If You Say 'I Do' For 5 Reasons, Your Marriage May Be Doomed

You're getting married for the wrong reasons.

Last updated on Mar 14, 2024

Woman thinking of marriage Comstock Images, Dean Drobot | Canva 

Perhaps you've heard of the wildly popular book Start With Why by Simon Sinek. Although it's often found in the business section, Sinek’s message of starting with ‘why’ is highly transferable to any life situation and serves as a critical test to foreshadow the success or failure of your future marriage. So, okay. I'll ask you then — why do you want to get married?

You see, there are two main motivators for every choice we make in life — fear or love. Do you want to marry your partner to protect the union (fear), or to continue growing and flourishing together (love)? And it's important to know which of the two is fueling your walk down the aisle, because sadly, if you choose to say "I do" from a place of fear, your marriage is very likely doomed. Inspirational speaker and author Esther Hicks reminds us that "marriage" is one of the most dynamically loaded words in the English language, based on our motivation for entering into it. Basically why we choose to enter a committed union ultimately defines what marriage means to us.


A marriage motivated by fear is two people coming together to protect the relationship. Forming a partnership and padding it with promises that prevent bad things from happening to the relationship. A marriage motivated by love is two whole human beings deliberately choosing to be joined for the unfolding of a natural union. Two evolving beings changing and becoming their highest potential as both individuals and as a couple with the expectation of continuing this delicious relationship. Not sure which is motivating you? Well, here are five common fear-based whys that set marriage up to fail before it even starts.


RELATED: 5 Critical Things You And Your Partner Must Experience Together Before Getting Married

If you say "I do" for these 5 reasons, your marriage is doomed:

1. "If I don’t marry him, I might lose him."

Fear of abandonment: When you enter a marriage to seal the deal and lock him down so he won't leave you, chances are very high that one of you will eventually walk away. Your fear of abandonment will slide its way into your words and behavior, preventing a healthy life-long relationship from forming.



2. "If we're not married, he might cheat on me."

Fear of not being enough: Although marriage vows are meant to make a couple exclusive from that day forward, reality is often short of intention. The act of marriage will not protect you from outside relationships occurring. The only thing that can ensure exclusivity in a partnership is the strength of your connection. Marriage does not magically create a strong, intimate connection. Your commitment to continually nurturing and growing yourself and your partnership after you say "I do" is what protects your relationship and keeps it vital and strong.




RELATED: 10 Subtle Signs He's Nowhere Near Ready To Marry You

3. "My mother keeps bugging me to get married."

Fear of disappointing others: A successful marriage is about two people and only two people — you and your partner. Period. Sure, having friends and family around you for support is encouraged, but marriage is a sacred space for you and your partner. This begins with the decision to enter the union in the first place. Being motivated by fear of disappointing others often leads to an even bigger disappointment years down the road when you announce your separation. 

4. "My biological clock is ticking."

Fear of not being able to conceive: Having children is one of the most magnificent experiences life has to offer; however getting married just because you want to have children could very well end with your spouse becoming just your baby daddy. Also, considering the high rates of infertility, getting married does not guarantee your ability to conceive. Be sure to ask yourself this: If I had no intention of ever having children would I still choose to marry this person?


RELATED: If You Can't Answer These 6 Questions, You're In No Way Ready To Tie The Knot

5. "I want to say 'yes' to the dress."

Fear of missing out: FOMO! Your married friends each had their big party and pretty white dress and you want your fairytale moment in the spotlight, too. Stop for just a minute! Are you going to feel the same fear of missing out in 5-7 years when your friends start getting divorced? What if saying "yes" to the dress now leads to missing out on true, deep, passionate, forever love down the road? Look, fear is a very natural and normal part of being human. However, if it is part of why you're saying "I do," step back and gain more clarity. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a good coach or a counselor who can help ensure you are committing to forever from a place of love.

RELATED: 7 Critical Things To Know Before Getting Married


Diane Taylor is a professional speaker, facilitator, coach, and blogger. She is an expert in authentic leadership, change management, organizational development, human resources, women's empowerment, conscious life design, and relationships.