7 Times Marriage Is A Really Terrible Idea

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The 7 Times Marriage Is a Bad Idea
Love, Heartbreak

Marriage is something that takes a lot of commitment and re-commitment every day.

Love is a beautiful, intoxicating thing, and when it’s right, it can create a foundation for strong, flourishing marriages. While the idea of a perfect union is appealing for any number of reasons, rushing down the aisle can create a whole host of problems that sometimes love just can’t fix.

For some of us, knowing whether or not to take the leap isn’t as easy as blurting out a teary-eyed “OHMYGOD YES!!!!” when presented with a ring, and there’s nothing wrong with taking some extra time to figure out exactly what you want.

So, when is it not a good idea to get married? Here are seven instances in which it’s more than okay to say, “Not right now.”

1. You're hoping marriage will fix your problems.

Some delusional people still earnestly believe that getting married will somehow change what’s wrong in a relationship and make fundamental problems magically vanish. You guys, this is so counterintuitive it’s painful.

Getting married in hopes of changing your dynamic is a lot like setting fire to a crashing airplane; it makes not one bit of sense. Sure, marriage has a way of changing people over time, but you absolutely should not bank on those changes being positives in your favor, especially if you’ve started out with the unrealistic expectation that it’ll turn things around for you both.

2. You're pregnant.

Girl, come on. First of all, what year is this? Why are we still even considering shotgun weddings as a real solution in this day and age? Sure, some of them work out, but the majority don’t and with good reason; if staying married for the kids is a terrible thing to do for a family, getting married for a kid is even worse.

Look, you may genuinely love him and have no plans to break up after you have this baby, but it’s so important to wait until you’re absolutely positive you want to get married. Don’t let pregnancy hormones and the excitement of change convince you to make a decision you weren’t into beforehand. The last thing you need when becoming a new parent is a lot of doubt and regret about a wedding you’re waffling on.

3. You feel rushed.

If you’re going to be together forever, you’re going to be together forever, regardless of whether or not you’ve had a minister watch you sign some paperwork. No matter what anyone says, there’s no reason to rush such an important decision.

Many couples know that they’re meant to be within hours of meeting each other and sprint down the aisle, living happily ever after, and good for them. However, if you’re feeling like things are moving too fast for your comfort, NOW is the time to listen to your instincts and pump the brakes! You’ll get to the altar if you’re meant to!

4. You haven't lived near each other.

If your entire relationship has been long-distance, you’re living in a bit of a fantasy world that is going to be hard to quickly adapt into a marriage. Kick the tires a little before you make such a drastic change to your relationship.

I’m not saying you have to move in together right away, but do make sure your relationship hasn’t been working simply because your lives don’t overlap. You owe it to both of you to live in the same zip code, get a regular routine going, and see how life is when you aren’t constantly missing each other and playing catch-up during your time together before you make this permanent.

5. You're doing it just to please someone else.

When is it not a good idea to get married? When your family has a say in it. Many ignorant parents say that their kids “owe” them a wedding, but the only people in this marriage are you and your partner, so if you’re only thinking about getting married because you’re tired of being nagged by your family/friends/coworkers, you’re setting yourself up for failure as a couple. In doing so, not only are you putting aside what you really want for your life, but you’re giving those around you permission to continue making your major choices for you, which sets a terrible precedent for how you’ll conduct yourself in a lifelong partnership.

Do either of you really want to be in a marriage dictated by outside critics? I don’t care if you feel like you have to be “settled down” before someone you love dies or because everyone around you whines that they’re “tired of waiting”; you owe it to yourself and your spouse to tell everyone to can it so you can live your life with autonomy. Anyone who respects you will grant you that; anyone who doesn’t can see themselves to the door.  

6. You feel like you owe him.

When you love someone, that means wanting to prevent them from getting hurt, especially by your own actions. So it's natural to want to marry someone who has bent over backwards for you just to give him the happiness he deserves. However, if you don’t really want it and are mostly going through with it because you feel like you "should," you’re doing both of you a disservice.

While you may genuinely be in love with him and don’t want to hurt him by leaving, he deserves to marry someone who is sure she wants to marry him too. If you go through with a wedding as a means of “repaying” him, you’ll only find yourself questioning yourself for years following in a best case scenario — in the worst case, you’ll be slowly filled with resentment and regret. If he can’t be with you unless you want to get married, and you're not sure you want to marry him, it's time to cut him loose so you can both be happy. 

7. You're not sure but think "Why not?"

There's a quote that's been memed to death all over Pinterest that goes "Have you ever noticed that 'What the hell?' is always the right decision?" Not only is this line falsely attributed to Marilyn Monroe, but it's complete bullsh*t. "What the hell?" is not at all the right decision for a metric sh*tload of things, including but not limited to having babies, murder, heroin, and marriage.

While it's totally normal to be a little apprehensive about making such a monumental life change, if you're genuinely not sure it's for you, for the love of God, don't take the plunge. Marriage is something that takes a lot of commitment and re-commitment every day, and if your "Why not?" moment turns out to give you a solid answer, you've gotten yourself into a painful mess that's hard to leave behind even if you get it annulled. 

Still think you should get married? Check out the video below:


Liz Pardue-Schultz is a writer and activist based in North Carolina, where she overshares her bizarre journey through mental illness, recovery, parenting, and surviving Southern suburbia on her blog or anywhere she can get published. Her words have appeared in Huffington Post, Time.com, XOJane, Ravishly, ThoughtCatalog, and one time in the Letters to the Editor section of Playboy.