Welcome to The First Years of Marriage Newsletter! We talk about the conversations, challenges, and changes that begin once the honeymoon ends. Advice from experts, mistakes from me (Jen Glantz), and things you’re going to want to know as you continue to ask yourself this question - “I’m married, so now what?”
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Rough Reasons to Get Married
After I wrote Monday’s newsletter, all about reasons why people get married, I told Adam that if we didn’t already say I DO, I might have said a big I DON’T to marriage.
“Is it a beautiful but pointless thing?” I asked him, in the middle of a Monday.
Adam exhaled, probably re-thinking his decision to say come over to my desk for an afternoon hello. This is what we both get for working and living in a 500 sq. ft. apartment.
“Why did you even want to get married?” I continued.
Adam’s head, eyes, and entire upper body did a twist that looked like it came from the newest viral TikTok dance.
“Because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“Did we need to get married to do that?”
“Marriage is a commitment of that.”
“Can’t we commit to doing that without marriage?” I pushed.
“Jen, I don’t know. I’m sure if you Google it, things will come up. Just search reasons why people get married.”
“YOU DID NOT JUST ASK ME TO GOOGLE SEARCH THE REASON WHY YOU DECIDED TO GET MARRIED TO ME?”
Silence floats in the air like a deflated balloon.
“Look, we got married for a lot of reasons and you can challenge that, but there’s a lot of reasons.”
I zip my mouth. Adam continues to ramble.
Finally, I thank him for engaging in this conversation and assure him my questions are not because I’m doubting our marriage but because I’m just genuinely fascinated by the question.
Are there right reasons and wrong reasons people get married?
The experts will tell you yes.
Let’s get some “not so good” reasons out of the way. I say that in quotations because honestly, I don’t judge ANYONE for any reason they decided to get married. AT ALL.
These are just some faulty reasons, according to experts.
Okay, let’s dive in.
Rough Reason #1: You Want to Change the Person
“Believing you can change your partner to be who you want them to be instead of accepting who they are indeed making for a very rocky and unsatisfying union,” says Montanile. “Believing that you can somehow magically change someone else to meet your expectations of how they should be/ act will always be met with disappointment.”
If you’re already married and realizing this person isn’t changing, Montanile has this tip:
“Instead, recognize that there are behaviors that can be changed over time and with some neutral help. If there is a lack of growth in some areas and your partner cannot commit to attaining growth by seeking help, the relationship may sour in due time.”
Rough Reason #2: You Think Lust Will Be Love
"Life-long love is very different from lust. You cannot build a relationship on lust – while fun, it's flighty and unsustainable. The passion you feel (and reciprocate) from your partner should not be confused with love. Passion without true love can create an off-balance sensation in a relationship, leaving both or either partner feeling confused and hurt. True love grows and deepens over time as will the passion you share, setting the stage for a stable, loving relationship.”
Let’s meet our expert: Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist
Rough Reason #3: Health Insurance
“If you are not committed in the relationship and there is no trust, but you just want health insurance, this is not a good reason to get married,” says Ziskind.
Rough Reason #4: Fights Will Stop
“Once you get married, your relationship and interactions will not change unless you seek marital counseling. A lot of people truly believe that once they tie the knot and get married, they will no longer have conflicts and life will be perfect. This is not the case and getting married will not make conflicts any less frustrating,” says Ziskind.
Rough Reason #5: People Convince You to Say Yes
“Another reason not to get married is because your parents tell you that you should marry that person. Your friends and family will always have their own opinions about who you should marry, but you should never marry someone because someone else is pressuring you to do so or it is culturally expected. When there is pressure to get married like a shotgun wedding, it often creates a very rocky foundation and divorce later on,” says Ziskind.
I can’t stop challenging the idea of marriage.
Mostly the reasons why people sign a legal document and kiss to their future together, when they could kiss to their future together without a legal document.
Adam told me he enjoys that I challenge things but still finds marriage to be important and beautiful.
I agree with him about the beautiful part.
And I agree with all of you for all the reasons you can and can’t think of as to why you decided to get married.
Because perhaps it’s not about having a long list of reasons.
Perhaps it’s about much more.
Something you don’t need an explanation for.
Love you (for as long as we both shall live),
Gosh, we’re trying to learn!
“Marriage is the Rubik's Cube of the 21st Century - something young people are fascinated with but have no idea how to do.”
― Stewart Stafford
Thanks for Reading This!
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