5 reasons why people get married


Marriage: bliss, romance, candle lit dinners, perfect selfies, deep conversations, happily staring into each other’s eyes, madly in love with each other …eeeeek somebody stop the movie. Pllleease.

Enter real life: fights, misunderstandings, stubbornness, tears, mis-trust, anger, disappointments, hurt. Eventually, it turns into either a broken relationship or a lifeless existence, with two people living together out of obligation or convenience. Yikes! Who wants to get married now?!

Could it be that our motive for marriage and our understanding of what a successful marriage is,  that forms the foundation for our marriages? For many of us, maybe our only reference to marriage is from our parents – the way they were to each other. 

Then there’s those who marry out of “love” – “love is blind” – how they feel about the other person – but what happens when the feelings dissipate?  Or perhaps we’ve lowered our expectations of marriage to be ‘just try it and see if it works out ‘ as we no longer trust that marriages can be strong and enduring.

If these are the foundations upon which your marriage is built, you could be in for a very difficult time because foundations – beginnings and motives – form the basis upon which other things are built on top of.  Foundations hold together or hold up all that’s built on top of it.

Take buildings for example – the foundations are key to the building standing strong. If the foundations are shaky and unstable, the building will collapse or sway over time or it can suffer damage in bad weather. 

The same goes for marriages. Those that are healthy and solid – successful –  are built on the right, solid foundations. They last the storms of life and endure hard times, where couples and families grow closer to each other rather than apart. 

But successful doesn’t mean happy happy joy joy all the time. Essentially it’s mutual love, care, respect, and understanding. And out of that, being content, being in harmony, having the same core values – being in unity. The most successful marriages are those where the couples are unified.

When unity isn’t in a marriage, little else works – and the signs are constant division: fighting, upheavals, disagreements, disrespect, unloving and uncaring attitudes – because each spouse or one of them is more self seeking – they can’t see past their own desires.

Yes, self centredness is the culprit in all relationships including marriage. Infact, marriage is the hardest relationship on earth, because there is a lifelong commitment attached to it, which requires a lifelong battle with the self to change. And change is hard for all of us comfort loving, self indulging creatures.

Secondly, on top of the foundation, marriage takes two people who want to intentionally work on themselves and with each other, and that means before getting to the harmony and joyfulness, there can be a lot of emotional battles.

Marriage at times can be testing and difficult. That’s when marriages can potentially break, plateau or just simply exist lifelessly – unless that foundation from the beginning was solid to start with AND the willingness is there to both work on change.

Yes, marriage is at most times, about working on change. It’s a change in your soul – your heart attitudes and mindsets, that’s by default self centred, your character, you – not just your spouse. Your spouse can bring out the best in you, but not before the worst comes out!  

We’ll look at the 4 foundational building blocks of a strong, healthy marriage in the next post,  but now let’s start at the very beginning and ask “why did you marry this person in the first place?”  This is important to know, because everything else after builds on this. People can and do change though, which is good, if the marriage grows healthy and strong, that  = success. 

Why are you getting married? 

People get married for different reasons, no, it’s not all for “love” is it?  Here are 5 big reasons why people choose to get married – which one was it for you and your spouse? I must say, it is possible that love can bloom from any of these reasons for marrying, let’s not rule that out! 


Some couples marry for a life improvement reason, for some sort of reward –  to have a more convenient and comfortable lifestyle – so they think. For better social status, eg the “trophy wife”, or for citizenship to have a better lifestyle and benefits in a new country, or to be in a more financially ‘advantageous’ situation.

How can people just marry like that? Because for them the “benefits” far outweigh the “love” factor!  Who cares about love when you can have money, right?!

However, it all starts to crumble after the wedding. Some couples will fall out because they ‘got what they wanted’ so they don’t need their spouse anymore. And, well, they didn’t love each other in the first place. What they truly loved wasn’t their partner at all. 

This type of marriage is more like a transaction, a trade-off rather than a relationship. But we humans are made to relate, to love one another, we have desires to be loved, understood, and to feel deeply cared about.

If love doesn’t exist in the marriage, either the exit door looks really attractive or someone at the office/club/bar becomes far more attractive…infidelity often happens because the basic relational and emotional needs aren’t met in the marriage, leaving a huge hole to be filled in by someone outside of it.

Sadly, this painful outcome is a reality in many marriages today.


The idea of romance, the warm fuzzy, buzzy feelings one gets from ‘being madly in love” just like in those Hallmark movies lures people into marriage!  We are so sold out on the perfect idea of marriage – blissful romantic love ever after, thanks to social media and the movies.

But what happens when the honeymoon’s over and the reality of living together, working out their differences and taking on responsibilities like bills and kids takes over?

Being emotionally high and intoxicated by your partner is normal to start off with. But that wears off and there’s nothing like pressure and stress to bring out what’s really in each other – and that’s when you know the other person a whole lot more! 

Those loving feelings that the couple depended on aren’t there while they’re fighting and this often leads to misunderstandings and resentment. It builds up and pretty soon, they’re questioning why they don’t “feel” love for each other anymore.

That’s because their marriage was built on feelings not friendship from the start.


Many ethnicities like Indian and Middle Eastern families marry out of a cultural and generational perspective. Their families consult each other and choose spouses for their children from an early age. Love, they say, is a choice and will blossom because of the right “choice of spouse”.   It is pleasing to their parents if their child marries whom they’ve matched them with. 

As it goes, their religion, class, social status, and well-being all match up so they stand a high chance of success in the marriage – and so, many of these marriages do last. Probably because respect and commitment is so deeply ingrained in the culture, while divorce is frowned upon.

Others may marry because there’s a baby on the way. And it’s the “right thing to do” if you knock up your girlfriend right? Also to be fair on the girl and  to save “face” (in Asian cultures) it’s better the pregnant mother be wed rather than unwed. And of course that reality of a future of living in hardship as a single mother is far less appealing than being married…

When there’s ‘obligation’ involved, resentment and regret may surface later on in the relationship, because the motive was kind of ‘forced’ upon them.  If these negative feelings aren’t communicated, forgiven and resolved, separations do happen because of this reason.


FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real, especially for older single women. For them, the fear of being left on the shelf, the constant nagging thoughts of “what’s wrong with me, why am I not married, am I not good enough?” could produce enough pain that they would marry to avoid staying “single and alone forever”,  But for men, their need for companionship drives them for their ‘hunt’ for the “right woman”!

Family and friend expectations also put pressure on singles. Although it’s now more acceptable for women to stay single, it wasn’t that way a generation ago. Still, today, the pressure is, biologically, on the women to get married in time so she can still bear children. Is that reason strong enough to get married? For some women, it is.

But fear makes us compromise our values and we dilute or drop down our expectations, so we end up marrying someone ‘good enough’ but that ends up being not good enough.


Now, this is the heart motive that forms the best foundation for a successful marriage. What is love? It’s more than feelings. Love is a choice and a commitment.  It’s knowing your spouse as your best friend first and foremost. Then because you know them, you love them for who they are, including all their weaknesses and quirky habits!

You choose to prefer them, trust and accept them and encourage them for who they are, embracing their uniqueness. Love is a daily choice, because when feelings disappear and change, choices can still be made, to show love. 

Love is also a commitment. Inspite of the absence of romantic feelings and the presence of life’s storms, both spouses are decidedly committed to each other and the family, it’s because of a lifelong commitment they made to one another, and in particular, for christians, they made this promise before God and others. 

With love, you can build a strong marriage, because each person is committed to and focused more on the other person and the heart is there to prefer the other person as opposed to ‘what’s in it for me’. Love in its purest form is always reciprocated of course.

Love works best for a healthy, strong marriage.

So there you have 5 reasons why people get married. 

You might ask, ‘is it wrong to get married for the wrong reason?” Well, if you already know your motive to marry is wrong, and it’s not out of love, then there’s a high chance, the marriage won’t succeed.  

The guilt you feel might get buried, but deep down it can still affect you. Remember you’re entering into a very serious commitment with this other person. What you do affects the other, and vice versa.  

And you’d be paying a fine price – for the children that could come along – being born to unhappy parents will affect them, pain, emotional setbacks, and not to mention all sorts of financial problems that could stem from that.

But there’s always room for change! There are plenty of marriage courses, marriage books, marriage advice, and counsellors at our disposal, if both parties can see that they want to make the marriage work. It’s not too late, if both of you are willing to resolve issues and move forward together.

Is love enough?

On the other hand, before you get married, please do consider your motive. If you both truly want to marry out of love, then you’ve got the right foundation. But is love alone, enough to build a strong, healthy marriage on? Not quite. There are 4 other foundational principles that we need to build on, if we’re to have successful marriages – jump on here to find out.

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