National Marriage Week And The Pressure To Marry

by Yvonne Chase on February 12, 2018

Virtues Of Marriage
Did you know this week is National Marriage Week? I didn’t…never heard of it. National Marriage Week began on February 7th and ends on Valentine’s Day February 14th. At their website, all of the virtues of marriage are extolled; financial stability, greater happiness, healthier kids, and better health. 

National Marriage Week
Over the weekend, I read an article titled Don’t Let The Government (or Anyone) Pressure You To Marry and that is how I found out about National Marriage Week. The writer says a whole lot that had me shaking my head in agreement. The subtitle to her piece is, “Celebrating one lifestyle is a not-so-subtle form of peer pressure.” Here’s a bit from the article:

These claims of  financial stability, greater happiness, healthier kids, and better health are based on studies of how married people compare to single folks. 

While the studies are credible, they are a bit misleading. 

The government has a vested interest in you being married so they don’t have to cover your bills or subsidize your housing.

On one hand, I like the notion of promoting marriage. I’m all for people having healthier unions and would certainly agree that, when a relationship is good—or even just good enough—couples and their kids reap many benefits.

My concern is that this movement perpetuates the one-size-fits-all marriage model that I actually think is damaging to many.

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Social Conditioning
In the piece, the writer mentions three main groups in particular that she believes this kind of social conditioning doesn’t help. She falls into group number one and says this:

Those who want to get married but can’t because perhaps they want to hold out for the right person, the right situation or the right timing. I, for one, didn’t get married for the first time until I was 43. People often asked me what was “wrong” with me and saw me as unlucky or perhaps even a “loser” because I had not met “The One” (this despite having several long-term and some live-in relationships). Although I had strong convictions about not wanting to marry just anybody, I admit I succumbed to the pressure and, at times, felt like there was indeed something wrong with me.

Succumbed To Pressure
I love honest people especially those who are honest about the real reasons why they got married. She’s not the only one who succumbed to pressure. On a recent episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg and the gang were discussing the difference between a rough patch and when it’s time to break up. Each woman shared challenges she faced in marriage at one time or another that made her wonder if she married the wrong guy. Watch the video clip below and we’ll talk after:

Pressure To Marry
“So your dealbreaker is he’s breathing!” Hilarious! I’ve watched this clip over and over and LOL every single time. Like the writer, Whoopi succumbed to the pressure to marry and did it three times before she said never again.

Unwilling Participant
I’m currently reading The Book of Mistakes; 9 Secrets To Creating A Successful Future by Skip Prichard. The book is written in the format of a parable that is packed with wisdom. When I read Mistake #1, women like Whoopi and the writer of the article immediately came to mind. I know so many women who caved and got married and are now an unwilling participant in someone else’s plan. 

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Entering Divorce Proceedings
How many women do you know and maybe you’re one of them who got married and is now living a life choreographed by someone else? This type of woman is reflected in group number two. Here’s how the writer describes it:

Those who can marry but who don’t want to or aren’t ready yet. Marrying because you “should” almost always comes back to haunt you in the end. I spoke with a woman recently who described the terrible ambivalence she had before tying the knot, but she ultimately decided to marry her now husband because he was in a good profession. Not only would he be a good provider, she thought, her biological clock was ticking and she sensed he’d make a good father. Her gut told her not to go through with it but all pressure from her own head, her friends, and family (and society) won out. She’s now, 9 years and two kids later, entering divorce proceedings.

Your Purpose Is Unique
In closing I leave you with this, you only have one life to live. Why waste it doing what someone else wants you to do? Your purpose is unique as a single woman. Contrary to what society says, you don’t have to be married to live a life of purpose.

Pressure You Into Marriage
Check in with God to find out what he wants you to do and all will be well whether single or married. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone pressure you into marriage.

Something to think about…

What say you? Do you or have you ever felt the pressure to marry? How can one overcome the pressure to marry? 

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

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