I know how exciting the prospect of getting married is. It feels like carrying around a huge ball of light wrapped in a pretty bow. You get engaged and envision a future where all is right with the world with your little house on a hill and white picket fence, right? Yeah, no – not even if you get lucky and marry the perfect man for you (like I was lucky).
I’ve only been married 3 years and this shit is hard. There are lots of important things to think about before you jump in.
It’s a huge commitment, and it’s definitely not all sunshine and rainbows forever. It’s hard to get along with someone for a lifetime, so make sure YOU’RE sure you can roll with it first.
To get your gears turning and help you consider all the angles, I’ve put together this list of 19 VERY WRONG reasons to say yes.
1. You think getting married will solve trust issues.
BZZZT, WRONG! If there are already trust issues within your relationship, getting married will not make them magically disappear. You must resolve these issues before you even think about saying “yes”.
It doesn’t matter which of you doesn’t trust the other. If it’s an issue now, chances are that it will be an even BIGGER issue after saying your I Do’s.
A marriage should symbolically show your commitment and love to one another, not for proving to the other that their mistrust is invalid. Plus, married people can still be untrustworthy. Married people can still be overly suspicious.
If there are trust issues now in your relationship, do both of you a favor and get to the bottom of it now. If it’s unresolved, you better think twice.
2. You have your doubts, but at least you’ll be financially secure.
What year is this, 1822? You can take care of yourself. If you’ve never taken care of yourself before, I highly recommend doing that before you even think about looking at wedding magazines.
There’s so much to learn and so much to gain by making your own money and paying your own bills. Or at least some bills! I’m not saying you have to be a career woman or the bread-winner in your marriage if that’s not your thing, but you have to go into it knowing that you CAN if you have to.
That way, throughout your marriage, you can never fall back on it as a reason to stay in a dead relationship. You’ll never resent your husband or feel trapped because you can’t fend for yourself.
3. You feel pressured by family members because they’re traditional or religious and you’re not.
Pressure to marry from anyone is a recipe for a disastrous marriage. Both of you should feel completely comfortable with your decision.
Don’t kowtow to someone else’s idea of what’s acceptable or right or unacceptable or wrong. THEY aren’t the ones who have to make this marriage work – you are.
If being pressured into marriage is even just ONE of a list of reasons you think you’ll say yes, it’s time to put the damn brakes on and drop some truth on them. Start with the good ol’, “IT’S NOT YOUR DECISION TO MAKE.”
4. You fear that no one else will ask you, so this is your one chance.
If your current relationship is so blase that you’re even THINKING of the future being void of other offers, this offer is NOT the one for you.
I mean think about it. If you’re proposed to and one of the first things you think about is, “Well, it’s not so bad.. at least he asked me!” then what’s really going on there? It’s not so bad?
If it’s a choice between being married but still lonely while adding misery on top, or being alone and lonely but otherwise fine, I’ll choose the latter, thanks.
A sentiment like that comes from a fear of loneliness, if you ask me, and that’s something you have to fix for yourself. No one can fix it for you!
Which leads us to…..
5. You think saying yes will help you “save” or “fix” them (or yourself).
I get it, I’m naturally a fixer, too. Guess what, marriage doesn’t fix shit. People fix shit, and they mostly have to do it for themselves.
What you need to do before getting married is make sure you’re both equipped to HELP the other fix their own flaws.
I have to admit, for a while I did think getting married would make me a happier woman. And then it kinda didn’t. And I thought it was because I needed to fix him… but I really just needed to fix myself.
I spent some time trying to change the way he thinks into the way I think. I finally realized I need to change my mindset, and be more accepting of who he really is – like, who he is from day-to-day – not the intangible bits I fell in love with in the first place.
Despite the flaws that definitely annoy me, he is still the best partner for me to live life with. I know this because he is patient and kind, and allows me space to work through my shit without holding grudges against me.
But I truly believe I got lucky in that respect. I’m not too confident that anyone else would afford me the patience that he affords me!
Don’t count on luck. Do your self-work before you get married. Start that chapter with the most solid foundation you possibly can!
6. You’re pregnant.
No matter what the byline is, you don’t have to marry because you’re pregnant. A child can have a better life with a single, happy mother than with a mother who married someone she barely knows and made a mistake with.
A child can have a better life with a mother and a step-father who are truly happy than with a mother filled with regret and resentment..
Just like in #3 above, don’t allow anyone to pressure you into marriage because of a pregnancy. They aren’t the ones who have to live that life and raise a decent, productive, happy child in those circumstances.
And don’t forget, there are thousands of heartbroken wanna-be mama’s out there who would love to adopt if that’s what you choose to do, too.
7. You’re just caught up in all the excitement.
Before you run off and call every person you know to announce your engagement, take 5 minutes and think. Make sure you’re not just caught up in all the excitement and drama of a marriage proposal. Make sure you’re not checking something off a list by getting married.
For some women marriage is a top goal for their lives, and that’s okay if you are one of them. But.. you need to make sure you’re allowing yourself time to process everything that’s happening as it happens – don’t get caught realizing you did something you’re not really ready to do.
It’s harder to reverse it than it is to just slow down a bit and think.
8. You’ve dreamed about your perfect wedding since you were little.
So you have had a dream board for your wedding ideas since the age of 10? That’s cool and all but it’s no reason to rush into anything.
You can still have your dream wedding whether it’s now or later!
Check and double-check that this relationship is built to last longer than it takes the $10k worth of fresh ranunculus and peony arrangements to wilt!
9. All of your friends are already married.
Whatever – this is the one that made me put “crazy stupid” in the title. Who cares what your friends are doing!? Grow up, buttercup!
In the event that you really do care, just look at it this way: they probably all rushed into it. You’re smarter than they are.
10. You think it’s “just time to do it”.
Again, tradition be damned. There’s no specific time you have to get married by. No age limit or cut-off date.
There’s no rule book you have to go by, even if you made a pact with yourself that you’d marry the first person to look at you twice on some specific day.
The only thing it’s just time to do is to go over this list one more time and make sure you’re ready for it!
If you are ready for it, then get started on that registry right away!
Tell me if there’s anything you wish you’d thought about before getting married in the comments below!
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