Whenever I talk about being married, it’s easy for some to get carried away thinking about the process or the possible benefits and not the actual marriage. Many people today are wedding-minded and not marriage minded. I’m sure at some point all women who intend to get married have suffered from this.
I remember reading “One Perfect Day” nearly a year ago and saying “I’m never going to be spend that much money on that” or “why would anyone pay for that?” Now, when I try to envision a wedding, I realize I have some pricey words in my vocabulary. We all know some pricey wedding words: elegant, modern, personalized; it was featured in The Knot or Bride Magazine; Martha Stewart or David Tutera made it; Monique L’huillier, Maggie Sottero, Amsale, Pnina Torné (sp?). Weddings can be the most financially expensive mistake you make in life.
That’s not to say that people running to the courthouse to be married have a better idea of what matters. No matter how you go about tying the knot, there are several reasons that are not good reasons to base such an important decision on. I want to cover this in detail in my book, “It Takes One to Know One,” so I’m only going to give a few of those reasons here. We hear these things over and over, but it never hurts to be reminded.
- Because she is—There’s nothing like comparison to make a woman get all in her feelings. She can be at a place in life where she doesn’t even want to get married, but then she’ll see that the girl who slept with everyone is getting married and looking respectable, and something inside her will start to whisper “why hasn’t anyone asked me to marry them? I mean, somebody is marrying her. She can’t be getting married before me!” We can think because we feel someone “deserves” to be married less, because they aren’t as awesome as we are, that we should beat them to the altar. We don’t know if they are in good relationships or what they did to get that ring, but they must have did something because, well, it’s her. I’ve had to check this impulse a few times, the need to compare myself and my relationship to someone else’s. I’ve done the “they’ve only been together x amount of time and I’ve been with Mr. Perfect nearly FIVE YEARS!” But I’ve checked it. If getting married were a competition, I would have been left in the dust and declared the loser a LONNNG time ago. God’s timing is perfect. In the fullness of time. Blah blah.
- For the benefits–please don’t ever take a job solely for the benefits. You will be a miserable person. I love the benefits I receive at my job, but just recently, they have changed a bit. There are now restrictions that weren’t there before, some things may cost a little more, etc. If I was only working there to receive those benefits, recent changes may make me start looking elsewhere. The same thing can happen in our relationships. If we are in it to split bills or have sex, what happens if someone loses their job or is no longer able/willing to engage in sexual activity? Having someone to help with chores sounds great, but what if that person becomes injured and needs to be taken care of? There are so many ways your asset can become a liability. It’s important to examine whether or not you will still be as committed if you don’t get everything you think you will.
- For the wedding–Some people can’t wait to have the party of the year, see all of their old friends, receive a bunch of gifts and money, and be the center of attention. Some are willing to spend a large sum of money they really don’t have to impress others with how much style they have and what a great party they can throw. They begin planning well in advance. Some are buying dresses and other things without a fiancé. A man is only another prop in the day; he is a plug and play and can be anyone. These same people pay little attention to the marriage. After this one day is over, they don’t have the skills to sustain a marriage, nor the money to maintain a household. It’s hard to go back to just being you without all of that attention you’ve been getting, and the diva complex you’ve acquired cannot be satisfied by the love and devotion of your husband.
- Just to be married—it’s important to make sure you are marrying the man and not just the institution. I have known for a long time I wanted to be married, much longer than I’ve been with the boyfriend. The real question is do I want to be married to him? Marriage is great when you marry the right person and both are committed to making it work. It doesn’t help to be sure about marriage and not about your potential spouse. Marriage is more than a title or a state of being; it will be a major part of your life. In the vows, they ask do you take the person in holy matrimony, not the idea of marriage. Do you want this person? If not, then it’s not the time for you to marry.
There are, of course, many other reasons that aren’t valid for taking that walk down the aisle, many of which I will be discussing in my book. But right now it’s your turn: what are some bad reasons to marry? What are the good ones? Did you marry for the right reasons?
As always, you can leave your two cents in the comments section, or email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tweet me @2blu2btru or message me on the Indigo Moods Blog Facebook page.