Tuesday, June 30, 2009

7 Wrong Reasons for Getting Married

My views on marriage are documented. While I think marriage as a legally or socially recognised relationship is redundant, marriage does make life easier for committed heterosexual couples, at least in India, and, I suspect, in most countries. (And that's the reason why I am married myself.)

Despite my cynical views on marriage, I often find myself taking the commitment of marriage very seriously. This is partly due to the fact that marriage carries exit costs (both in terms of legal and social repurcussions in case of a separation) and much more because of my belief that one's partner should be one's closest, dearest and most trusted friend. I would never advise you to stay in a marriage (or in any relationship for that matter) that you are unhappy in. The other side of the coin is I would ask you to be very careful while deciding whether to get married and not to enter into the relationship if you have the slightest doubt.

So here's my views on what are the wrong reasons for getting hitched.

Please don't get married because:
  • You are getting older. Marriage doesn't come with a use-before date.
  • You need sex. Get a lover. Better yet, learn to help yourself. And have some one-night stands.
  • Your relatives want you to get married. No, not even if they are hinting that your parents (or grandparents) are not getting younger or healthier and you should have a wedding while they're still around to see it. If you have to, buy a huge doll and stage a fake wedding so your parents can have fun.
  • You have younger siblings. Well, let them get married first. There's no law, I assure you.
  • You are lonely. Make friends. You can't expect your parents to keep doing everything for you. Seriously, this is a skill you should have picked up in kindergarten. (And if you find this difficult, you definitely aren't ready to take on marriage.)
  • You want to have children. (Seriously? Do you know how much work kids are? Oh well, okay.) Adopt a kid. If you need your own genes, have a kid with another single child-hungry friend and share custody. What if you do get married and then realise the two of you can't have children together?
  • You have been with your partner a long time. Have you ever heard of sunk costs? It doesn't matter how much time or effort you've put into your relationship. All that matters is whether the relationship is of value to you today.
So what are the right reasons for getting married? To my mind, there's just one: if you want to overwhelmingly be with someone else, if you want to spend most of every day with them, for the foreseeable future. (Better still, if you are already spending most of your time with them and want to make it easier to keep doing so.)

17 comments:

Sujeet Pillai said...

So Dowry, Rich Spouse and 'to legally have sex' are good reasons to get married? ;-)

Unmana said...

Hey, I did have a point about sex.

Marrying for money - that's a good one that I didn't cover. It's not any more frivolous than some of the others, is it?

ramblingsbybones said...

"You need sex. Get a lover. Better yet, learn to help yourself." - LOL

Good list...

Another point: don't get married because you are afraid to stay alone...

Unmana said...

Bones: I did touch on the loneliness part. Or did you mean afraid in physical security terms?

Get good locks. Tip the building watchman. Get a roommate if you have to. :-)

wordsndreamz said...

Great list!

A must read for anybody planning to get married :)

shilpadesh said...

Great list. Also agree with other commentators.....no marrying for money, security, VISA etc...

@lankr1ta said...

I love "use by" date reason!
Just remembered the joke about "At every wedding my ants would say, when will it be yours, I stopped them, at the next funeral when i said the same thing".

On the security thing, locks, watchman(and if he is a hunk,the sex thing could be taken care of!!!), and for lonely companionship get a dog or get jujitsu training.

I wonder why people marry for security, its like going to ballet classes to learn to speak English.

Unmana said...

wordsndreamz, shilpadesh: thanks.

@lankr1ta: LOL. All of these reasons (except the one right one) are like that, aren't they?

Aneela Z said...

arey unmana you forgot THE reason...NDTV Imagine wants a reality show on your hunt for a groom...agar aap may hai woh baat tau ley jaye mera haath!!

Unmana said...

Aneela: Ah yes. I slipped up there 'cos I don't watch NDTV Imagine.

Anyway, isn't that similar to marrying for money? You're making money out of your marriage!

NuttyNits said...

Another one - don marry someone thinking that you couldn't get a better match, rather think of a better match and then ask yourself if you still would marry the same person.

Unmana said...

Nits: Yes, but why do you need to get married at all, unless you're sure you want to be with that person?

dipali said...

My almost thirty, not yet married son also agreed with all you say here. And so do I:)

Unmana said...

Dipali: Thank you!

And may your son have a happy, full life, with lot of friends. May he find love when he is ready for it.

chicu said...

wow, unmana! meri muh ki baat cheen li- with the 'not' reasons, but also with the 'for'

starry eyed said...

Super post...perfect for a forwarding link to all my stalwart single friends and cousins. Thanks!

AS... said...

ROFL.. I guess more than 90% of the couples get married for one of the reasons mentioned above.