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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Marriage Series:Get Married and Stay Married for the right reasons.

Welcome to week three of the "How to Make Your Marriage Work," series.

Today we're exploring the reasons to get married and stay married. 

The more people I meet and talk with, the more I see a trend arising of people getting married or staying married for terrible reasons. Now before you try to burn me at the stake, let me first say that I am not an advocate for divorce, but I do believe there are circumstances that lend itself to a dissolution.

With that said, let's get started.



The other day, I found myself in the doctor's office doing a blood glucose screening. If you've ever participated in one of these, you know what a tedious process it can be. You're literally pumped up with sugar, starved, and drained of your blood supply for three hours. (Well not drained, but close to it). 

As I went through my testing, I noticed the nurse taking my blood glancing at my ring finger. (Something I've noticed happening increasingly from strangers as my belly gets bigger. Sheesh, society . . .) 

Anywhoo.

So as she stole my blood, she finally asked if I was married. I told her yes and she proceeded to ask me if I liked it. With all the excitement that I had left, I explained to her that I loved it but that it also had its ups and downs. When I finished, I asked if she were married and very depressingly she answered,

"I'm engaged."

Honestly, I was shocked at her answer. I had never heard a woman announce her engagement with such doom and gloom in her voice. It was like she had been sentenced to death. 

When I inquired about her lack of enthusiasm she explained that she didn't know if he was the right one. Her list included them arguing a lot, living together, him having multiple personalities, and just not being exactly what she wanted. To me, those were all quite the RED flags. We talked for a little longer and I recommended she take a class and really consider what type of commitment she was about to make. 

For her sake, I hope she took the advice but what about everyone else?

With the help of my mother, I compiled a list of the bad reasons you shouldn't get married. Here they are:

1. Your age 
(Just because your clock is ticking doesn't mean you need to grab the next guy you see).

2. Societal pressure
(Everyone thinks you should be married but what do you think and feel?)

3. Because your pregnant.
(Seriously, I know things happen but that doesn't mean you should get hitched to someone you don't love simply because you've become pregnant. Now if this man is willing to commit to you, love you, and build a life together, that's completely different).

4. Because everybody else is doing it.

5. Loneliness

6. Sexual desires

7. Because it seems like a good idea.
(Marriage is more than a good idea. It takes effort and commitment).

8. Because you want a "fairy-tale" wedding. 

9. You've been together forever.

10. You want someone to take care of you.

11. Because they "seem" nice.

12. They have money.

13. Because you live together.
(Um so? Sorry this is not a legitimate reason to get married. 
Move out and get your own place!)

Did I miss anything?

But what about if you're already married?

I know many women who stay married to men who aren't God's best for them for so many different reasons. I'm not talking about your run of the mill up and down marriages, I'm talking about the mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive ones. One's where the wife is completely neglected, cast off, and/or cheated on on a regular basis. I don't believe there's any logical explanation for a woman to be treated terribly no matter what her reasoning or justification may be in defense of it. If you fit into one of these descriptions, I hope and pray that you will find the strength to want better for yourself.

Here is the list we came up with for the bad reasons to stay married.

1. For the kids. 
(Chances are your kids can feel the unhappiness which will eventually wear off on them. They can feel the tension, fear, and disdain. I promise you, this will do more harm to your children than help. Believe me, I know personally).

2. Financial Support

3. Codependency
(Defined as unhealthy love and a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively care-taking ways that harm one's relationships and quality of life. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others).

4. Because you know nothing else and fear being alone.

5. You're convinced you can change him.

6. Religious beliefs 
(You feel like you'll be condemned to hell for getting a divorce).

7. For people's sake.
(You're worried about what everybody else will think or say).

8. To maintain a lifestyle.

9. Because he doesn't mean the things he says or does to harm you.

10. Because you feel like you couldn't or don't deserve anything better. 

I know this was a really heavy topic, but I hope and pray you will consider these lists before getting married or continuing to stay in an unhealthy marriage. 

Nothing is more important than you and your relationship with God, so please remember that when making these types of life altering decisions. 

Would you like to add to the lists or simply talk? 
Leave me a note 
or
Sound off below.