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Updated 07 July 2010

10 bad reasons to get married

Are you buckling under the pressure to get married? Will anyone do at this stage? Don't sell yourself short. Look at these ten bad reasons to get married.

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Can't believe they're getting married? And everyone is wondering why. Sometimes people do get married for strange reasons and sometimes they have very good reasons why they choose a particular person.

Are you buckling under the pressure to get married? Will anyone do at this stage? Don't sell yourself short. Look at these ten bad reasons to get married.

But is marriage a legalised form of prostitution, as has been alleged in the past? For some women, marriage may be the only way to survive physically. This is particularly true in very ultra-conservative religious communities, where women are often not allowed to work, and where the lot of widows is to sometimes starve.

But there are supposed to be more choices in our society. Or are there?

When are you not marrying for the right reasons?

Marrying for money only. If the person you love happens to have money, well, bully for you. And it might not be a wise thing to marry someone who is completely penniless and who has no intention to ever make a contribution to household expenses. Unless you enjoy working 18 hours a day to keep things going. But purely marrying for money, regardless of your feelings for a person, is nearly always a mistake. Then at least compromise, if you really feel that desperate, and try to find a rich person you enjoy being with.

Shotgun wedding. Fifty years ago, you would have had little choice to get married under these circumstances. But these days you don't have to. Unless you particularly like the person and can see yourself spending forty years with him or her, don't go down that road. Paternity tests and maintenance payments can go a long way to helping to raise the child. Don't get forced into a decision that may bring you long-term heartbreak. If you are unsure, wait until after the baby is born and then make a sober decision.

Wanting to leave your parental home. If things at home are grim, and marriage provides a way out, it is not surprising that many people take this way out. But it is often a route that takes you out of the frying pan into the fire. It's probably less painful to stick it out at home for a year or two longer than to get hitched to the first person who asks you who might really irk you a year or two down the line.

Your parents like the person. It is wonderful if your parents really like your future spouse. But their liking of this person is not enough reason for you to consider marriage. Years after they are dead and gone, you will still be stuck with the person of their dreams, who might not be the person of your dreams.

Sheer habit of a long relationship. If a couple has been living together for years and sort of drift into marriage, it could still work. But where sheer force of habit gets dangerous, is where a couple, who have already married and divorced, decide to give it a second bash. If it didn't work the first time round, it's not going to work the second time round.

Wanting children. Right, wanting kids is a strong driving force for many people. But would you want to bring those kids up in a situation that was less than ideal? Point is, when the kids are gone, you're still stuck with this person. No one's perfect, but at least get a mother or father for your children that you can like and respect. Otherwise consider other options, such as single parenthood, or becoming a foster parent.

Marrying someone with whom you've had an affair. There are cases in which this can work, but generally this is not a good basis for a long-term relationship. Conducting an affair is a very different kettle of fish to keeping a marriage going. And, what's more, if you think about it, one person gets a spouse who was prepared to cheat on their previous spouse, and the other one gets someone who didn't hesitate to make a pass at someone else's spouse. Not a very good basis for a long-term relationship, because someone who will cheat with you, will most likely cheat on you, given the right circumstances.

Needing a father/mother for your child. If you get the right person, congratulations. But if you hesitate, don't do this. It is worse for your child to have a horrible stepfather or stepmother, than it is to have only one parent, who is good to them.

To prove you're not gay. This is never a good idea, because if your friends suspect you're gay, getting married will not make them stop thinking that. And what's more, you may now be involving someone else's life in your quest to prove something to the world. If you're gay, getting married is not going to change that. All that will change, is that you will now be a gay, married man or woman. Sort out your sexual identity and learn to live with it. This is not the fourteenth century anymore – you will not be hang, drawn and quartered in the town square.

Social pressure. All your friends are getting married – in fact, one or two of them are divorced already. So be it. Ignore the aunties who ask you when you're getting married. You're better off alone than with someone who makes you miserable. Don't lower your standards simply because you want to be married. Remember, 40 years is a long time to feel irritated. - (Susan Erasmus, Health24)

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