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Why Do People Get Married?
For love? Yes. But also for...
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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This week’s newsletter theme is all about why people get married.
I know you’re thinking - duhhhh Jen! People get married because they are in love.
But that’s just a reason.
Most people get married for REASON(S).
So let’s break those down.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with an expert who will share what reasons make for a solid marriage and what reasons mean your marriage might get murky down the road.
I ask everyone the same question.
I’ve worked hundreds of weddings as a hired bridesmaid for strangers and I always ask my new clients the same question.
I don’t ask how they met their partner (though I am curious and I aways find out later).
I ask why they are getting married.
Why? Why? Why?
It’s a question I adore because it’s taught me everything I ever wanted to know about love, relationships, and marriage.
People get married for a list of reasons.
Most of those reasons are the same - but there’s ALWAYS one, or five, that are very unique and unusual. If a person opens up to you enough, those reasons eventually soar into the conversation.
Love, money, and because I’m just ready to settle down.
Love, connection, and because this person just makes sense.
Love, security, and because marrying this person means I’ll never have to work again.
Love, values, and because my parents really like them.
Love (sort of), money, and because they really want to get married.
Love, companionship, and because getting married is something I want - they don’t, I do.
You get it.
Love, ___, and because _______________.
If I’m being really utterly honest with you, I had trouble even filling in my own blanks before I got married.
I love Adam and spending the rest of my life with him would be the most extraordinary gift.
But did we need to get married to do that?
I wrestled with whether marriage meant anything to me. I wondered if I had reasons that justified signing on the dotted line of some legal document that bind our lives together.
I sometimes still wrestle with those questions (that’s why I am grateful for this newsletter).
& it’s also why I’ve always been obsessed with hearing why people decide to tie the knot.
Why do people get married?
People get married for their own reasons and I never judge any of those reasons.
I’ve had clients look me in the eye and say they are 100% not getting married for love. I had one person tell me she’s getting married because she needs someone to care for her kid and she does not want to be a single mom. I had another woman tell me she was marrying a man who she knows is gay. Her reason? Well, it was complicated.
Some of my clients have said they got married for “tax reasons”.
Some of my clients said they got married for health insurance.
Some of my clients had to get married because they were marrying someone who wasn’t a US citizen.
Some of my clients got married because they wanted to have children and they believed married was the first step to take.
Some of my clients got married because they wanted their parents to stop asking them when they’d get married.
Some of my clients got married because they could not live together before they were legally a couple.
Some of my clients got married because they were bored.
Some of my clients got married because why not? That’s what people do.
88% of people get married for love.
Some get married for financial reasons:
A married couple can take advantage of tax breaks associated with marriage.
The legal commitment of a marriage may offer financial security if the couple chooses to have children.
Couples can enjoy financial benefits with regard to communal property, inheritances, retirement accounts, and other financial matters.
Of course you can have a kid without being married but 41% of people get married to have children.
About 30% of couples also choose to get married for religious reasons
23% of people get married for legal reasons:
If a couple is legally married, they can invoke hospital visitation rights and caregiver decisions with fewer bureaucratic roadblocks.
Parental and property rights are also easier to manage legally when a couple is married, including issues such as employment sick leave, next of kin, and home ownership.
In some cases, citizenship can also play a role in the decision to marry.
Other people get married and don’t have an obvious list of reasons and when you ask them the question of “why are you getting married?” they don’t have a response.
I fall into that category.
Which makes me wonder:
Are there some reasons that propel you toward the odds of having a stronger marriage? Are there some reasons that make getting married a giant red flag?
I’ll be back Wednesdays with answers to those questions from an expert.
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
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