Not sure which is motivating you? Well, here are five common fear-based reasons that set a marriage up to fail before it even starts:
1. “If I don’t marry him, I might lose him.”
Fear of abandonment: When you enter a marriage to seal the deal and lock him down so he won’t leave you, chances are very high that one of you will eventually walk away. Your fear of abandonment will slide its way into your words and behavior, preventing a healthy life-long relationship from forming.
2. “If we’re not married, he might cheat on me.”
Fear of not being enough: Although marriage vows are meant to make a couple exclusive from that day forward, reality is often short of intention. The act of marriage will not protect you from outside relationships occurring. The only thing that can ensure exclusivity in a partnership is the strength of your connection.
Marriage does not magically create a strong, intimate connection. Your commitment to continually nurturing and growing yourself and your partnership after you say “I do” is what protects your relationship and keeps it vital and strong.
3. “My mother keeps bugging me to get married.”
Fear of disappointing others: A successful marriage it about two people and only two people — you and your partner. Period. Sure, having friends and family around you for support is encouraged, but marriage is a sacred space for you and your partner. This begins with the decision to enter the union in the first place.
Being motivated by fear of disappointing others often leads to an even bigger disappointment years down the road when you announce your separation.
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4. “My biological clock is ticking.”
Fear of not being able to conceive: Having children is one of the most magnificent experiences life has to offer; however getting married just because you want to have children could very well end with your spouse becoming just your baby daddy. Also, considering the high rates of infertility, getting married does not guarantee your ability to conceive.
Be sure to ask yourself this: If I had no intention of ever having children would I still choose to marry this person?
5. “I want to say ‘yes’ to the dress.”
Fear of missing out: FOMO! Your married friends each had their big party and pretty white dress and you want your fairytale moment in the spotlight, too. Stop for just a minute! Are you going to feel the same fear of missing out in 5-7 years when your friends start getting divorced? What if saying “yes” to the dress now leads to missing out on true, deep, passionate, forever love down the road?
Look, fear is a very natural and normal part of being human. However, if it is part of the reasons you’re saying “I do,” step back and gain some more clarity. Don’t hesitate to seek help from a good coach or a counselor who can help ensure you are committing to forever from a place of love.