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Are You Marrying For The Right Reasons?
Here's my quiz to guide you through this minefield!
A recent survey finding that a third of people get married for reasons other than a deep and abiding love, e.g., for financial benefit or to buy a house reminded me of a client. She was an intelligent woman fed up with her stressful job as a high-flying marketing executive. Eleanor looked told me she'd found the right man to marry because he was happy to keep her in the style she was accustomed and she couldn't bear working long hours anymore. It was a pragmatic decision.
Was I shocked? Not really, I've heard all sorts of reasons why people get married and some were far more ruthless. I've also been privy to a variety of doubts people have before their wedding. If you’ve any concerns that you’re marrying for the wrong reasons take my quiz to point you in the right direction. Maybe that direction won't be up the aisle!
1/ Would you be completely honest with your partner about your reasons for marrying?
A/ Yes, my reasons are honourable
B/ For the most part
C/ No, best keep my reasons private
2/ Is there anything you’d like to change about your partner?
A/ Nothing, I accept them warts and all
B/ A couple things
C/ Lots of things
3/ What’s the main point of a wedding day?
A/ Sealing our love in front of loved ones
B/ Having a fun time
C/ Being centre of attention, receiving presents
4/ Getting married means -
A/ Building a life together
B/ Not being lonely
C/ Getting a new life
5/ How desperate are you to get married?
A/ Not desperate, just happy to
B/ A little desperate
C/ Will marry at any cost
6/ What's it been like planning the wedding together?
A/ A good experience, we've talked decisions through
B/ Fairly good, but stressful
C/ It's been hell
7/ How frequently do you think of being single or of an ex-love?
A/ Never crosses my mind
8/ Will getting married change your relationship?
A/ No, it won’t change things
B/ It might change
C/ Yes, for the better I hope
Mainly As - Marriage Made In Heaven!
You're getting married for the right reasons - because you love your partner, you accept who they are, and you want to share your lives. As you face the ups-and-downs of married life make sure you keep this emotionally healthy and realistic attitude.
Mainly Bs - Food For Thought!
Think through your answers and decide where your doubts or unrealistic expectations lie. Once identified use the advice below that applies.
Mainly Cs - Hold Your Horses!
You may be entering into marriage for the wrong reasons. Explore these five key points:
* Do you have unrealistic expectations like that a marriage certificate is a “magic” thing that can wipe away all your problems? Stop buying into the myth that getting married solves the problems you have in your life or relationship. Get realistic - your life will be the same unless you take action to make it better.
* Do you think your partner's going to change for the better once married? Marriage doesn’t change a man overnight. Instead make a list of what you'd like to change about him. Then make a list of what you'd like to change about yourself. Work on this list first! For example, maybe you'd like to be more assertive. And maybe you think he's too demanding. Learning to be more assertive means you can set your boundaries with him, solving both issues - his demanding-ness and you caving in.
*Do you hanker after the single life or an ex? It's quite normal to wonder what an ex is up to or what it’d be like being single again. It's abnormal to be constantly thinking about this so explore why. Is there something lacking in your partner? Or are you not ready to settle down? Think-in-ink - make a list of the pros and cons of life with your partner and life without. Be brutally honest.
* Are you lonely or frightened you’ll never meet anyone else? Many marry to keep loneliness at bay. Or they’re frightened no one else will "have them". Build your self-belief if that’s the case. The stronger it is, the more likely you'll marry for the right reasons. Remind yourself of your best attributes. Spend time doing the things you do well - increasing your self-worth.
* Do you think you've gone too far and can’t back out of the wedding now? It's never too late to back out if you don't want to go through with it. Your partner deserves someone who really loves them and wants to marry them. Tackle your serious concerns tactfully and lovingly. They deserve that! They may feel the same or have a solution. Even if they're angry or hurt it’s better to face that now than a divorce court a few months down the line.
Finally, you can always suggest postponing the wedding while you two work things through. It may create logistical problems but it's best to get this important decision right.
Published in The Express Newspaper
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