National Marriage Week And The Pressure To Marry
February 12, 2018 Living Single

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.

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. 

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

"6" Comments
  1. I married my ex-husband because we had been dating six years and it seemed like the next logical step. It seemed like we were doing everything right. A nice long dating relationship, a few months of premarital counseling, and an overpriced wedding. I thought several times of calling the whole thing off but I felt like I was “in too deep”. As you can tell by the prefix in his status, I should have listened to my gut. After we were married, things started spiraling downward faster and faster. He finally confessed to having an active drug addiction and tens of thousands of dollars in hidden debt to pay for it. I stood by him through 3 failed trips to rehab, and several affairs. Finally after six years of marriage and 12 years of living together, he left me for his girlfriend and although the rejection hurt, I found that I was finally liberated from a lifestyle I didn’t even know I was choosing. My new husband is a gracious gift from God who puts God first and me second in everything he does – and I do the same. The right one is worth waiting for. I love this article because I also caution people to be sure they are not feeling pressed by themselves or others to get married.

  2. @Crystal,

    Thank you for mentioning the pressure we put on ourselves. It’s bad enough the pressure that comes from others. I believe much of the pressure we put on ourselves stems from the pressure we feel from others. So grateful I never got pressured by anyone around me including my parents to marry.

    Sorry, you had that experience. It’s why I write. I hear so many stories from women who wanted to call it off but didn’t.

    Thrilled you are now in a great marriage with a wonderful man of God. Blessings to you and yours.
    Yvonne Chase recently posted…I Could’ve Married An Unbeliever But I Chose To Obey God InsteadMy Profile

  3. Interesting insights on marriage and society’s view. I love how you encourage us all to seek God’s unique purpose for each of us. He has a great plan and it’s different for each of us. Funny, I wrote on God’s purpose for us recently as well. Blessing to you! Happy to stop by from #HeartEncouragement

  4. God’s plan is certainly different for all of us! And yes- comparison is most certainly the thief of joy- in any circumstance! We should each prayerfully seek and follow the Lord’s guidance for ourselves. ;0)

  5. @Rachel,

    Seeking and following the Lord’s guidance for ourselves is the best idea otherwise we will definitely fall into the comparison trap.
    Yvonne Chase recently posted…He Must Be A Christian Was Drilled Into Her Head Yet It’s Not EnoughMy Profile

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