Getting married is a big deal. Think about it — you are choosing a person with whom to spend your life. That’s not a decision that should be taken lightly.
We all know that there are people who do. These people enter into marriage with the idea that if it doesn’t work out they can always get a divorce. This is definitely the wrong mindset to have. Granted, you may not know what spouse will be like in twenty years time, but if you are not getting married “for better or for worse” then why exactly are you?
Think about this carefully: why are you getting married? You’ll probably answer because you are in love. But why else? If it is one of the following reasons, we strongly recommend getting counselling before heading down the aisle.
1. You want children now
Wanting to start a family together is an excellent reason to get married. If you found the person that you want to start a family with, congratulations. But if you are marrying a man or woman whom you are not convinced is the life partner for you because of your desire to be a parent, you should reconsider. Women sometimes take this step because they are worried about getting too old to have kids; men do the same if they are desperate to become dads.
2. It’s time
You’ve been together of 3, 4, 5 or more years. If you were waiting until you were older, more established in your career or bought a house, that’s all well and good. But if you are simply getting married because it seems like the next logical step, you need to speak to a relationship counsellor.
3. You really want a big party
Many of us — men and women — have spent years dreaming about our wedding day. Wanting to have a wedding, but not necessarily a marriage, is a recipe for disaster. The problem with wedding planning is that it can take so much time and energy that we focus on that instead of what comes after. But the aftermath — marriage — is what a wedding is all about.
4. Your partner is probably the best girl or guy you’ve dated
You’ve met a lovely man or woman — the kind of person you were happy to introduce to Mom and Pop. They are sweet, kind and they love you. That’s all very well, but if you don’t really love them back, you’ll never be happily married together.
5. To fix a broken relationship
Some people think getting married will fix the problems in their relationship. It won’t. In fact, it will make them worse. You need to deal with relationship issues before getting married. If you are incompatible it is better to learn this before you get married, not after.
6. All your friends are married
Good for them — but getting married to keep abreast with your peers is plain stupid. We all find love at a different pace. Maybe it will just take you a little longer — there’s nothing wrong with that.
7. You’re head over heels
Everybody has heard the stories — the couple that got married after knowing each other a week or a month and are just as madly in love 10, 20 or 30 years later. For the most part, impetuous marriages don’t last. If you don’t really know the person you are marrying, you have not thought through the decision to get married.
8. Because he or she asked
If you are in love with someone and they ask you to marry them, it seems obvious that you’ll say yes. But if you are not emotionally and mentally ready for marriage, or you have doubts about your intended, you really should postpone saying: “I do.”
9. Your parents want you to settle down
Your parents probably want what is best for you. They may also want grandchildren. However, getting married to please your folks is sure to backfire.
10. Your partner is pressuring you
Like point 9, getting married because someone else wants you to is a bad idea. Sometimes this person may be the man or woman in your life. He or she may be ready to settle down, but if you are not, you probably should wait.
Most of us have doubts and fears as we approach getting married. Cold feet are normal. However, it definitely helps to talk to a relationship counsellor if you are unsure. It will put things in perspective and help you to decide whether or not you are ready to get married. If you don’t really want to get married, you shouldn’t. It’s not fair on you or your partner, and it is definitely not fair on any children you may have.