7 Reasons Not to Marry
by Susan Stith
The decision to marry is the biggest decision that most people make in a lifetime. Following is a list of danger signs. If any of these are present in your relationship now, it is best to postpone the marriage until the issue is resolved. Marriage itself will not make these problems disappear. In fact, these problems almost always get worse after marriage.
1. Marrying to get out of the house.
This is simply trading one set of problems for another. Other options exist to get away from a troubled home. A counselor can help you find them.
2. No one better will ask me to marry him/her.
This kind of thinking suggests that you don’t think much of yourself. People who think this way aren’t sure enough of themselves to hold their own in marriage and are generally unhappy when they do find their true selves. Postponing or canceling your wedding is a good idea. Some good counseling can help, too.
3. It’s just time to get married.
Actually, what is needed is the right time AND the right person.
4. Being hit, slapped, threatened or intimidated, verbally put down, or forced to do things you don’t want to do by your partner.
Being treated like this is wrong and you should not put up with it. This is not the normal way that engaged or married couples relate to one another. Marriage is based on respect, not fear and force. Don’t be fooled by your partner’s promise to stop.
5. You or your partner are dependent on drugs and/or alcohol. Some of the symptoms of dependence include:
- One of you uses drugs or alcohol to escape from problems or worries.
- Getting drugs or alcohol is always on your mind.
- You can’t have fun or relax without drugs or alcohol.
- You become careless with important relationships.
- You drink alone or in secret.
A person dependent on drugs and alcohol is not a free person. Their love affair is with the bottle or drugs – not with you!
6. You and your partner have major items which you avoid talking about because it might upset your relationship.
For example: children, money management, division of responsibility for home and children, whether to keep both careers, religious identity of children in an interfaith marriage.
You need to talk about all important issues openly before marriage. The wedding ceremony itself will not eliminate the issues or the effects of your disagreements. Consider enlisting the help of a priest, minister, or counselor if these issues seem too threatening to handle alone.
7. Marriage just seems like the next logical step.
This sometimes happens to couples who are living together. They slide into marriage not because they have fully explored the idea of a permanent commitment and freely choose that for themselves, but because getting married is the next thing to do. Or they slide into marriage to fix a relationship that is limping along, thinking that having their families’ or church’s stamp of approval will fix their relationship. If this describes your relationship, slow down and look more carefully at what marriage is. Are you ready, willing, and able to fulfill its responsibilities?
About the author
Susan Stith is the Family Life Director for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.