While I proffer my heartfelt congratulations to happily married couples, I cannot help but feel that they are the exception rather than the norm. I’ve stumbled across various unhappily married couples who bemoan their current state of matrimony as though they had not entered it willingly while in full possession of their wits.

Upon further inquiry and through the course of a few years, I have stumbled across various reasons–ranging from strange to downright sad–which they have claimed to have for entering wedlock. As these are all reasons stated after the fact, one cannot really attest or fully put faith in the veracity of their claims–except for the fact that they believe it to be so presently.

Considering the fact that mere humans like us tend to be inconsistent beings and it would not be hard to imagine that these reasons would not have even be mentioned prior to the wedding–had we possessed a time machine to travel back and interview them on that day. However, if it applies, may these various “reasons” for marrying someone stand as beacon of caution and/or awareness for others.

1. Money, Wealth, Riches, Status, Fame

This is often denied but secretly admitted, stated or viewed as the easiest way out or up the social ladder or at the very least the “material” ladder.

Money, money, money!

It can only then be hoped that the “star” one has hitched one’s wagon to is indeed a high flyer and won’t let us down in any way, shape, or form when circumstances, feelings, or their minds change.

2. Time (Or Lack Thereof) aka the Expiration Date Panic Syndrome

Tick tock… tick tock…This also encompasses the “Biological Clock Panic” which used to only apply to women, but as many things are ceasing to be the sole domain of only one gender (except perhaps getting pregnant), this internal clock alarm seems to apply to both men and women who for whatever reason feel that time is running out.

Further justified or unjustified reasons as to why people may feel this way would undoubtedly be rich fodder for shrinks and counsellors and probably might be worth writing another blog post about…

However, we shall not go into detail here except to mention that once the internal “time bomb” starts ticking signaling the real or imagined “used by” date…It propels many people to jump unto the marriage bandwagon in a flurry unmatched by people fleeing a burning building.

3. Lust

Let’s get real here… there’s something about physical appearances and magnetic attraction which really entices and captures us until we are so intoxicated that we mistake it all for another four letter word which starts with L… and this leads us to believe that what we have will last forever.

Well-chiseled faces and a beautifully sculpted bodies certainly have undeniable appeal… Now add those with a dash of pheromones and we have a lethal cocktail which may impede our better judgements from seeing the light.

There’s something to be said about good chemistry but there needs to be something more substantial underneath all the physical compatibility for a marriage to work out.

4. Escape or The Emergency Exit Syndrome

It is also not uncommon that the matrimonial bandwagon serves as an emergency exit by someone who is looking to leave a perceived or real undesirable social, psychological, physical, or emotional situation.

The marriage partner is then seen as the savior, solution or “knight in shining armor”–and it’s all well and good, if this perception is indeed founded on reality… However in some instances, these partnerships fall apart at the seams when the harsh light of reality dawns upon the couples.

5. Broken Heart aka On the Rebound

After a relationship gone wrong, acquiring another relationship on the rebound is a bad idea… however, there are some people who go the extra length to make an even bigger mistake by getting married to someone else who is either available or “loves them more” or who simply proposed.  It cannot be said too many times that getting married to escape heartbreak is a recipe for disaster in more ways than one.

6. Desperation

Another unhealthy reason for getting married is desperation: the feeling that one has “missed the bus” and would hop on to the next bus or mode of transportation which comes along. In other words, one simply accepts the next offer of marriage which comes along because one does not want to be alone in any way, shape, or form.

7. Social or Familial Pressure

In some societies or families, more than others, adults need to be married otherwise, it is perceived that there is something wrong with them. This then leads a lot of people who are not suitable to be married psychologically, mentally, or emotionally or people who are not ready to be married to hop aboard the marriage express simply to fit in or to show that there is nothing wrong with them–that someone is willing to marry them.  Hindsight would always say that succumbing to social/familial/peer pressure is more trouble than it’s worth further down the line. Get a clue.

8. Boredom and Loneliness

Sometimes, nothing is happening in one’s life and one is so bored and/or lonely that one wants to “shake things up.” Instead of getting a new hobby or pet or relationship, one decides to get into a permanent legal entanglement by acquiring a new husband/wife. Unless one is really lucky and manages to circumvent the probable odds of finding the perfect marriage partner through this method, the harsh light of time soon will show that planning a road trip with friends or taking a vacation somewhere might have been a better solution with coping with boredom and/or loneliness.

9. Settling/Resignation/Giving Up

Sometimes one gets tired of waiting or believing that soul mates exist and that their one true love is just around the corner so one gives up the search/fight and just resigns themselves to the next available warm body who offers a permanent attachment. This is of course another method of gambling one’s life away, and one can only hope that resigning to fate and taking the chance would pay off and lead to some form or semblance of happiness.  Some people do really luck out, but of course, they are more the exception than the rule.

10. Fear of the Unknown

Facing life alone indefinitely or being alone indefinitely scares people as though the state of single blessedness is akin to going into the woods alone and not knowing what one will encounter… after all, when we look around, most people who are vocal about getting married and how lovely it is to get married, are people who have gone down that predictable road whether the results have been preferable or not. Facing life as a single person becomes to much to bear that one gets gripped by the fear and dials it up as time passes.  This is when some people lower their standards and expectations and decide that someone–anyone, really–would do.  Whether it is the right decision, time can only tell.

However it has to be said that marriage is so important that it can make or break a person. Getting married or doing things for the wrong reasons seldom results in true happiness.

(c) Niconica 2011*

* does not apply to all the images