I Got Married Because My Parents Started Charging Me Rent

People marry for many reasons that don’t include love. I was one of them.

Girl in front of her childhood bedroom as her parents hand reaches out for rent Billion Photos via Canva | SDI Productions via Canva | 74images via Canva

Ideally, couples get married because they love each other. However, there are many other reasons people decide to marry, and these reasons aren’t all based on romance.

Some people marry for love. Others marry for money.

There are people who get married because their culture or society demands it of them. Some people find themselves in an arranged marriage.


A woman may get married to avoid being seen as an "old maid." A man may get married to prevent being labeled a "confirmed bachelor."

Once you recognize not all marriages are born from romance, the possibilities are endless.

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As for me, I got married because my parents started charging me rent when I turned eighteen.

When my parents said they were going to charge me rent, I was furious. I didn’t see why I had to pay rent if I had a curfew. Surely those two things were mutually exclusive.


There was no way I’d write a check every month to pay rent if I also had to be home by 10 p.m. So instead of discussing this rationally with my parents, I planned my escape.

RELATED: The Brutal Truth About What It's Really Like To Get Married At 19

If I was going to pay rent, then I might as well be independent, I thought.

There was only one problem with that. I couldn’t afford to be independent. Fortunately, or so I thought, my boyfriend was in a similar situation.

His stepmother threw him out of his father’s house, and then his mother threw him out of her house. He had nowhere else to go.

I proposed we should pool our resources and rent an apartment under one condition. We needed to get married as soon as possible because my family didn’t believe in living together without the "benefit" of marriage.


My boyfriend agreed, and we rented a small basement apartment that we shared with cockroaches and noise pollution.

He moved into the apartment alone until after our wedding when I joined him and learned that paying rent to my parents while observing their 10 p.m. curfew was heaven compared to being married to the man I chose.

Rent at my parents' house also cost 80 percent less and came with full utilities, including cable television. My parents didn’t have any movie channels, but that was a small price to pay for peace and quiet.

RELATED: I Didn't Want To Marry My Husband — I Just Wanted To Be Married

I left my childhood home over a rent dispute to live with a man who was far more unpleasant than any curfew could ever be, and it was the biggest mistake of my life.


When I got divorced at the ripe old age of twenty-four, I moved back into my parent's home, where they no longer charged a rent requirement but still enforced an unreasonable curfew.

"If you don’t like it, then you can always move out," they said.

It was better than being married, so I accepted their terms and moved back into my childhood bedroom.


RELATED: 10 Things I Seriously Wish I Knew Before I Got Married At Age 20

Tracey Folly is a Boston-based writer, podcaster, and frequent contributor to YourTango. She’s had stories featured in Elephant Journal, Medium, NewsBreak, and YourTango, among others.