Wrong Reasons for Getting Married

I've been thinking about this and you know nobody wants to get it wrong when it comes to who they marry because getting it wrong could literally change the trajectory of a person's life - and not for the better but for the mercy of God. But how does one make sure they don't make a mistake and marry for the wrong reason(s)? 

I say for the "wrong reasons" because I think that sometimes the real issue is the reason for getting married and not necessarily that there's something wrong with the person you marry (unless, of course, they are abusive or have some other major character flaw). I say all of this because I think it's a lot easier to put the blame on the other person if things go wrong and attribute the issues to them being the wrong person meaning they are a bad person. 
And while that can be the case, I think it's also important to take a very close, introspective look at our decision-making process and reasons for picking a person and making sure we pick them for the right reasons.

In thinking about it, I came up with what I would consider some wrong reasons for getting married. Again, this is a different approach of taking the the blame off the other person and making sure that our intentions and reasons for picking them are kosher. 

So here are a few wrong reasons, in my opinion for getting married:

1. Marrying the person not for who they are but for what they are. 
This is an interesting one because we are attracted to people because of the different elements that make up who and what they are. We find them physically attractive. Check. We like their personality. Check. And perhaps, we like "what" they are i.e. what they do for a living. Check. And that's where it gets interesting. I think it's important to like the entire package a person has to offer but I also think when a lot of emphasis is put on the what i.e. what they do, it can create issues later on. Reason being people are constantly evolving. Think of the things you thought you wanted to be or do a few years ago and how you shudder at the thought now because you're a different person in a different place. 

The same thing goes for the person you marry.They are evolving and marriage won't change that. So,for example, if you want to marry a guy because he's a pastor or an "oil and gas" guy because you like the idea of being a pastor's wife or first lady, what happens when he decides he no longer wants to be a pastor? You don't think that will happen? THINK AGAIN. You will be amazed. Or the oil and gas guy loses his job and is forced into entrepreneurship and all of a sudden, the "status" that came with the oil and gas lifestyle is gone. What happens then? Will you still want to stand by this person even though the "what" has changed? Think about it. Will the change that comes with them evolving still be attractive to you? Or will it make you think there's something wrong with them and that maybe you made a mistake. The WHO should override the WHAT. So it's important to pay more attention to their core - their vision, attitude, character, belief system - those will stand the test of time whether it's a job loss or change of career or status. P.S. And not everyone who looks like they have it together actually do. Just because he's making "good money" e.g. the oil and gas guy, doesn't mean the money is stashed away in the bank. What if he's way in over his head in debt? Think about that.

2. Marrying them for their family name, family money, or family status. Hmm. There's a lot to be said of a good name and there's nothing wrong with  wanting to be associated with a "good" name but there must be more to it. The man or woman you marry also needs to be building their own legacy outside of what their family has built and if they are trying to ride on the wave of the family name or status and you want to join them because of how you think it will benefit you, you might be setting yourself up. The truth is there is so much more to family matters than meets the eye and sometimes you don't get the full story until you're in. Just because his grandfather was wealthy doesn't mean his father is. And just because his father is wealthy doesn't mean his father will be passing down his wealth. Some families expect their children to work very hard and build their own wealth regardless of what their family has and they won't offer much help. So you can't conclude that you will benefit from the family's wealth simply by marrying their child. You might be in for a rude awakening. And what if the child is lazy and so yes, he's from a wealthy family that expects him to work hard but he's lazy and you only find that out when you marry him. Don't set yourself up. Marry a person because of who they are as an individual not what family tree they are tied to and then vow to build the kind of wealth and status you so desire with whoever you are with. Not to mention that it would be very selfish and somewhat deceptive on your part to get with someone because of what you think you can get from their family or how you think your association with their family can benefit you...uh huh...

3. Marrying them because similar circumstances worked for someone else. It's the human thing to do. We look for inspiration from other people's experiences hoping they can guide our decisions but there is so much danger in that. So she married a widower. Or he married from a different tribe. Or she married a foreigner. Or he married a woman who is older than him. And so because they did that and it appears to be working for them, you rationalize and decide that you too can do the same and it will work even though you have your reservations. The thing is that's their story and it has absolutely nothing to do with you. It working out beautifully for them doesn't guarantee anything for you. So it's important that we don't subconsciously think that if he or she could do it in a certain way and based on certain criteria and it seems to be working for them then surely it'll work for you. Everyone's story is unique and different. Allow  God to write your own story and don't snatch the pen out of His hand because you're tired or impatient and think that you have examples that you can emulate in the people around you. Focus on what's most important - your values, beliefs, goals, vision, - feed those things and let them, and not what worked for someone else, guide you in picking the right person for you!

4. Marrying because of how it will change people's perception of you and what it will make them think of you. Say what?? First of all, people will always think what they want to think of you no matter how hard you try to change their minds. So when you're single, they will talk and when you're married, best believe they will talk. And really, as with any aspect of life, if you concern yourself with how people perceive you, you will be expending your energy on things that don't matter. Ok, so you get married and as a result you think people will think more highly of you and no longer consider you a "failure" by societal or cultural standards. What does that do for you in the long run? How does that impact your marriage? Or maybe you think being married will boost your self-esteem and validate you and make people respect you. The truth is marriage will not do any of that. People aren't even thinking of you half the time and when you do get married, they will have other things to "judge" you by (like if you have any children, if your spouse is beautiful or handsome, or if you guys have money) and the cycle continues. Don't get married to someone because of how you think it will change how people see and respect you. Get married because you want to be married. And if you're not ready to get married, you're not and that's ok. What everyone else thinks and how they choose to treat you as a result is their problem, not yours! Remember marriage is NOT an accomplishment of any sort! It is a voluntary decision to embark on a life-changing, character-building journey with another human being. When you choose to do it is up to you regardless of what people expect of you! 

5. Getting married because time seems to be running out, the pressure is mounting, and it just seems like the next logical step. In which case, it usually has nothing to do with the other person and that can't be right. There are fewer things worse than being with someone and feeling like you are just a project they need to get done for which you happen to fit the specifications they think are necessary to make the project successful. That wouldn't make you feel good if someone did that to you so don't do it to someone else! And if you ever feel like someone is with you not because of you, please run. Their being with you should be about you and not some selfish box they need to tick that you appear to be able to help with because you are also single. And if you feel like you're at that point in your life where all your friends are getting married and you know it's something you're not ready to do yet but you feel compelled to so you can fit in and so that you're not the last man or woman standing, do yourself a favor and don't do it. Like they say, you can never really be 100% ready for marriage but I believe you can and should desire it 100%. So if it starts to feel more like something you HAVE to do and not something you WANT to do because you've found an amazing person then I would say it would be the wrong reason to get married. I think this issue is a trap a lot of men in particular fall into and so when they feel the pressure, they look for the next available lady to marry not based on who she is but what she can help them accomplish. That's selfish and it is a wrong reason to get married.

In essence, I guess we have to remember that sometimes it's really just the reason and motive that are wrong and not necessarily the person. It's the same way the right person at the wrong time can become the wrong person. If the timing or the motive is wrong then those are more likely the culprits if things don't turn out right and not necessarily the person.

So what do you guys think? I always love reading your comments so please share your thoughts and any other wrong reasons you think there are for getting married.


  1. I like this. Quite rich and absorbing. I am not planning marriage now but I found it informative. All the reasons listed I should say are true as to the reasons why some people get married. That no 5 seems more common though. Well done ma'am.

  2. Great article Aderonke! keep em comin. I agree with basically everything you have said. Is that because it's obvious or because I have my priorities in check? I do get the impression that a lot of people especially in Nigeria marry for the wrong reasons. I could be wrong but having spent the majority of my life in America I see the importance of marrying for status in Nigeria. In America, I get the feeling that more people are willing to marry for potential and don't necessarily need status up front. As for myself...according to Nigerian standards I am too old to be single (34 yrs) but I am not in a rush. I don't have time to worry about what others think of me anyway. I believe marriage should be a bonus to ones life not a burden, therefore I will wait until the time is right for me and I have met the perfect person for me. She doesn't have to be anything close to perfect (I definitely have flaws) but she just needs to be perfect for me. I hate stress although most females I interact with believe that I thrive on it (lol); I just tell the truth all the time and people don't always want to hear the truth. I like for life to make sense, I don't mind working hard for anything I have, I just think I need to believe I am working hard for a good reason.


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