Here are a few good reasons to NOT get married and a few things that you can expect to change if you do.
Don’t get married if one of your highest priorities is to change your partner. That will not work! People change because they want to not because someone else wants them to.
Don’t get married if YOU are not willing to make some changes in your behavior. Some people have a difficult time adjusting to married life when they have been single so long. Others think that they can continue going out with the guys or going out with the gals after they are married. Having friends is encouraged outside of your marriage, however doing the same rowdy things you used to do as singles seldom fits the new lifestyle of newly married couples.
Special note to guys & gals: Settling down with one woman/man eliminates the wide selection of women/men and the thrill of the chase. Leave your ex boyfriends and girlfriends alone. There are no “hall passes” in marriage. You shouldn’t take chances when another person’s life, money, health, and future are in your hands.
Don’t get married if you are not willing to make your relationship the highest priority that you both work on.
Don’t get married yet if the fear of living with someone for the rest of your life is present. OR if you fear that your significant other turn from a Dr. Jekyll to a Mr. Hyde shortly after the chime of the wedding bells? It would be better if you postpone the wedding for awhile until you get to the real issue of what causes this fear. Wedding day jitters is an expensive angst that can be avoided. One of the challenges that I work with when coaching newly married couples is that now that they are married they often stop sending the romantic greeting cards or doing the things that brought them together in the first place. They begin taking each other for granted and suddenly they are again two singles living in the same house. That is NEVER a good idea.
“Relationships are something that must be worked on all the time, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed.” ~ Larry James
Don’t get married if you think a getting married is a license to to belch and fart more openly after getting married.
Don’t get married if the only reason is that you are tired of the dating scene.
Don’t get married if the only reason is that you think that you should get married. There is no shame in being single.
Don’t get married yet if you are so focused on your career that is has become an obsession. Your partner would be a better obsession.
Don’t get married yet if you can’t afford it. Getting married is often very costly. On average, couples that live in Maricopa, AZ (County) spend between $19,175 and $31,959 on their wedding. Make a plan to save the money while you are single. It’s considered okay to ask your guests for money if this is your second marriage and you don’t want to end up with 3 coffee makers, etc. Scale down your wedding celebration. Consider a quick wedding with a few special friends and family and have a big celebration when you can afford it. Nearly 90% of all divorces in the first 7 years are caused by money problems (usually a lack of it)! Marriage is expensive, but so is divorce.
Don’t get married just because you need health insurance. Marriage is much more than that.
“What really changes when you get married? People will stop asking you when you are getting married and start asking when you’ll start having kids!” ~ Larry James
Don’t get married if you are selfish. If you’ve been single for a long time you may find yourself doing what you want to do when you want to do it. That has got to change.
The true enemy of love is not hate, but selfishness.” ~ Brother Tyson Moore of Crenshaw Church of Christ in Los Angeles
Don’t get married yet if you feel you will loose the spontaneity you enjoyed as a single. Married people have a diluted and compromised idea of spontaneity. It doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, you do have a partner now to be spontaneous with, however when you are willing to compromise you will find that if your partner want to do something quickly, you may want to make an agreement that next time we can do what you want to do. You picked the activity last week, he gets to pick it this week.
Don’t get married if you are afraid your marriage will fail. Some do, it’s true, however when two people really love each other and will each hold each other to the promise of doing everything possible to make it work… it can work. Relationship coaching is a great idea. Some do it for preventative maintenance. Those couples are called very wise.
Don’t get married if you think that if marriage doesn’t work out for you, you can always get a divorce. While that is true, going into a marriage with that attitude is setting yourself up for disappointment.
Don’t get married if the only reason is you want children. When children come along, things really change. Everything you do revolves around your baby. Some husbands get jealous of the time the baby takes their wives, time which they can’t devote to them any longer. Seeking a balance in the relationship must be a priority. Agreements must be made BEFORE you get married. Do you want children? Who shops for groceries? Do you want pets? Who will take care of them? If you both are of different religions, which Church (Temple, Synagogue, Mosque, etc.) will your children attend?
Don’t get married if you’re lonely and think getting married will “fix” your life. It won’t! You must learn to love yourself first! It is not possible to give love to your partner if you don’t have love for yourself. I repeat: do not get married if you’re lonely and think getting married will “fix” your life.
Marriage is more that just being in love or loving someone. Love is not enough. Marriage means you’re keeping the best interests of two people in mind during every decision. It’s sharing the TV remote. It’s having respect for your partner and doing the little things that will make life better for both of you. Respect is the most important part of a relationship, because no matter how much you love each other, life throws surprises at you, and it’s important that you make decisions together. You get to start posting photos of what you made for dinner on Facebook. You get to share the housework. You get to accept responsibility for who you are being in the relationship. Marriage is a big commitment and saying that you want to spend your entire life with someone is often scary. A successful marriage is hard work. You must learn to laugh a lot. Sometimes at yourself!
“List five things you don’t like about your intended. Then decide whether or not you can live with these things in the long term. If you can’t think of five things, then you either don’t know your partner well enough, or you are not paying close enough attention. If you can identify five things, but you expect them to get better once you say ‘I do,’ you don’t understand marriage well enough to get involved.” —Judge Lynn Toler of Divorce Court, author of My Mother’s Rules: A Practical Guide to Becoming an Emotional Genius
When you get married you can’t do everything the way you always did. You have to learn to give and take. Your partner becomes the mirror in which you see yourself. There will be times when you may feel unloved. This is when having an agreement to have no undelivered communication will come to the rescue. Have an agreement (this is important!) to talk about anything and everything, all the time… and in the most loving way you can muster. You get to remember important dates, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. They are part of being married. Always remember, when you fell in love, you chose each other. Also remember that there may be times when you need to choose each other all over again. You need to know that marriage is a choice you have to make every day.
“Hey gals, if you are going to bitch, bitch to his mother, not yours. His mother will forgive him. Yours never will.” ~ Lydia Netzer
Keep the intimacy in your relationship alive! This sense of closeness offers a kind of communication that goes far beyond words. The road to intimacy is paved with empathy. Get really good at making love. You should make it your life’s mission to become the perfect sex machine for your partner. It makes “everything” so much better. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you. Kiss and cuddle often. Do spoons without making love. Make sure you and your partner are both on the same page when it comes to making love. Anyone can have sex. Making Love is special.
It’s important to remind yourself every day why you love your spouse, and be aware of what you really want out of your marriage. When problems do occur it will help you both when you know why you love your partner. A marriage based on friendship allows you to be the true person that you are. You must learn the important skill of really listening to your partner. Always make important decisions together. Be your partner’s cheerleader, not critic!
And finally, the core reason for getting married should be because you are deeply in love and want to grow old together, for better or worse. And you make each other a promise to always be awake in your relationship to times when there are lingering differences or growing distance so you can both work quickly to find workable solutions.
Opps! Oh, yes… one more finally, always remember: There is nothing that cannot be forgiven!
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Photo credit: Older couple on the beach – Corbis Corporation
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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