If You’re Contemplating Marriage

Published April 12, 1979. I’ve been reading an interesting little book lately written for those who are about to marry. Its authors are Wes Roberts and H. Norman Wright, and it is titled “Before You Say I Do.”

In their pre-marital manual, Roberts and Wright ask some interesting questions and give some insightful thoughts for those who are contemplating marriage in the near future.

The writers suggest there are many reasons and motivations for marriage. They ask you to examine yours. What will you receive out of marriage that you wouldn’t receive by remaining single? What would you be able to give in a martial relationship that would be difficult in any other?

On a separate piece of paper, list the reasons why you are going to marry the person you have chosen. Also indicate why you think your fiancé is marrying you. He or she should do the same. Then share your results with each other.

Many couples who are about to marry may be unaware that there are questionable and even unhealthy reasons to marry. Some of these included: 
  1. To spite or get back at your parents.
  2. Because of a negative self-image, thinking that marrying your fiancé will make you feel worthwhile and give meaning to your life.
  3. To be a therapist or counselor to your fiancé so you can help straighten him/her out.
  4. Fear of never marrying – you jump at the first and perhaps the only chance of marriage thus far in your life.
  5. Fear of independence.
  6. Marrying on the rebound – you were hurt in a former love relationship and to ease your hurt you immediately choose another.
  7. Fear of hurting the other person – you are afraid of what will happen to your fiancé if you break up, even though you know that marriage is not the answer.
  8. To escape an unhappy home or roommate situation. 
  9. Because you or your fiancée is pregnant.
  10. Because you need to have sexual relationships.
If one or more of these reasons for marriage appeared on either of your lists, talk it over. If there were several, you may want to delay your wedding until you want to marry for more positive reasons which include:
  1. Desire for companionship.
  2. To work together and fulfill your own and each other’s needs.
  3. To fulfill the sexual needs of both partners in an adult and mature way.
  4. To develop a love relationship which includes but is not limited to physical and romantic dimensions. 
  5. You both desire and anticipate having children.
  6. You both are committed to promoting the well-being of each other and your children “in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse,” from this time forward.
You and your fiancé are about to enter one of the most important stages of your lives – marriage. And marriage contains the unique potential to be a stepping stone, either up or down. As one person noted, “Marriage is the only game of chance in town where both players can either win or lose!”

Before you say, “I do,” think about it. Marriage is not kid stuff and playing house. Marriage is for adults.

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