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Marriage: 5 wrong reasons to get married

Couples say “till death do us part”, but are we making the wrong decisions before marriage? We explore some obvious and subtle reasons to say “I don’t!”

According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, for every four marriages in 2013, there is one divorce. Is the institution of marriage falling to pieces? Are couples marrying for the wrong reasons? Here are five wrong reasons to get married.

5 wrong reasons to get married
Are you getting married for the right reasons?

#1 — Home Ownership

The allure of jointly purchasing an HDB flat is unique to couples in Singapore. In fact, “let’s get a flat,” has been known to be code for “will you marry me”. I’m not judging this lot of mostly under-35s; I just wonder if a flat is reason enough to take a dating couple to the stage of sticking through thick and thin for life.

I spoke to 26-year-old Samuel (not his real name), who is legally separated from his wife after a two-year marriage, during which they had a baby girl. He admits that their main reason for saying “I do” was to buy an HDB flat to call their own.

Food for thought: Does your partner share your values and support your goals? Do you share the same views about family planning? Can your current relationship take the added responsibilities and commitment of marriage?

If you have any shadow of doubt, I suggest you forget about the flat first.

#2 — The Unexpected Pregnancy

Despite a couple’s best effort to prevent pregnancies, let’s face it, accidents do happen.

As dreadful as this circumstance may be to some who’ve not planned for it or who may be unready, the situation can be made worse by making the wrong decision to marry someone whom you may not know very well.

Raising children is a life-long endeavour and it’s essential to find someone compatible.

#3 — Impulse Decision

Another wrong reason to get married: “I want it, pronto”. It can’t be stressed enough that a marriage involves long-term commitment, something that not all youngsters are ready for.

Darcy (not her real name) shares, “I got married at 20 thinking marriage would complete me. But I realised I didn’t even know what love was! My husband and I had little in common, we fought constantly and I was miserable. Eventually, he wanted out first.”

#4 — Social Pressure

Your social circle exerts influence upon your decision in very subtle but powerful ways. The opinions of friends, parents, and future in-laws all play apart in your decision making process.

It’s not uncommon for a person to introduce a partner to friends and family, and vice versa. This creates a social network effect where the couple is expected to stay together.

For many people, living up to others’ expectations are important. However, this may result in a poor marriage decision. Resist social pressure. At the end of the day, you have to live with your spouse – not your friends or family.

#5 — Sky-high Expectations

Last wrong reason to get married: Wanting your partner to be the paternal/maternal figure you wished you had, or the ex-partner you miss. While everyone carries some baggage from past relationships, try not to project your unmet needs onto your current partner.

An acquaintance of mine had unresolved issues from a past turbulent relationship. Though her friends advised her to seek therapy, she refused.

She quickly re-married another guy, but that marriage also ended acrimoniously. This is the sad result of marrying for the wrong reason.

It’s Not All Doom And Gloom

Most marriages and families are thriving
Most marriages and families are thriving

Though one in four marriages result in a divorce, let’s look at the bright side: The overwhelming majority of couples remain married, have kids and are living happily!

So the chances are in your favour if you have the right reasons from the get-go. If you’re married, be grateful for all the moments you spend with your partner. If you’re still looking for one, keep calm and carry on. Good luck!

Do you know of friends who got married for the wrong reasons? If you’ve relationship tips, please comment too!

By Runbin Yew