Marriage

Marriage

Marriage.  For many of us today, “marriage” has become a word that conjures up completely different ideas and reactions.  We’re going to address some of the most common questions and conversations we’ve had with you about the subject.  There are most certainly more questions, opinions and conversations to explore.  We encourage you to talk with an adult you trust about these questions and you can always email us if you would like any more information at info@austinlifeguard.com.

Why should I get married?

Numerous studies all over the world show married people are happier, more sexually satisfied, more financially comfortable, and healthier – both physically and mentally.  Check out these facts:

  • “Virtually every study of mortality and marital status shows the unmarried of both sexes have higher death rates, whether by accident, disease, or self-inflicted wounds, and this is found in every country that maintains accurate health statistics.”
  • “Married individuals have the lowest rates of severe depression of people in any other marital category”
Marital Status Rate of Major Depression
Married (Never Divorced) 1.5
Never Married 2.4
Divorced Once 4.1
Divorced Twice 5.8
Cohabitating 5.1
  • Being married in itself seems to encourage the creation and retention of wealth. 2
Marital Status Poverty Rate
Married-Couple Families 4.9
Female Householder (no husband present) 28.3
Male Householder (no wife present) 13.6

What’s the difference between getting married and just living together?  Why get married?

Gallagher says “The prime difference between marriage and cohabitation in contemporary American culture has to do with time horizons and commitment.  What makes marriage unique among emotional and financial arrangements is the vow of permanence.”2

The options are pretty clear.  Would you rather spend many happy and healthy years with your sweetheart or take the route that most likely leads to disappointment and breakup not so far down that road?

One study shows that are forty percent of cohabitation couples will break up, and marriages that are preceded by cohabitation have 50% higher disruption rates than those who didn’t live together before getting married.1

Besides all the statistical stuff, here is one thing to think about before deciding to live with a boyfriend or girlfriend.  If you hope to one day get married, there are some things that you will want to have reserved for your spouse.  There are many intimate (and embarrassing) moments that come with living with a love interest that you may want to save for someone that has committed to stay with you for the rest of their lives.

Why doesn’t anyone stay married anymore?  Or do they?  

There are far more divorces today than there were fifty years ago.  There are many reasons for that.  But, we think that Friedrich Nietzsche hit one of the most common reasons when he said “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Friendship should be the basis of any relationship, especially marriage.  When you’re looking for a best friend, some of the things that you probably look for are someone with common interests and values, a sense of humor, trust and loyalty.  Not surprisingly, most of us are looking for a spouse with those same qualities.  We’re looking for a best friend that we can spend the rest of our lives with.  If you find yourself thinking about getting married to someone who you don’t consider to be your best friend, we would encourage you to rethink that decision before pulling the trigger.

How do you know who to marry?

Start with the kind of person that you want for a friend.  Think about the qualities that you would consider your must-haves and your deal breakers.  Many people would put trustworthiness first on the list, or similar qualities such as honesty or loyalty.  Likewise, finding such things as dishonesty and mean streaks in a person should make you run the other way.  If all these things are true for the search for a friend, then how much more important is it when you’re screening for a husband or a wife!

Shouldn’t I have sex with my boyfriend/girlfriend to make sure we’re compatible?

First of all, you need to make sure you have a proper perspective of sex.  Sex is great and is meant to be enjoyed.  But, it is definitely just a bonus in a relationship.  Think about it this way – sex is like a condiment.  You wouldn’t just drink mustard, right?  But on a hamburger, it’s perfect.  Or gravy (ewww), but on chicken fried steak, delicious!  The same thing is true for sex – you can’t experience the true joy of sex without complete trust and vulnerability, and how can you have that with someone who may not call you the next day?  Even if you thought that person has all the qualities you want and is the best friend you could hope for, introducing sex into that relationship will most likely negatively affect some of those qualities – like trust and respect.