- You want to be taken care of . This is another common reason why people get married, and a wrong one at that. Both men and women do this even though they define the ‘care’ differently. However, at the core of marrying ‘to be taken care of’ is either a failure or unwillingness to take personal responsibility for one’s own life. Often these arrangements are characterised by large age, economic, social, spiritual and/or mental differences between the parties involved. Those who want to be taken care of Financially opt for marriage as a way out of poverty and thus turn their spouse into an ATM, instead of working hard for themselves. Those who are looking to be taken care of Emotionally latch on and become emotionally dependent on those they ‘love.’ Often smothering/suffocating them in the process. Those that fear decision making and being responsible for their own affairs quickly find someone who can be in charge and run their life for them while they remain a passenger or pursue fun things instead. Those who are shaky or non-commital in matters of faith find themselves ‘prayer warriors’ who will carry them on their back spiritually and so on. I’m sure you get the point. Marriage should be a union of two equals, or near equals who both have something to contribute to the relationship. Not a ‘rescuer’ and a ‘rescuee.’ Realize that the pressure to be one’s everything is too huge a burden to place on a fellow human being. Even though they may misguidedly even attempt to be this. Look to God and look to the helping hand that’s at the end of your own arm. What normally happens is when the rescuing is complete, or the capacity to ‘rescue’ is diminished, there will be nothing left to hold the marriage together. Consider the fact that bank accounts will not always stay filled, jobs aren’t always secure, health fails, emotions change, and all around life sometimes goes in directions we don’t anticipate. And if all your hopes and dreams lie in that one person, what happens when they die or they decide their happiness lies elsewhere? *gasp* A marriage built on materialism, co-dependency, escapism, lust or any other unhealthy foundation is like the famous house built on sand. When the wind blows, which it will, the marriage will definitely crumble. Best to examine yourself honestly and see what the real issue/need is and address that. Is it that you’re being lazy? Are you trying to live beyond your means? Do you need a maid to do your house chores? Do you need to grow a spine and own your life? The answer to these questions is definitely not a spouse but in taking personal responsibility and using the resources God’s already put in your hands to improve your life.
- You want sex/You had sex. Yes indeed, there are some people who are motivated to marry/get married because of sex. They reason that marriage will give them both easy access as well as a steady supply of this ‘drug.’ It truly is the epitome of selfishness to want to use someone as a tool for merely satisfying ones physical desires while not being genuinely interested in the rest of who they are as a person. While this reasoning is more common in men, it is not totally absent in women either. And still on the ladies, just because you consented to jumping in the sack with him either once or repeatedly doesn’t mean he consented, or is even thinking about marrying you, or that he should. Sad to say for some people this is merely a biological transaction, and you run the risk of it amounting to nothing more every time you jump into bed with someone who is not your spouse. Please come to terms with this reality and wisen up accordingly. And besides that, the heights of emotional euphoria aren’t exactly the time to be making permanent life changing decisions. Judgement is impaired and when normalcy returns you may wake up to the realization that you married a stranger. In my opinion, this is why the ‘Abstinence ili che’ chorus needs to be sung louder and louder. Not just to prevent HIV, Pregnancy and the like. But to also prevent the advent of premature bonding which brings about a false sense of closeness in a relationship. A closeness which under normal circumstances is supposed to develop over time, by sharing life experiences and interacting in varied situations. If your ‘relationship’ is not solid enough to stand on its own, and the only time feelings of affection arise is when there is sex, then it is not a relationship you should be in. Rather than heading to the bed, head to the door and wait for a relationship that satisfies you as a whole person, and not just one area of your life.
- You want to cover the ‘mistake’ of Pregnancy. Which is what pregnancy outside of wedlock is often referred to as. But you can’t correct one mistake by making another mistake. Folks reason that they are marrying for the sake of the child, but a loveless marriage will in no way enhance the happiness of the child. In fact, it may just raise them up to become dysfunctional in their own relationships from the poor example they will be seeing from their parents if their relationship is tumultuous. Yes, these arrangements do work out sometimes if the love was true and marriage was already on the cards. But folks shouldn’t head to the altar out of trying to ‘Do the right thing’ when someone falls pregnant. The ideal is that children be raised by both their parents, but sometimes this may not necessarily mean in the same home. At times it may be better to wait and find someone else who may truly be a father (or mother) to the child than settling for someone who just provided DNA while their heart was elsewhere. Do the ‘Right thing’ for that child, and for yourself. –
- The biological clock is ticking. This is a very difficult one to navigate especially for those who are approaching the latter years of their fertility and face the prospect of not having biological children of their own. In a culture where it is almost paramount that one bears a child, and full honor is sometimes withheld from even the married but childless couples until they transition to parenthood, this indeed is difficult. The trade-off is usually, ‘Do I settle for whoever comes my way as long as I get the chance to bear children?’ or ‘Do I continue to wait for the ‘Right’ person even as the prospects become more grim with each passing year?’ Try to look beyond yourself and consider the life of the child you are dying to bear, and the impact of having the wrong person involved in their lives as their parent, or no parent at all if things don’t pan out as planned. Remember that it is not just about you and fulfilling your desire to bear children right this instant, but the greater consideration should be what this decision will have on the child for the rest of their life.
- He or she loves you/They Asked you. While its important to marry someone who loves you, it is equally important that You love them just as much, before you commit to spending the rest of your life with them . Marriage is not a one way street where you will be the only recipient. The other person also has wants and needs that will need to be met, and this will be very difficult for you to pull off, if you do not love them. Even for the best of actors, there will be a point where you can’t just fake it. It is either you love them or you don’t, and marrying someone you do not love is not only unfair to them, but it is also unfair to you. Please don’t mistake yourself for a martyr and marry someone out of pity or some other unfortunate logic. The ending is never pretty. Secondly, this is mostly for the ladies, Don’t marry someone just because they asked you. A question normally has two answers. One in the positive and the other in the negative. While in the moment it is easy to get swept away and distracted by this proposal you’ve been dying to receive , but don’t lose focus of the life that will be lived on the other side of the ‘Yes.’ A proposal shouldn’t be accepted just because it is given. If its not in line with your purpose, passion, personality and pursuits then the answer should be No.
To be concluded…