There comes a time when a man or woman is faced with a decision of marriage.
Have you ever wondered whether the answer to the question of “why should I get married” is sometimes different for men versus women?
Granted, the differences in how men and women process this important life event decision is not that large.
But guys and gals tend to place a different weight on the question of long-term relationship commitment. Men and women often look at this life shaping event through a different lens which is shaped by a markedly different attitude or set of priorities.
You have heard it before, right?
How does one get a boyfriend and girlfriend on the same page when it comes to the matter of marriage?
Of course, this presumes that marriage is the right thing for them, right?
Tying the knot often depends on a person’s readiness which is tied to a host of factors such as individual maturity, one’s sense of how strong is the fit, personal views about marriage, and attachment style, etc.
Now if you come off as acting desperate to get married, then you are probably not ready. I recently wrote about this specific topic in the post below….
When talking about marriage, one needs to consider the question of timing.
In many cases, a guy’s sense of when to pull the trigger and make that final commitment is not always in concert with a woman’s view of when it is time.
A man’s sense of when to throw themselves completely into the act of proposing and getting married, more often than not, lags a women’s sense of timing.
One could argue that for some people, getting married is not ever going to be an ideal arrangement. I guess I should write a new post about those sorts of folks in which marriage is something to run from or avoid or even to despise as an institution. Don’t count me with that group.
But certainly there are plenty of good reasons to get hitched. We are going to break those down in a little while.
But is there such a thing as wrong reasons for wanting to get married?
You bet there are.
Some cynical types would argue that getting married does nothing but give you headaches for the future and create all kinds of potential personal and legal issues.
As with all big issues of life, there will always be polar opposite views about the merits of doing one thing versus another.
If it’s a big enough topic, you will usually get some really crazy outlier views.
Consider these mind numbing quotes from some agitated folks:
Marriage will be the ruin of all unless you repent.
Your wedding day will be your last happy day.
Marriage is a farce. To love and obey is so old-fashioned. Keep your commitment out of the hands of those who want to legalize your love.
Don’t trust a guy who says he will marry you. No man really wants to be married. Most of them answer to the call of the wild, with one foot out of the jungle, and will spend much of their time chasing after other women.
Marriage a women’s way of trapping you for life. Be smart. Keep your freedom and bachelor status are you will whipped into submission.
Putting marriage on the trash heap is not my attitude at all.
The way I see it, it is a good thing to find someone you can share your life with (and vice versa). It can help you grow, provide you with fulfillment, and also help you navigate many of the challenges of life.
Long attachment is a natural thing for us humans to gravitate to.
Marriage is a place where love, friendship, and deep attachment all come together.
I would argue, why walk through life by yourself?
Why not share the life experience with someone you love at your side?
So when people ask me about why they should get married, my usual reply is why not get married. The entire journey through life can be a rough road if you undertake it all by yourself.
When readers, who have experienced issues with past relationships, assert they cannot find any good reason for why they should get married at all, my response is just because you struggled with a past relationship, does not mean that your relationships of the future will fail.
I remind men and women that it is easy to make mistakes in your initial choice of a relationship partner.
Figuring out how compatibility you are with a man or women is not fully understood. Finding the right fit is far from a complete science. One has to expect some failures along the way so you can learn what is important and what matters most to you.
Now I do agree that there are things you can do to limit your chances of choosing poorly. It is true that not everyone you meet will be best suited for you. What is marriage material for some, may be a poor fit for you. And conversely, a poor fit for another suitor, may actually be an excellent fit for you.
There will also always be differences in maturity or a person’s suitability to be in a long-term, serious relationship depending on a wide range of changing variables.
That’s right. I have seen cases in which two people were poorly aligned as a couple for various reasons. But several years go by and later come into each other’s world again, discovering that over time they have both been molded differently, shaped by experiences and attitudes which now bring them into closer alignment.
Choosing correctly is key. Compatibility is something you can screen for. And there are dozens of right reasons to get married.
And I am not talking about legal reasons to get married, such as may be the case if a pregnancy is involved.
Nor am I referencing religious or biblical reason to get married. Sure, I realize that people who are close practitioners of their faith may be persuaded to marry someone of the same religious belief. While that usually is not a bad idea, it should not be among the primary reasons why you choose to make the plunge and tie the knot.
What I am referring to are the emotionally healthy relationship reasons to get married.
For one, marriage is important in your life as it can help you with all of the challenges you will face as you navigate through.
Committing your self emotionally to another human being can provide tremendous fulfillment. To know you can trust someone fully and you have each other’s back is really important. To be able to share different life experiences with someone you love and trust is what makes us the social animals we are.
Being able to join together with another person and bring another human being in this world, loving them and raising them is also an incredible experience.
But before we get way ahead of ourselves as we list out all the benefits of marriage, let’s make sure we understand the full picture.
Is Getting Married All That Its Cracked Up To Be?
If two people have thoughtfully considered all of the things that are important in choosing a mate and if these two people have invested time with each so they can measure how well they get along under different circumstances, then YES, marriage is most definitely all that it is cracked up to be.
But not everyone is ready.
And unfortunately, I have seen plenty of couples that were, for various reasons, ill prepared to make such an important decision. Yet these same people fell into the trap of believing marriage would be the one thing that makes everything right.
Marriage is not a ticket you need to stamp just to meet someone else’s expectations. I would argue that marriage is only something you do after you have had time to prepare for it. I think one should give themselves every opportunity to know just how compatible they really are with their boyfriend or girlfriend before they entertain making a life long commitment.
Just being in a relationship or getting married doesn’t mean it is destined to become something even greater than what it was when you first started your courtship.
Relationships don’t work that way.
Marriage, in and of itself, does not make you and your relationship partner better at being with each other. Sometimes, particularly for those who rushed into marriage, later find all kinds of things about their lover that they wished they had known before.
Some men and women are simply not ready to settle down. They may not have found the right person. Maybe there are still many things in life they wish to experience and the fear of settling down will rise up as an obstacle. Some individuals are still afraid of letting go. Their fear of losing autonomy prevents them from getting serious. Possibly there has been relationship difficulties in the past causing one to sour on the idea of fully committing to another person.
When you come at marriage from this perspective, then, “NO”, marriage is not the right move for you.
At least not yet.
If you harbor any serious doubts about losing your independence or if you have been stung by past failures, then it would be best to reconcile these concerns first before you make any plans to tie the knot. If this is the case in your situation, then it is best you openly and honestly discuss this with your relationship partner so they understand your emotional response.
Otherwise, your push back about getting married won’t be fully understood and will usually backfire, potentially creating relationship chaos.
Why do I say that?
Well first of all, when I think of marriage, I think of two serious people who have invested time into each. They love each other (as well as they understand this feeling) and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Such a couple also wholeheartedly believes they are compatible.
Being compatible with someone is usually not something you will be able to know well until you have spent a good amount of time with another. Until you have both been dealt some stress and hardships in your relationship, you won’t know just how well you are going to get along in various situations and environments.
Getting married is serious business. It is not something you and your loving partner just do because it seems right.
Marriage is not going to necessarily make you happy if you went about the selection process haphazardly.
Such an approach could actually make you feel dissatisfied with a great many things if you got married for all the wrong reasons.
So what are examples of some of the wrong reasons to get married.
- Choosing marriage because your parents are married and it just seems to be the right thing to do.
- Getting married because your girlfriend is pregnant and you want to do her right.
- Accepting a marriage proposal not for love but because you believe the marriage will provide financial stability.
- Embracing marriage as a way to lock down a person heart. The thinking is that even if they are not fully in love with you, they will learn to love you more.
- Getting married to someone solely for religious reasons, family or peer pressure.
- Choosing to get married because you confused the emotions of romance with deep love and attachment.
- Deciding to get hitched because it seems to be the best way to consistently get sex from your partner.
- Some men and women may feel tied down by their family situation or wish to escape. Maybe the parents are not ready for an empty nest. Possibly the home environment is stressful or your parent have curb your freedoms. In some instances, couples will pool their resources together just to get away from the grip their parents have on their life.
- It is easy to fall prey to regular bouts of loneliness. But that is no reason to get married.
- Some guys and gals are tired of not being treated as an adult and will rush into marriage just to show “everyone” out there that they are mature enough to handle marriage.
At this stage of the post you may think marriage is horrible idea as there seems to be so many reasons why you should avoid it. I realize some people think that I am arguing against the institution of marriage.
Believe me, this discussion is not intended to come off being anti marriage.
I just want to press home the point that a couple should not pursue marriage unless they have worked hard at being successful in a regular relationship and when they do choose go forward, its for all the right reasons.
Why Should Men and Women Get Married?
So what might be some of the right reasons for men and women to get married?
It is a good thing to learn more about the timing of when one should get married.
What might be some of the leading indicators that its time to get the ball rolling?
And is it ever OK to pursue a long term commitment with your relationship partner outside of marriage?
Society’s view on this topic has changed a great deal over the years and the negative connotations of choosing to be in a long term relationship as opposed to taking the next step and getting hitched are far less judgmental.
People are far more accepting about whether committed couples are legally married. Many people are more pragmatic about the merits of whether a loving couple should be married.
There are plenty of happy long term couples out there that are not married and don’t intend to take the vows.
So it should not be too surprising why some of my male clients will ask me, “why should a man get married these days?”
They will ask me, “what are the advantages of not getting married versus the upside of being married?
My reply is that there are plenty of good reasons to get married. But I emphasize they should not proceed unless they have arrived at the right reasons for their relationship as every couple is unique.
It is an interesting dynamic when women question me about the topic of marriage.
Where men seem to be looking for confirmation or possibly a way to slide away from getting married, women on the other hand often embrace the idea and wish to learn more about how they can help their guy with crossing the bridge.
Women often wonder what makes a man want to get married.
They want to know what it takes to get the guy to make that final leap.
There is an interesting phenomenon that sometimes happens between boyfriends and girlfriends. The guy will spend his time chasing after the girl, hoping to win her heart. Once they are an item and have been dating for while, the dynamics begin to change. As an attachments begins to take root, it is the woman who ends up doing more of the chasing. But in this case she is looking for the ring….looking for a long term commitment and a relationship that will eventually lead to marriage and possibly children as well.
Now bear in mind that I am talking in generalities.
Not all men and women follow these role patterns. But my experience is that more often than not, the woman is more geared to try to advance the relationship to the next level.
Whereas many men are usually wondering why do women always want to get married so fast.
They are thinking, “what is the rush?”
“I am not ready to get tied down“, they may rationalize.
“I don’t want to lose all my bachelor advantages“, they may exclaim.
But nor does a guy want to give up the benefits of feeling connected and making love to his girlfriend.
So what do a lot guys end up doing?
They often just play it down the middle. They will usually say they are not ruling out the idea of marriage, yet they will avoid or push away any serious conversations about the matter. Just kick the can down the road is usually their ploy.
Men and women often come at this topic from a different perspective.
So what is the case for why men and women should be wedded?
Quite frankly, while there a number of reasons why men and women should not rush into marriage until certain things are learned and understood, there are several reason why couples should embrace marriage.
Here is my list of reasons for why women and men should make the leap and choose marriage over being forever single.
- Choose marriage after you have lived with someone long enough to realize you know this person inside out and the two of you click on so many levels and you both feel a firm commitment to spend your life together. Being married to someone like this is in essence creating a more secure future. Now that doesn’t mean that if you don’t get married, he or she will bolt on you after an argument or conflict of some kind. As mentioned, I have seen plenty of happy couples who did not officially tie the knot. But sometimes, making the formal commitment to getting married to someone you love provides a psychological lift and symbolizes the commitment of your union and devotion to each other. Marriage can further cement the bond between the two of you, thereby reducing the prospect of breakups.
- Another good reason to be married is that it can make the two parties involved feel secure that they have each other and this union represents the beginnings of a new life. It removes any doubt as to whether either relationship partner is uncertain or not committed to building the kind of life you each have talked about.
- Studies have been performed on healthy relationships reasons to get married. People who are married tend to be healthier and happier and live longer than those who are single. The research overwhelmingly shows married individuals are more content, suffer less from stress and have less risk of dying from cancer and heart disease.
- People ask me all the time why is Marriage important in life. Many of you will discover that being married creates a certain sense of peace and security. It feels good to know that this part of your life is mapped out (at least to the extent we can see into the future). Not knowing what our course is in life and who we will primarily spend it with can create a sense of being lost or just drifting through life. Once you meet, fall in love and become attached to another person, then finally marry, your sense of purpose crystallizes.
- Choosing to have children is an important responsibility. Though you can certainly successfully raise children as a couple without being legally married, most people feel better knowing that their child is being raised under the institution of marriage. As the child grows older, it can be beneficial for the child to see that Mom and Dad are like everyone else’s parents…. happily married. Now I am not a real stickler about conforming to every notion of how we should behave. I enjoy being around free thinkers. But for some children, as they grow older, the stigma of their unmarried parents not being like everyone else can be an issue.
- If the love is there and you have spent enough time together to really know each other , then one of the benefits of getting married is the two of you will be able to pool your resources and tackle life together as a pair. It is a beautiful thing when you are in love with someone who supports your aspirations. Let there be no doubt, for many young adults navigating your way through life is a lot easier to accomplish when you are partnered with someone you really care about. Your desire to share your life with the man or women of your dreams can be an exciting new journey. It is really helpful to have a lifetime companion. So long as you both set realistic expectations and strive to help each other with whatever pitfalls you encounter, then being together in marriage can be incredibly fulfilling.