We talked last week about whether or not marriage can hurt your career in “I Do or Not to I Do – Is That the Question for Your Career?” And interestingly enough, shortly after publishing that article, The Huffington Post published a scathing article addressed to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West called “5 Reasons They Shouldn’t Tie the Knot.” Now, I admit I’m a little bit defensive of Ms. Kardashian. Having been in a failed marriage myself, I hate the scrutiny she’s put under for the choices – questionable though they might be – she made surrounding her marriage.
But then I read a little further and realized that the logic in HuffPo’s article is sound. So I’m using it as a jumping off point and giving you “5 Signs You Shouldn’t Get Married.” Recently, it seems everyone I know is getting engaged and getting married. And while I’m a huge proponent of marriage – I particularly love my own husband – I can also see from a mile away when someone shouldn’t get married.
So here they are – the top 5 signs you shouldn’t get married:
- You put him first. Now, this might be a little controversial. Some people think they should always put their partners first. I disagree. The best thing you can do for your significant other is to love yourself and put your health and sanity first. If you’re still cancelling dinners with friends to accompany him to a game, or giving up spin class to spend an afternoon at his place, you’re not ready to get married. You must be willing to carve out the time you need to be the best you before you can be the best we.
- You still worry what your significant other thinks about you. Now I’m not saying you have to leave the bathroom door open. But if you’re still dressing up for your guy every day, not letting him see you without makeup, and refusing to get a little crazy in front of him, you shouldn’t get married. I know a woman who walked down the aisle with a man who had never seen her without makeup. That’s going to be quite the wake-up call for him, isn’t it? I also know a woman whose husband had never seen her cry – she once told me she “didn’t want him to think she was crazy, so she always cried in the bathroom when she needed to.” Both of these women are divorced. You have to be able to be open and show someone your whole self before you marry them, or it won’t work out.
- You want babies. I respect wholeheartedly that you want a family. But you shouldn’t get married for this reason alone. Sure, you can imagine your soon to be husband changing diapers and feeding little Jr. But go a little negative and think about this for a moment. If it doesn’t work out, is this someone you are willing to compromise with, splitting your babies back and forth every weekend? Is this someone you want to stand next to at graduations and weddings and dance recitals for the rest of your life even if you get divorced? Having a child isn’t easy and many marriages end in divorce. Don’t get married just to have a baby, or you might just end up with an ex-husband and a custody arrangement that makes you crazy.
- You still think about someone else…seriously. I’m not talking about Ryan Gosling here. I’m talking about real ex-boyfriends or male friends in your life. If you still look at someone, anyone and think “I wonder,” you should NOT NOT NOT under any circumstances marry the person you’re with. It will eat at you, it will cause problems, and you will end up divorced. Until you can honestly look at that person and say, “There’s not a single person in the world I’d rather be with than you….ever” you can’t get married.
- Because you think marriage will change him. It all goes back to that great Oprah quote – “When people show you who they are, believe them. The first time.” A ring on his finger will not change him. It won’t. Trust me. He will not stop cheating on you. Or less seriously, it will not make him cook, clean, or stop playing XBox all day. He will not grow up the minute he puts on a tuxedo and sees you in a white dress. If you want to change him still, change men all together.
Chances are, you won’t listen to most of this advice. You’ll convince yourself like so many women do that their husband will be different, their marriage will be different. But chances are, you’ve got a 1 in 2 chance of getting divorced. Make good decisions before the wedding and you might end up in a better place after. And seriously, divorces are expensive and painful. Avoiding it now will be less so.