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Wrong Reasons to Get Married

Updated on September 19, 2008

Fear is not a reason to marry.

There are a million really wrong reasons to get married, like marrying for money or getting married because you're pregnant. I'm not covering all of the reasons here.

The wedding vow is pretty clear. You and your partner are promising to spend the rest of your lives with each other for better or worse. That isn't something you can promise lightly. You have to have a great deal of love for each other, a great deal of compatibility, and a true desire to be together.

Reasons should include things like how good you feel about yourself when you're together. How happy you are together. How you feel supported, empowered, safe. How you can make each other laugh. There are a lot of really good reasons. Fear should not be one of them.

Fear of being alone is not a reason to marry. You have to be able to fix yourself as an individual before you can even think about contributing as a meaningful member of a partnership. Some people avoid the necessary work they should be doing on themselves, by getting married or having a family.

Fear goes both ways. If your partner is marrying you because he's afraid of something, you need to do the right thing where he can't. He needs to deal with his fear of being alone first.

And then there is the fear produced by ultimatums.

The word "ultimatum" has a broad application that isn't always accurate. There is nothing wrong with stating what you want. There is nothing wrong with knowing what you want, and being willing to leave a situation that isn't going the way you would like for it to go.

The nuance is in the communication.

Two people that care about each other can communicate and even have heated exchanges. And when two healthy people realize they just can't compromise enough to make each other happy it is a sad thing.

But it is not nearly as sad as when someone deals with their insecurities by giving an ultimatum to their partner. I'm not talking about stating needs, or giving a push. I'm talking about a real ultimatum.

Think about it this way. Is that really the circumstance in which you want someone to propose to you? Not because they love you so much they can't imagine their life without you. But instead because you've threatened them into it.

If your on the receiving end of this please think carefully before you commit your life to someone that doesn't think about your feelings or needs. This is only a prelude. Do you really want to marry someone that threatens you? Analyze that fear you feel of this person leaving. Is it really something you'd like to base the rest of your life on? Is that they way you want to spend the next 50 or 60 years?

You need to be a whole person before you can be part of a team. And so does your partner.

If you like this HUB please click the “Thumbs-Up” below just before the comments.


All text is original content by Veronica.

All photos are used with permission.

All videos are used courtesy of Youtube.


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  • profile image

    BeingH 6 years ago

    Hi veronica,

    Apologies but reading my post back now I feel you need more background info. First, though I’ve been reading through the majority of your hubs on this and similar subjects and am still at a loss to what to do now. Your advice has been candid and to the point and it’s what I really need just now, and I’d really appreciate your advice too if you have the time.

    My background, I’m now coming on 34 and in previous relationships I’ve always been the one to run after the first mention of marriage and kids. I remember believing it was just a piece of paper and I didn’t have a single maternal bone in my body. Mainly because of my faith and watching the awful heartrending state of my parents and siblings marriages.

    About 5 yrs ago I had to have therapy, to fix things I thought I’d had but they’d manifested themselves into physical problems and depression (due to childhood, faith and unresolved matters of 1 previous relationship 6 years ago). Halfway through this I met my current man I was 30 him 39. My therapy carried on for a few more months I think until the sessions petered out and we agreed I was healthy and no longer needed it.

    I wanted to be cautious with any new relationship so I took it casually, in fact it was only meant to be a 1 night stand that turned into a weekend and after his insistence I gave him my number (I’d never given it on previous occasions ). We then started seeing each other practically every other day & every weekend until now. For the 1st year we really just had a laugh it was amazing, in every sense of the word - the more I found out about him the more I realised this was more than just fun to me. When I brought up the possibility of marriage and kids in the future – we agreed it was what we wanted but didn’t give it a time frame I didn’t feel we needed to yet. We talked about my faith and our backgrounds. Both brought up strictly, him catholic but now almost agnostic; me not practising muslim but feeling more closer to it as time goes on. We even talked about what would happen if I ever felt pregnant, bigger house, marriage etc.

    This 1st year he also told me of his GA, but you’d never know there was anything wrong with him, we did practically normal things. Summer of 2009 I took him away for his 40th and whilst away we received a call from his family that his eldest nephew had taken his own life . He broke down at the wheel. He tried to drive back but had a major panic attack. His first in 9yrs since the onset of his condition. I had to arrange insurance and get us back home.

    Life has changed dramatically since then, he’s been in hospital for unrelated surgery which I nursed him through, I’ve held his hand through the eventual decline of his condition to where he is now -almost picking himself back up again on different meds. We have struggled, but i have loved him with all my heart, supported him, through thick and thin, because I wanted to and because I saw a future for us and believed, he did too. I have a little understanding of his state of mind having been there myself for a little while and knowing his strong character, I believe he will come out of this like he did before. I also understand that this won’t be the only time he will fall and need to pick himself backup again. I understand i need to think about myself too, and i feel I’m able to do that as we both like our own space and give each other the freedom to do what we want in our own time. I go on holiday without him because he can’t just yet and I need to.

    However we still went on a prearranged holiday to Vegas that same summer because he wanted to get on with his life. This is where he told me he didn’t want marriage and kids after prompting from me because of his negative reaction to people asking about his commitment to me. I was devastated.

    Since then obviously the subject keeps coming up – no doubt because of me. What bamboozles me is him saying he wonders what our kids will look like [even I don’t think like that!], he’s missing out on what everyone has, and he wants the same things. But then he back tracks and says he doesn’t want it at all, because he’s afraid they’ll turn out like him.

    Now I have to admit my naivety, I’ve been in long term relationships before (4 & 5 years) with women, and short term (1yr) with men. He is the first that has made me want to settle down and have kids. Since the Vegas trip i have (stupidly i concede) asked repeatedly about the prospects of us, trying to make him understand I will deal with his condition as much as I can because I feel I have so far and still can. With no promises because who knows what the future will bring.

    I’ve tried to be pragmatic and asked if I make him unhappy, if me talking about commitment is making his time of it worse or is it just me. Maybe I’m not the one, but he says there is no one else and doesn’t foresee anyone else. He always feels unworthy of me (especially me because I’m the only one to have treated him with such love &respect in comparison to his other GFs he says) or anyone. In fact it boiled down to him always saying he thinks i deserve more and someone who will treat me better and give me the things I want. But he doesn’t want to lose me, he still wants me as a girlfriend he says because he does love me. I also don’t want to lose him, he is the only one i have believed to be worth me giving the whole of myself to.

    I don’t care about his condition I can cope with it, it is nothing compared to the other shitty things some people can dole out to you , after watching my siblings marriages. He is open minded and accepts me for who I am. He doesn’t expect me to be anything other than myself and we are both independent. But I feel selfish now having put him under so much pressure with him still trying ot get himself back on his feet with me even saying i’d like the kids brought up Muslim as its the only way i know and I’d welcome his catholic input if he even wanted to since he’s practically agnostic.

    We are now 2 weeks into a 3 week break. I had to cajole this out of him, because he didn’t know what he needed to make his mind up. I suggested me not being in his face would give him space to breathe and think seriously about what he wanted, because I am not running a 1 woman ban here and need his input in this life changing decision.

    I told him I wouldn’t call or txt until he did (he’s always been a bit lacking for a while now where as he always used to txt me goodnight every night). He texted the first weekend to let me know he was ok, and we talked once by chance as we attend the same club, he asked me how i was coping and how I felt if it ended, but still didn’t have a concrete decision. He seems to be leaning towards just walking away.

    I’ve now cried myself to sleep every night for 2 weeks on the trot. I have no idea what is going to happen but I am trying to prepare myself for the worst.

    I am still trying to decipher if I should be allowing him time to get himself back together and helping him through it and then see where we stand after that?

    I apologise profusely for the essay, I've tried to put it in some sort of order and hope it makes sense.

    Thankyou so much in advance for your time to even read through this and pass your comments.


  • profile image

    BeingH 6 years ago

    4 years together, we are in our mid thirties and forties.

    We dont live together, I've been there before and now won't do it till I am married. I started off cautiously not broaching the subject till at least a year in and until I was sure of course that it was him I wanted. I asked if we were going in the same direction of eventual marriage and kids and he said yes. 2-3 years later, he has changed his mind. Then changed it back and back again.

    He has GA and is going through a rough patch since a close family bereavement and just keeps saying I don’t know. Now he has admitted his fear of not being able to look after me and the kids or just simply cope. I don’t expect him to. I’m an independent woman; I can look after myself and obviously share the looking after of the kids. I’ve been with him long enough to understand his ups and downs and accept them all, but what now? Him being constantly unsure is now putting doubts in my mind and I was staunchly set on spending the rest of my life with him. He can’t even say no. I can accept a no if that is what he feels and move on, but he can’t say either way. I'm now extremely jaded and just feel lost. Now what?

  • profile image

    Blondie 6 years ago

    Hi Everyone.... Well I kinda feel like punching myself for the whole situation i am in now. I would just like to know other people's thoughts and ideas and solutions.

    I am currently 24 years old and about a year and a half ago I starting my guy. I started the relationship with a casual outlook on the relationship. He on the other hand was the opposite. He couldn't get enough of me! He moved pretty fast (faster than i was prepared to) and he even told me that he loved me after about 3 weeks of dating - Yeah, I know, weird right? After we dated for 6 months he starting talking about getting married. I was really keen on the idea at the time and i didn't tell him that I wasn't keen so I just kinda went with the flow. He told me I should start looking at engagement rings and tell him what i like. I found the perfect little ring and got super excited about the idea to be with him forever and getting married. I showed him the picture of the ring and the next day he got a quotation. That was the last day that he ever mentioned anything about getting married.

    Last week a whole year has passed since that day and nothing has happened. It has bugged me for a while that nothing has happened and that he has felt so strong a year ago and now NOTHING. As luck would have it last week was also the time when one of his best friends decided to get engaged to a girl I hate (Prob of my jealousy). I just freaked out! And then I did the worse thing ever and i confronted him about it asking him what the F@*K is going on? It turned into a huge fight and now i am the whiny little gf that wants to get married to him (urgh). I hate feeling this desperate as I see myself as a very independant woman. He told me that he me with his whole heart and that marriage will follow in due time and that i shouldn't worry. That ofcourse made me worry even more cause it is EXTREMELY vague and I would just like to know where i fit into his life plan. And now I have this overwelming fear of losing him because of this...

    Why would he come on so strong wanting to get married and then a year later there is nothing?

    Sorry for my rambling but I had to get it of my chest...

  • profile image

    binot2ee 6 years ago

    Dear Veronica

    I have been with my boyfriend now for more than 7 year. When I 1st met him I found out 4 month into the relationship that I was pregnant and that he was married. He told that it was just for the money ....We had our ups and downs . And finally after 7 years and 3 kids later he devorced his wife. Past feb. he proposed to me. Well.. what can I say. Last November I followed him to his new duty station with all the kids and gave up my life for him. But now he keep on tellin me that we should wait with marriege. he said I am to bossy and I needed to change. Than he has days again where hes like lets just get married and 2 h later hes telling me never mind. What should I do??

  • profile image

    Nicole 7 years ago

    I have been in a relationship for almost 11 years and we have an 8 year old daughter together. I am 8 years older than him and because of the age gap, until recently, I have'nt pushed the need for marriage.

    I love my boyfriend very much. It has been an unconditional love as he has put my love through many tests. I have always fought to keep the relationship going and at times when I felt like walking away, he would want me to stay.

    He is not expressive when it comes to showing love, but then I think I may be asking for too much. Not everybody is the same and we shouldn't compare partners.

    With regards to marriage...he has never proposed to me,, but in conversation on the topic he has let me know that the thing that puts him off marraige is the traditional wearing of suits and speaches and dances etc. I told him that a formal wedding is not what I wanted either, so we agreed to a beach wedding with only a handful of close friends and family and very casual wear. No wedding reception, just a celebration dinner.

    He doesn't like the all eyes on him scene.

    The problem is...while I am planning this intimate wedding and getting all quietly excited...I over read a conversation between him and an ex female work collegue who I had issues with a year ago. She constantly made contact with him and he re-assured me that although they were friends and she did have feelings for him, the feelings were'nt mutual and I had nothing to worry about. Now, a year later, they are not working together but still chat on Skype and the history of conversations that I read were heart shattering. He told her that I proposed to him and that he is forced into marrying me. The conversation was also sexual, but I could tell from what was being said that they had not seen one another in person since they worked together, over a year ago.

    When I confronted him, he said it was stupid of him and it meant nothing...he does love me and he does want to marry me.

    Do I put this down to online flirting? Feeding his ego in a "safe" environment?

    I told him that if he is telling me this from his heart, then I will forgive him and put this behind me.

    I am not the kind of person to go on about an issue if I have forgiven the person.

    I must say, as much as I want to also forget...the words I read keep popping into my mind and it feels like a knife going into my heart. I suppose I have to see if his actions speak as loud as his words. He said he has told the "friend" that they can no longer be in contact and I have to trust that he will do just that.

    There are many reasons why I want to get married. Firstly and most importantly, I love him, we have a daughter together, I have been building a christian relationship with God and no longer want to live in sin and I want our relationship to be blessed. I beleive in the commitment of marriage.

  • profile image

    harini 7 years ago

    hi iam harini... as it is my first love i wann to get married to my first love only... since it ill be difficult to forget my love..... im confused alot plzzzzzz.... help me out....

    i and bf r in relationship for an year... i love him alot....... when i talk about marriage he tells he does not wann to get married so early.. even i dunn wann to get married so early ... but i wann hopes n trust from his side which he is not giving ....even he loves me so much ...wat im confused is he loves me... but how can he tell if any proposal comes to me he tells me to marry another guy ...which hurts alot n im distressed alot... i can wait for him till the end of my life but will he marry me ... wat if he tells he does not wann to marry me even after waiting .... i still love him so so so so much... yesterday we fought about this matter... and im worried alot... i dunn wann to miss him.....

  • profile image

    llaura82 7 years ago

    Thanks Veronica for your thoughts!!! you're right... I don't know what to think because sometimes I think his "marriage as a joke" could hide a real intention.. and also because when we're together he's super sweet.. but again I have these dual thoughts 1) either I have to accept him this way or 2) he's really not into a relationship because he seems to be the most egocentric soul in this world!

  • Veronica profile image

    Veronica 7 years ago from NY


    I'm not sure why you don't know what to think. He's painfully clear. He says it in his words, and he proves it in his deeds. He doesn't want to get married and he makes no effort to spend time with you or get to know your world.

    You said it's hard to tell why someone may want to get married. Why do you want to get married, and more importantly, why do you want to marry someone who is very clearly telling you in word and deed that they don't want to marry you?

  • profile image

    llaura82 7 years ago

    dear Veronica,

    I couldn't agree with you more on this but sometimes it's hard to tell why you want to get married. In my case, I've been on a 2 year relationship with this boy who lives 5 hours away from my city. We are both foreigners working/studying in the US. I have been to his country twice, met his family and so did he (once). I am the one travelling every weekend to see him. When he gets his summer break at grad school he doesn't hesitate to spend 3 months in his country. This time I took a break from work and visited him for 10 days (always me!). I had a good time with him but I sort of pissed because he didn't even get me to know the city...he even picked me up at the airport with his buddies!

    As i am tired of the travelling situation and being far all the time i asked him about his thoughts of marriage. he said he is not ready, but that we could get married "as a joke' in order to live together ("as a joke" means having the papers but still say we are in a bf/gf relationship..)

    I don't know what to think...i'm 28 he's 29 and i don't want to be travelling to see him for the rest of my life!

  • Veronica profile image

    Veronica 7 years ago from NY


    You said a very powerful thing - "I'm afraid if I stay with him I'm settling," You should never be with someone you think is settlement. Whether he is or not is besides the point. If you feel you would be settling, then this is the wrong relationship for you.

  • profile image

    Atty 7 years ago

    I would really love ot hear a comment to this.

  • profile image

    Emy 7 years ago

    aw mann im in kinda the same situation except i dont love him..

  • profile image

    Liata 8 years ago

    I just turne 32 and have been living with my boyfriend for 1 year(although he has been a friend of the family's for over 8 years). There are some things I don't love about him, but nobody is perfect and it seems like all of the important things are there. He is really a good person, hardworking, honest, generous, carring, affectionate..... Throughout our relationship I have gone back and forth a few times but 5 months ago I got pregnant and everything changed for me. I was sure that we would be great together, I knew we could work anything out, and I felt very much in love with him. Unfortunately 2 months later I miscarried. I went through a very rough month emotionally, but have come out on the other side. After the loss I was ready to pick up where we left off and try again, but we decided to wait 3 months as the doctors recommended. 3 months have past and no he has changed his mind and wants to wait. He started out by saying 8 months to a year then after some discussion he said maybe 6 months. After our last talk he said 3 more months, but I just get the feeling he's not ready, doesn't know when he will be, and is just trying to buy himself more time. He says he wants to et married in maybe 1 to 3 years and all of this is just making me rethink the whole situation. I was so sure I wanted to be with him, but lately I feel like I'm just focusing on the things I don't like about him and am even wondering if he's what I want at all. Like I said I'm 32 and I do feel the clock ticking. I'm a very communicative person, he prefers to avoid conflict by not talking. I like to make plans and get things done, he likes to live day by day. I'm afraid if I stay with him I'm settling, but if I leave I'm letting go of a really good man. I feel like I can't talk to my friends or family because they all know and love him.

  • Veronica profile image

    Veronica 9 years ago from NY

    What you are doing right now is needy. The thought that you don't understand that standing up for yourself and ending this situation is the opposite of needy, really proves that you need to break this off. Move out. Sell the house. GO.

  • profile image

    SadEyez 9 years ago

    How do I do that without seeming pushy and needy?

  • Veronica profile image

    Veronica 9 years ago from NY


    Everyday you are there with him you are reinforcing that it's ok that he doesn't want to get married. He gave you a goal of "when he gets a better job." He broke that agreement. He knows he can get away with breaking agreements and with not marrying you, because you are letting him. IF you really do want to get married, you have to get out of this current arrangement with him.

  • profile image

    SadEyez 9 years ago


    My boyfriend and I have been together 3 and a half years. We have lived together for over a year and bought our own house. I want to get married and he keeps saying he is not ready yet. He also says he wants to get a better job before we get married. Well he got a better job and still says he is not ready to get married. I'm gettin frustrated but I do really love him. What do I do?

  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

    Very sensible reply - I agree with everything you said about mutual respect, there.

  • profile image

    PradazPurdy 9 years ago

    Absolutely WONDERFUL advice, once again, Veronica! You're truly an amazing person & I love ya for it! :)

  • Veronica profile image

    Veronica 9 years ago from NY


    The most important thing is that you are doing what you choose to do, living how you want to live. It's fantastic that you are consciously aware of NOT projecting someone else's values onto your boyfriend.

    You do not need people in your life that put you down, knock your values, or call you a sinner. That's such bullshit. You say you're irritated every time you speak with your father. You're expected to show him respect even though he shows you none.

    Personally, I wouldn't allow it. I would tell my father in no uncertain terms his blatant disrespect for me and my decisions is hurtful and I will not put up with it. He is not welcome in my home if he is only going to spend the time judging and accusing. And he is not welcome in my life until he can treat me with respect. Period. Take it or leave it.

    You have a healthy grasp of the situation. Please continue to keep that focus. Do not let ANYONE judge you or make you feel uneeded pressure like that. I don't care who they are, if they can't show you respect they need to be pushed out until they can behave better toward you.

  • Pchelka profile image

    Pchelka 9 years ago

    How does a girl relieve her family's pressure on her to get married? I am perfectly happy being with my boyfriend as we are. What else can i do but tell my parents this is my life, I am paying my way and I will make the decissions in it while they continue saying I am living in"sin"? This unnedded pressure is really getting to me, and the last thing I want is to project it onto my boyfriend, but i am irritated every time I speak with my father.

  • profile image

    Billy 10 years ago

    Veronica I think alot of the time you write what everyone knows is true but they are afraid to admit even to themselves. You write the truth.

  • Veronica profile image

    Veronica 10 years ago from NY

    You're right Isabella. Thanks as always for commenting.

  • Isabella Snow profile image

    Isabella Snow 10 years ago

    Yeah the ultimatum thing is usually a bad sign. If he really wanted to marry you, he'd have proposed by now.