When Marriage is Not the Answer
Marriage isn't for everyone
Face it. Marriage isn’t for everyone. There are some people who are not in the right place to consider tying the knot, and know it. And others who are anxious to marry, despite the time not being right. And while men are more traditionally known as the ones who shy away from the level of commitment that marriage requires, there are plenty of women with the same mindset.
Our experts share their thoughts on reasons why you should pause and take a breath and realize that perhaps marriage simply isn't the right thing for you.
Don't rush into it
It is always better to remain single until you find the one person you can build a life with, said Lesli Doares, a marriage consultant and coach and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work.
"Marriage is a unique relationship that requires knowledge and skill to be successful. If you have to bargain your way into it, it is a bad idea. Sliding into it, such as 'we've been living together so why not,' is also a recipe for disaster. Being alone is always better than feeling alone when you're in a relationship," Doares said.
Five reasons to never marry
While so many people want to get married, a lot of people fail to realize how hard it can be to go through a divorce.
Stefanie Safran, dating expert and founder of Stef and the City, said, "When I speak with many people who have gotten married for the wrong reasons, they tell me the reasons they went through with a wedding that should have never happened."
Here are some reasons Safran said you should heed and not use them as a reason to get married:
1. To keep up with your friends
While you may feel that your friends keep meeting someone and you are a constant bridesmaid, this isn't a reason to "keep up with the Jones". While it may be painful to watch some of your friends walk off into the sunset, it still is important to stick to your values and wait until you find someone that it worth spending your life with.
2. To have a baby before it's too late
While it can get scary when you hit the big 30 or 35, it can get scarier if the big 40 is nearing. If it's important to you to have children, talk with a fertility doctor and find out your options vs. pushing a relationship that has run its course to be something too permanent.
3. To be financially secure
The idea that someone can keep you from worrying about money is nothing more than a fantasy. Plenty of people who married "rich" husbands found out that the security they thought they had acquired was nothing more than a mirage. Realize that when you are married to someone; you may have ups and downs with money, it's having the right partner that will make the difference.
4. To not be alone
It may seem easier to be in a relationship than to be alone, but in reality many people feel alone in their relationships. Being married won't keep you from being lonely.
5. To avoid a breakup
If its time to make a decision to move forward or to end the relationship; this is a part of the relationship cycle. If you are sure that this person is not someone you see yourself married to and marriage is part of their plan; it's easier to end it now then when there are legal ramifications.
When marriage is a bad idea
Scott Carroll, MD, shared his top reasons why marriage can be a bad idea for some people:
- You struggle with monogamy.
- You have a large inheritance or a high net worth and you are worried he might break the pre-nup in court.
- You don't want children so there's no practical advantage to being married Especially that married people take each other for granted more than co-habiting couples.
- You are focused on succeeding in your career. There is a fair amount of evidence that marriage has a negative impact on career achievements in women unlike men.
- You are in the military or the foreign service so you have to be able to travel on short notice and may be gone for long periods of time.
- You are on disability or get alimony or child support payments that would stop if you get married.
- If you struggle with overwhelming suspicion or jealousy when you are in a committed relationship. Some people are just too sensitive emotionally to be in a close relationship.
The main thing is, if you feel that marriage isn't right for you, pay attention to your gut instinct and enjoy being single. There's no reason to get married, other than because you've found the love of your life and cannot live without them.