Is Marriage For You? You Should Probably Ask Yourself These Questions First

In case you've been living under quite the giant sized rock, it will be of no surprise to you that the number of men and women getting married in this country has fallen dramatically over the last fifty years or so. With a vast societal and cultural shift happening, the costs of not only weddings, but marriages on the rise, and subsequent divorces skyrocketing, more of an acceptance of those out of wedlock both living together and having children, marriage seems less and less something people are doing these days, but for the ones considering taking this leap of faith, there are probably some questions you should deal with first before you decide to tie the knot.

1. Are you under the age of 25?

(Yes=read)(No=Go to number 2)

I know, right, you and your partner are so young and sexy and full of love for one another, and no one is going to tell you you can't make it work because you know everything...except maybe that divorce rates for individuals under the age of 25 are not the 40-50% of the rest of the populous of married people, but at a staggering 60%. If you haven't already guessed why, it's because you really are young and you really don't know everything.

When you're young you're still trying to figure stuff out, you're a lot of times financially unstable, you're busy with school/work/trying to establish yourself in the world which can take a whole lot of time, money, and patience for a partner and yourself, and you have a lot of opportunity to stray. It can be extremely problematic for one or both of you. It's not impossible for you to make it work, but you may want to seriously consider holding off a bit until you figure a few things out and establish yourselves more before you tie the knot. Going into a marriage where you already have so much on your plate can be tough, but if you're willing to weather the storm, you can be part of that 40%. Read on.

2. Are you still dealing with the traumatic divorce of your parents, your own divorce, or issues with an ex?

(Yes=read)(No=go to number 3)

You cannot go into your own new, or second, etc. time around marriage holding onto all the issues of your past or childhood trauma related to divorce. A lot of times people who have this type of baggage with them will use anything their partner does or does not do that to them even remotely resembles something that happened with an ex, or with their parents, as a reason to end their marriage "before they get hurt," or to sabotage their new relationship.

Saying you're over it, and actually being over it, are two different things. Take to heart someone that says I don't want to end up like my parents who got divorced or that they are still bitter over their ex, because their internal issues may spill over on to your relationship and potential marriage and manifest in so many different ways. This is not to say you can't be bitter over something an ex did, or not marry because your parents divorced, but if a partner doesn't seem like they can move forward or they treat you like an ex or constantly compare you negatively to an ex when things go wrong or you're fighting rather than focus on the here and now, you may want to hold off on giving or accepting that ring until they've dealt with their personal issues with their past. Read on.

3. Do you feel safe enough to be honest with your partner?

(I'm unsure=read)(Yes=go to number 4)

If you are in this moment afraid to tell your partner something about you now, or your past, or anything, really consider why that is and conversely if your partner seems to be holding on to something and closed off whenever you are speaking intimately to one another, there is a reason for that. This is a person you are about to spend the rest of your life with presumably and there are going to be so many times where its going to need to be you and them against the world having each others backs and supporting each other through tough times as well as the good, and that can't really happen if you're failing at being honest and failing at communicating with one another.

No couple is perfect at this, but consider if in the good times, you can't speak to them openly or vice versa, what happens when you're in the bad times and the sh*t hits the fan? If you're struggling with opening up, at least let your partner know why. It may be some trauma or issue that you need to work out before you can feel safe with them, and you do need to feel like you are safe with them and can trust them. Don't get married thinking that a ring is going to solve your communication and trust issues! Read on.

4. Are you being seriously pressured by your partner/parents/culture/society to get married?

(Yes=read)(No=go to number 5)

To clarify, your partner asking you on occasion if you want to get married, is not pressure. Pressure is when your partner (or others in your life) are relentless about it, or constantly making you feel bad or guilty for not proposing to you or for you not wanting to marry them. They may place a heavy burden of guilt on your shoulders often accompanied by statements like, "if you loved me, really and truly loved me, you'd marry me, not just wait around forever." "Or my parents were already married for 5 years at our age, and we should be doing the same now." Your partner shouldn't be doubting your love or comparing you to a couple who is not you in the first place. If you've expressed your own desires to wait or that you aren't sure yet, and your partner quickly dismisses or refuses to entertain your reasons why except to press for a ring or your hand, beware!

It can be hard especially if you truly do love each other to except that for whatever reason, your partner is not ready for marriage. You should not try to force or pressure someone or basically bully someone to walk down the isle for you because if they truly aren't ready, again a ring, isn't going to solve the problems that existed before the marriage. Feeling like, oh, I'm getting older and therefore I must get married now, or your parents wanting grandkids, or the sky falling...still not reasons to get married. This is YOUR life, and you need to be ready for you, not because a hundred other people tell you you're ready for marriage. Read on.

5. Are you pregnant/your girlfriend is pregnant/a random woman you had sex with that one time, pregnant?

(yes=read)(no=go to 6)

Yes, it still happens. No birth control was used, no condom was used, pregnancy happened and somehow a couple is surprised they're pregnant and decides the brilliant thing to do in this haze of bewilderment is to...get married? It's the makings of one prolonged afternoon special where Timmy and Le-anne learn that bad decisions are bad. A baby has never in the centuries that have existed on this earth, made any parent's life...easier.

Babies add a level of difficulty to a new marriage of factor 2,890,456. Add to that if you've never had kids before, you think you know, but you really have no idea what it's going to be like and if in those hectic crazy moments, if the only glue holding you together is the very thin smear of, we shared some DNA, it is going to be rough on you and it's only going to end in fighting, anger, and an inevitable divorce where now you have decide who gets the kid for Christmas. Being pregnant or getting someone pregnant should never be the actual reason you marry someone because that does not a marriage make. If you're in this predicament, deal with the new life that is coming first or at least know in your heart that you love the other person more than just that you're having a baby together before you tie the knot. Read on.

6. Do you get along with most of your partner's family?
(No=read)(Yes=go to 7)

This can be a real sore subject and a really tricky one if your partners family in particular does not approve of you, your lifestyle, or how you are as a couple. You'd like to think that this won't matter, but family is forever and his or her family may love them unconditionally, and s/he them, but you may be another story. That family dynamic can play heavily into your marriage and can affect it in so many ways especially on down the line when you have kids. One of my friends for example was thrown out, yes thrown out, of her husbands father's funeral because the family in their ongoing vicious hatred of her mainly due to their religious differences, did not consider her worthy of being there. Her husband did defend her, but she left out of respect to the father.

Stuff like this happens in families all the time and it can end very badly for those that constantly have to deal with added stress from family. You have to know if you can live with that level of crazy or that your partners family actually does love and respect you because you will have to deal with them and the dynamics can be sticky especially if your partner feels like they always have to choose between them and you and who will they defend and of course, you feel like it should always be you. If you love your partner and you know they have your back, you can, though extremely difficult, weather the storm, but it is something to definitely consider because the ramifications of an ongoing life long war with your partners family may not be something you want to have to deal with for the rest of your life. Read on.

7. Are you sexually compatible?

(we're struggling=read)(Yes=go to 8 )

Is a true relationship more than just the sex? Absolutely! Is sex important to a marriage. Absolutely! I've given this analogy a lot to people about clothing and sex. If you're in the dressing room trying something on and a sleeve is way too tight or the material is making you itch, what makes you think if you buy the item, suddenly just because you bought it, it's going to improve? Yeah, that's kind of the sex between you and your partner. Just because a set of rings are on your fingers, doesn't mean your sex life is going to go from bad or mediocre to good sex or the best sex of your life. If you're a virgin before marriage, just know that there is a risk that you may enter into a marriage where you aren't compatible and have many issues that will stem from that lack of knowledge. It's your choice obviously to hold on until the big day, but you do run a bit of a risk of it not working out or having to settle in that department.

If you're having pre-marrital sex and you find yourself consistently unsatisfied, as much as some people like to say sex isn't all that important, it very much is. Intimacy is not just in the mind, but it's very much in the body. You want to be able to enjoy your partner and them you and not constantly feel like something is missing or you or they have feelings of inadequacy. There are going to be a few off days here and there, happens to just about every couple, but off days should not be every single day. Deal with your intimacy issues up front before the marriage or evaluate if you can really live your life knowing you may never be able to be satisfied with your partner sexually. Read on.

8. Have you gotten technical with your partner (how many kids, where are we going to live, what's your religion, why do they hate cheese with a passion?)

(Yes=go to closing)(No=read)

Does your partner want you to become a Scientologist? I mean, have you asked them? One of the huge things that causes marital failure is that the basics of a conjoined life between you were never ever discussed. Before you tie the knot is the time to go through financial decisions, living arrangements, your religion, your political views, how many kids you do or do not want, if you're willing to relocate for your partner, their likes and dislikes, your schedules, everything. It helps if you live with the person before marriage because you can kind of see how you work together and live together as a unit and deal with all those little pings and pangs of having to share your life before you find out they have some sort of insane baseball collection that NEEDS to take up your entire bedroom or that they can't sleep without 5 fans blowing.

This is really where honesty and knowing what you want out of the marriage comes into play. It's not the time to lie and say you love cats when you have serious allergies, or that you do want kids, when you don't, or that you are financially sound, when you are actually thousands of dollars in debt. Lying won't help you or a potential marriage--but you can deal with your issues before you get into a marriage or work out a plan with your partner about how your future life can work. Read on.

In Closing

There are a lot of other factors and questions to ask and to consider when weighing your decision to get married or to stay single that aren't listed here, but the main gist is that you shouldn't be afraid to ask those deep questions, to talk openly with your partner about fears and past trauma, to truly understand why you do or don't want to get married. The biggest advice I can give is to ask those questions right here, and right now with your partner before you get into something legally binding, something financially binding, and something emotionally binding for all the wrong reasons, as opposed to discussing as much as you can with your partner and figuring out if your love is more than just a wedding day, or a pregnancy, misplaced lust, or something you feel pressured into doing.

BeeNee is a GirlsAskGuys Editor
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Most Helpful Guy

  • I have read this take by ~50% (to which are in my interests) but I am leaving this here for my brethren, as I personally have no opinion on it other than to never getting married.

    Ask yourself these questions (for men):
    - Do you want to get your freedom and liberty stripped and be legally chained to your partner?
    - Do you like the idea of divorce ripping your house and money (and children if any)?
    - Do you want the government's nose involved into your relationship?
    - Do you want an overpriced wedding with ceremony, that costs multi ten-thausands of dollars that lasts for a day or two?
    - Do you want to risk with 50% likelihood to get divorced and pay alimony (and child support)?
    - Do you want to be forced to be making more hard money at the toll of your own health and well being?
    - Do you like the idea, that your partner has the full control to potentially devastate your personal life on her command?

    If you answered yes to any of these, then marriage is totally for you!

    • @Unit1, AWESOME reality check for the Men!

    • Show All
    • @MagiAlphaOne Indeed. Women don't take risks, reason why they project many expectations into their men, and why they are driven by security. Men get married without taking in account that TO her the marriage revolves around her, so being goal-driven, or even if you spend a bit extra time working, or focusing on your hobbies instead of focusing on her, it will quickly turn into: "the relationship simply isn't working". Seen it many times before.

    • @MagiAlphaOne Men need NOT to marry! Period!
      Men and women do NOT need to get married to be happy. A marriage will not fix a relationship, that is going to end, it will only prolong it until they naturally separate anyway.
      Love does NOT need to be proven. It's there or it's not. There is no need for an explanation.

      They can if they want to but I don't.

Most Helpful Girl

  • I read a majority of this my take and I agree with everything. The only things I really paid attention to was number one because I am under 25, number two even though my parents are still together they have thought about divorce so many times I read it, and the closing. Really great my take more millennials should read this.


Join the discussion

What Guys Said 12

  • I'm going to offer a Man's perspective and have a WOMAN, Dr. Helen Smith, tell it like it is for Men, Marriage and MUCH more.

    - Men don't have rights in marriage. Women hold all the cards
    - Marriage costs too much. Don't want to be stuck paying alimony and child support.
    - Culture is telling men that you are no good.
    - The State has become the Husband
    - Men need to take more time to know a women before getting married
    - Red Flags. Women put up boundaries to men. Makes fun of men.
    - 50% of the time, women instigate the violence

    and finally, my take. Women are going to have to BRING MORE to the Marriage. Why?

    1. The divorce rate is 50%.
    2. Women initiate divorce 70% of the time. Women have little incentive to make their marriages work. Men usually bring more financial resources than women to marriages, and typically earn considerably more during the course of them, so when women decide to end their marriages, they often personally stand to gain financially.
    3. Domestic Violence. Men are 40% to 50% of the VICTIMS.
    4. False Domestic Violence charges. All it takes is a phone call from the police and the Husband is vacated from his own home.
    5. False Paternity. Women can legally put ANY MAN'S NAME on the Birth Certificate. The husband can then be held responsible for raising another Man's child.

    Ladies, you are willing to sign a prenuptial agreement?
    Are you willing to have you children DNA tested to prove to the Husband that he is the Father BEFORE the Birth Certificate is filed?
    How do you feel about him doing a Background Check on you? Hope you're not hiding anything from him.

    Women need to demonstrate that they have virtues, values and that they can be TRUSTED!

  • This is a very nice myTake. You cover some very important issues that I think are often overlooked or minimized. This is an excellent compliment to the myTake that I wrote about who should you marry:

    • Thank you so much for reading. I'll go drop by your take

  • According to this I guess I'm ready lmao.. but I will NEVER do it! Why would I give a woman a piece of paper saying she owns my ass? Then she stops putting in as much effort because she already owns you and the poor guy just sits there with a stupid look on his face wondering what happened. Keep it a civil union and you both have to work just as hard to remind each other daily why you are together. I would rather have to prove myself worthy every day than to wake up to complacency and taking each other for granted.

  • Fantastic mytake. Not all the parts relate to me but these are great things to think about. Yeah, I'm never getting married. I can't even imagine myself in that situation. I'm 26 and never had a girlfriend. My parents and grandparents know that but keep trying to encourage me to find a girlfriend, get married, and so on. I make up lame reasons why I don't want to. Can't reveal the truths to them. They make me feel bad about my decision. Maybe I should show this to them.

    • It's the same with kids. You do what's right for you. If you don't want them, don't have them. If you don't want to get married, stick to that, because at the end of the day, all those other people are no living your life for you and cannot determine your level of happiness in your own situation.

  • I'm never getting married even if my answers to these questions are all good.

  • so i was told to skip the article.

  • Great take. I'd probably my g/f in how many seemingly unimportant things I'll bring up before getting married.

  • if you have to ask yourself these questions you will end up talking yourself out of it. if you love them and want to marry them just pop the question.

    • LOL, That's basically the point! If you're in a relationship where these things don't even occur to you or aren't problems and you've skipped down the list as such, marriage might be fore you, but if you are say a young starry eyed kid convinced that you don't need to think about money, or how many kids you want, or you've never met your partners family... you might be in for some rude awakenings that can lead you down a slippery slope to divorce. No marriage is perfect, even if you go through this list, but you can at least get a better sense of what you're getting into prior to marriage.

  • Marriage belongs in a patriarchal society. There is no need for it anymore. Why do guys want to commit to just one women and deny themselves a lifetime of women? Makes no sense. You guys are crazy

  • You should have started by "Are you in relationship? If not then close this take."

    • No, the title is as it should be. You cannot marry someone that doesn't actually exist in your life. Anyone is free to ponder anything in this world on their own time like children, buying a house, or moving to another country, but until there is an opportunity or in this case, you are in a relationship where the question becomes a real tangible one, there are no hard and fast decisions to make that will permanently affect you. You're just thinking or dreaming about it.

    • I'm talking about the first question. When i read the title, i expected reasons like "Do you want children?" If yes that is a plus one, if not then that is a reason marriage isn't for you.

  • - Girl (Jessica) dates one of her 'good' male friends (Tim) for 40 days
    - Kept diary and blogged about experiment
    - End up having sex on day 25
    - Jessica meets another guy a month after 40 days of dating experiment and gets married
    - Tim attends the wedding

    That’s what New Yorkers Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman set out to do.

    In July 2013, the two good friends “with opposite relationship problems” found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days. And blogged about it.

    40 Days of Dating became a daily diary about their dating experience. Warner Bros bought the film rights to the story in 2013, and this month the graphic designer duo released a book about the experiment.

    “You’d think it would be me saying, ‘Let’s have sex’ from day one, but she wanted to have sex with me!” joked Tim.

    Jessica: “I said, ‘You know, we’ve dived head first into this, let’s just try it’. I think it was at day 25 we did it.”

    And just one month after the experiment ended, Jessica met the man who is now her husband. They got married last month.

    “I told him about what Tim and I had done. At that point the blog wasn’t live yet. He’s a creative person too and he thought it was a really cool idea.” And yes, Tim did attend their wedding.

  • HELL NO!!

    Do you take men for fools?


What Girls Said 3

  • One you should have added is "do you even love that person enough to marry". Sure you can love them now but do you think you will love them until the day you die? I thought that with my ex I love him now I could love him in the future when it came close to the ending of our relationship I realize I could not love him enough throughout my whole life I am still thankfully he was left.

    • left* I realize with a lot of young girls or young guys they realize they do not want this relationship to last but scare to move on.

  • The only things I had to read was the under 25 part and the closing and even with the little bit that I did read, it wasn't anything I didn't already know. I'm more than ready for marriage, even more so than my own parents.

  • very true take! good for those who aren't sure about their future with their SO