I started to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, ‘Committed’ and the first part explores some of the historical reasons and ways that people marry. It was fascinating to me because she revealed the changes that occurred for women who married, according to different religions and cultures over time.
Anyway, this started me thinking about the reasons people marry now, in our culture. I think we automatically assume that people marry for love only but sometimes it is for other reasons too, or a combination of different needs and desires. So I’ve created a list of 30 reasons that people marry (some better than others for sure). They are in no particular order:
1-THEY LOVE THEIR PARTNER & WANT TO SPEND THEIR LIVES TOGETHER:
4-TO HAVE CHILDREN:
6- TO CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY BY PLAYING THAT ROLE:
8-‘IT WAS TIME’ OR IT WAS THE NEXT STEP IN THAT RELATIONSHIP:
10-DO NOT WANT TO BE ALONE:
12- SOCIAL PRESSURE:
13-TO FIT IN:
14-TO FEEL GROWN UP/SEPARATE FROM THEIR FAMILIES OF ORIGIN:
15-TO HAVE SOMEONE FOR WHOM THEY ARE TOP PRIORITY:
16-TO MAKE EACH OTHER HAPPY:
17-TO HELP EACH OTHER REACH MUTUAL DREAMS & GOALS:
21-THE 1000 RIGHTS YOU GET WHEN MARRIED:
22-GIFTS & ATTENTION:
23-TO HAVE A NURSEMAID WHEN YOU’RE SICK:
24-TO BE A BRIDE & HAVE A WEDDING:
25-WITH THE HOPE OF LIVING ‘HAPPILY EVER AFTER’:
26-AS A MEANS OF SELF-GROWTH AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT:
27-AS A COMMITMENT OF LOYALTY AND LONGEVITY:
28-AS AN OUTWARD SIGN THAT YOU ARE A SERIOUS COUPLE:
29-FOR TAX REASONS:
30-TO FOLLOW TRADITIONS:
I bet there are other reasons people marry as well but these are one I have heard or found in related articles (see some links below). This list is just intended as a spring board to make you think. Although I am sure that many of you have married (or would only marry) for love, do any of these others reasons play a part in your choice to marry, instead of to cohabitate? This is a good way to check your intentions and weigh your values where marriage is concerned.
At one point in her novel, ‘Committed’ the author considers her own reasons to marry. She says that she doesn’t need a man’s money, status, protection, nor did she want children. So, the only reason she would marry him was for companionship and love. She also takes a few of the above reasons that people marry and explores them in further depth than I did.
When giving it a cursory look, I did not find a lot of good surveys to reveal the realities of why people marry-ie how many marry for love versus money percentage-wise. This would be a good survey or poll for someone to conduct. If any of my readers wish to post some relevant research links here, please do. I did read that 7% of people marry for health insurance and two-thirds would marry for money (specifically 1.5 million dollars). Sometimes marriage is a combination of reasons therein.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert makes the point that marriages based upon love can be more fragile and are statistically more likely to end in divorce. She surmises that the initial feelings of love can shift in time, leaving us vulnerable for divorce and heart break if that is the only foundation upon which a marriage is based. But at this early point in the book, it still seems like she is going to go through with it.
I needed to stop reading her book last week due to a death in our family so I thought I’d just write about this specific topic today. When I do finish her entire book, I will write another blog about her overall message concerning marriage and commitment and I will include my reflections.
In the meantime, I am posting the link to her book below if you’d like to read it. Also, please add any other reasons that you feel people marry these days below, under comments and how you feel about them. I’ve posted some links to relevant articles below too.
My Best in Love,
Author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart’ published by Atria Books.
The link to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, ‘Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage’ is here: http://www.amazon.com/Committed-Skeptic-Makes-Peace-Marriage/dp/0670021652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264186990&sr=8-1
Other Relevant Links: