
– You and your partner are willing to make sacrifices for each other.
– Ultimately, you two are deeply in love with one another.
Before saying “I do”…
Ask yourself, “Should I?”