There are many people who adamantly believe that most, if not all, marriages are destined to fail and will end in divorce. I don’t agree. I believe that in many cases, divorce is simply a byproduct of the failings of the people involved. Allow me to explain…
From an informal survey, these are just some of the reasons I’ve been told why people get married (as opposed to people who just choose to live together).
- Financial Security: Among other things, a combined income increases your ability to purchase a home. Some want to enjoy the spoils of being married to someone wealthy.
- Fear: Some people are afraid of being alone.
- Low Self-Esteem: Many settle for less than they actually deserve because they honestly don’t believe they deserve or could ever get someone better.
- Children: Along comes an unplanned pregnancy and some think marriage is the answer.
- Love: Real love. Not infatuation, obsession or lust.
One glaring omission from this list is what I believe to be one of the most important reasons of all to get married: COMMITMENT.
First of all, falling in love is a CHOICE in the same way that you make a DECISION to get married. What I’ve observed as the seed of destruction for many marriages is they’ve somehow failed to understand the real meaning of commitment and how it applies to being married.
When you agree to commit yourself to someone else for the rest of your life, it means you are bound and obligated to work together on making the marriage successful (obviously, there are exceptions for instances of abuse or infidelity). There is no giving up. It’s not about growing tired of someone. It’s not about holding on to The Ewwies (unspoken expectations) and then complaining to others about those expectations not being met. It’s all about two people who’ve agreed to communicate honestly about what does or does not work, what makes them feel loved, what makes them feel rejected and rehearsing all of the reasons life is better together.
A recent study contends: “When [people get] married, they don’t [do so] for long love. If they [start to believe] love and family [no longer] offer them happiness and safety, they choose to divorce. They [no longer] think about the family or the children because they [hold] themselves as the center. That means they love freedom [over] stability.”
I’ll leave you with my Bulleted Personal Observations:
- Work out any major issues before you get married. Marriage will inevitably amplify existing problems
- Discuss finances, religion and how you’ll raise your kids BEFORE-hand as well
- You can never say “I Love You” too much
- Figure out his/her love language and work to express your feelings toward them in that way
- Use the Upward Spiral Method. The more you love your spouse, the more they love you back and the more you want to love on them, etc, etc
- It’s okay to disagree or get upset. An argument does not imply imminent disaster.