Let me start by saying I love being married! Let me also say that marriage is not for everyone. There are many who opt for long-term relationships without the legal ties. But, that’s not the topic here. There used to be a time when as little girls, we would fantasize about getting married. As we grew older, we thought more about finding true love. A man riding in on a white horse to sweep us off our feet into a world of happily ever after!
In this article, I want to talk about the reasons people marry, particularly why women marry. Men have their reasons as well, but for the sake of exploring explanations why some marry, I have chosen to focus on the women. Why? Because I am a woman; a young 60 year old married woman. I am not writing this to give advice, only food for thought. Am I an expert on marriage? No. Am I a subject-matter expert when it comes to love? No. But, I am forever, in my second marriage and I can honestly say, call me old-fashion, but both times, I married for love. So, why target this topic?
Why This Topic?
I read an article a on the topic of Should Women Marry for Love or Security? Tiny Harris of the R & B group EXcape, revealed in a Black Entertainment Television (BET) interview that she was advised to marry for security. I wondered if there are a lot of women who think this way. Not judging, but there are many women who intentionally seek out those who can provide the glamorous life for them who work in specific environments – the professional athlete perhaps? The money is their meal ticket! So, I began to explore what others thought about the reasons women get marry. In that same article, women of BET were asked to share their perspectives on marriage and I was taken aback by one of the women’s response.
Because of Financial Security
Women who don’t marry for love in our culture may marry with a purpose of financial security. Perhaps not marrying for love provides less expectation of their spouse where whoever it is wasn’t expected to be “the one, but the one who can provide them with financial security. Some may say that love may fade or change over time, but at least I have security. With the way things happened as a result of 9/11 or COVID, financial security may not be a permanent thing. That too can change.
Essie Acolatse shared, “I think women should marry for love first and if they have to remarry, it should be for security the second time around. Marriage should be for love ideally, but unfortunately some things happen and the relationship doesn’t work out. If this does happen, then women should definitely marry for financial security the second time around.”
What? If they have to remarry? What does that even mean? Why should anyone have to marry? Why should deciding to marry a second time be based on the reason of financial security? In my opinion, I see today’s women as more independent, self-reliant, and secure. I remember a little girl telling me that her mom told her that when she grows up, she should marry a man who has money that can support her! My response was, “What about going to school, getting a good education and earning your own paper?” I thought to myself, why would a mother train her daughter this way? Don’t get me wrong, but I do understand that a woman’s life experiences can project the ideal of marrying for reasons other than love. Let’s take a look into the whys.
Because It’s Practical
There are couples I know who just settled for one another because it’s practical. There are many women who marry for practical reasons that are equal to or even outweigh romantic ones. You have the rising cost of living, health insurance or other financial strain and this is what may drive their decision to get married. However they need to be practical about their expectations. There are dangers for marrying for practical reasons. Cheating and infidelity can likely be the results of compromising emotions for the sake of practicality.
Because Love Is a Many Splendid Thing
You can call me a romantic, but I delight in the union of two hearts. Those who long to find their feelings and purpose reflected in the eyes of another. Granted, love is an emotion that is changeable. As I mentioned earlier, love sometimes wane, but on the other hand, love can magnify and grow deeper throughout the marriage. When spouses feel safe being vulnerable with each other they are likely fall in love with each other again and again.”
Is love a strong enough foundation for a marriage? Yes and no. Love is strong but, it is not a standalone in a marriage. For me, I don’t believe love is enough to maintain a healthy marriage. Love gets you on the road to a healthy marriage. A marriage, fueled by love, most likely has an excellent chance at being healthy and surviving if both parties are committed to working on developing emotional and life skills necessary to maintain a healthy marriage. All in all, for many, love is a many splendid thing!
In today’s society and with all the avenues available to us to seek out relationships or that somebody, it may be easier to find someone to settle down with and marry for any of the reasons discussed here. Marrying for financial security or practical reasons may even be encouraged and for you if that is your purpose. For me if you marry for love that is genuine and built on respect and commitment, the former things will fall into place. Food for thought!