By Eboni Elise
Let’s tell the truth.
A lot of people get married for the wrong reasons. This topic of discussion has come up amongst my various circles of friends so I decided to write a post about it.
Some know good and well that they shouldn’t but do it anyway and others go into it with the right intentions but don’t realize, until later, that it wasn’t the best decision. Hind sight is definitely 20/20. From guys and ladies, I’ve heard several different reasons over drinks or chocolate chip ice cream venting sessions:
"We already lived together so I thought it was the next step.”
“I was young and in love. It seemed like the thing to do at the time.”
“I didn't want to lose him and I thought it would make me happier. I already invested so much time and energy into the relationship."
“We have kids together and I want them to grow up in a two-parent home."
And I’m probably sure some women were just happy they “got chose” no matter how many red flags they chose not to see (I hear the dating world is hard out there). Marriage made them feel validated.
Getting married for the wrong reasons leaves broken homes, tumultuous divorces, or unhappy people who feel stuck because they don’t want it to negatively affect the kids.
Well, if you’re considering marriage or at a crossroads, keep reading.
Really think about why you want to get married and if you’re marrying the right one.
Part of the blame for this is the perception and expectation we have of marriage. We think that it’s wonderful (and it can be but not always) and we’ve practically been conditioned since birth to think of marriage as the end all, be all. And watching others like the #ForeverDuncan couple will have you melt. Many enter a little too lightly without asking themselves am I ready and prepared for what’s to come.
Do you have dreams of walking down the aisle in a beautiful dress with a handsome, teary eyed fiance’ waiting to trade in his life? Ya’ll walk into the sunset and then what?
The real deal is that marriage is wonderful but it’s not for the weary. What’s important is life after the wedding is over and you return from your honeymoon. I’m 7 years in so I can speak on it. If you are considering marriage, keep this in mind - Love ain’t enough. Let me explain before you think I’m crazy. Love is at the core of marriage. It’s part of the foundation, along with God. It’s what makes you want to be together but it’s not always what keeps you together.
There will come a time when life happens or when the sh*t hits the fan. Will you be ready to run away or roll your sleeves up and work with your partner to clean up the mess? It takes more than love, it takes loyalty, sacrificing your wants for your mates, constant forgiveness, accepting them for exactly who they are with all of their issues, whether from previous relationships or childhood, etc. It takes true friendship, something that keeps you there during those times when you feel like you’ve fallen out of love. If you want more, read this awesome post from Black Girl, Create.
Marriage is not a cure. Whatever problems that existed in your relationship before you got engaged does not mysteriously go away when you say “I do.” If he had a constant problem cheating with other women before, it’s not very likely that it won’t happen again at some point during your marriage, no matter what you do.
Why do you want to be married? It shouldn’t be to make yourself complete or happy. Learn what makes you whole so you are not giving half of yourself to a person.
Marriage shouldn’t be something to do because you’re approaching 30+ and your family is giving you the side eye at every get-together because you’re “shacking.” Or not because you already have kids with a person and you assume they aren’t going to pick up on the fact that ya’ll can’t stand being in the same room with each other. But I’m not here to tell you what to do.
All I’m saying is, do it for the right reasons and marry someone who will go through the fire AND the clouds with you, because both will inevitably come. Listen to your gut, listen to God. If you’re not totally sure, try pre-martial counseling BEFORE planning a wedding. Folks will go through with it just because they’ve already spent money on a venue and save-the-dates. (In my Andre 3000 voice, “Don’t do it, reconsider, read some liter-ture on the subject…)
What are your thoughts? I’m curious. Let me know in the comment section below.