Right and Wrong Reasons to Get Married

You Might Want to Wait If Your Reasons Aren't the Right Ones

Bride and Groom Exchange Rings in Church Ceremony
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If you are considering getting married, make sure you are getting married for the right reasons and not for wrong ones.

Jennifer Gauvain: "If you take 10 divorced women and ask them whether they believed on their wedding day that they were marrying the right guy for the right reasons, seven of them would say yes and three will confess they had serious doubts long before walking down the aisle. That's the shocking truth for 30% of divorced women."
Source: Jennifer Gauvain. "The Shocking Truth for Thirty Pecent of Divorced Women." HuffingtonPost.com. 8/06/2011.

Here's a listing of a few of both the right and wrong reasons to get married.

Wrong Reasons to Get Married

  • Want to be free from parents.
  • To have sex.
  • To ease loneliness.
  • To be happy.
  • To show you are an adult.
  • Because of a pregnancy.
  • He or she loves you.
  • To save or help someone.
  • Because you want a baby.
  • For money.
  • Because all your friends are married.
  • You've always wanted a fancy wedding.
  • Out of fear that no one else will want to marry you.
  • You think you are running out of time to get married.
  • To have someone to "complete" you.
  • For immigration purposes.
  • You are tired of being single.
  • Someone is pressuring you into getting married.
  • You don't want people gossiping about the two of you living together.
  • To get health or insurance benefits from the spouse's employer

Right Reasons to Get Married

  • You are in love with one another.
  • A desire to share your life with another.
  • To have a lifetime companion.
  • Realistic expectations.
  • You want to feel connected with a person you love and to grow with that person emotionally.
  • Willingness to be there for one another while you each fulfill your own needs and dreams.

Assessing Your Reasons for Getting Married

The best time to take a hard look at your motivations for wanting to get married is before you have given your answer to a proposal or made a marriage proposal.

If you find yourself contemplating marriage with the person you are dating or living with, stop and ask yourself why.

If you've already made the proposal or accepted one, you owe it to your betrothed to analyze your motivation and have that person do likewise. It may feel traumatic calling off the engagement, but it at least can be done without the legal hassle and expense of a divorce.

Set aside a time to make up your list of reasons for wanting to get married and compare them with the two lists above. You may identify with items on both lists. It can help if you assign each a number from one to five and see which reasons outweigh the others. If all of your reasons fall on the wrong side, that is a clear indication that the time is not right. A longer period of engagement or time spent dating might be the right course of action.