Too many people get married for the wrong reasons. That may help explain why 43 percent of all marriages in the U.S. fall apart. Divorce360 asked three leading marital experts for the top five right reasons and top five wrong reasons to get married. Here’s what they said:
WRONG REASON NUMBER 1:
Sexual attraction may not last forever.
Too many people confuse sexual attraction with love and that can lead to a short-lived marriage, explains Michele Weiner Davis, a Boulder, Colorado-based therapist and author of "The Sex-Starved Marriage" and "The Sex-Starved Wife" (published in January 2008). “The novelty of being with someone will turn on anyone,” she says. When the sexual attraction wanes, if there’s no mutual trust and a joint view of the future, the marriage fades as well. Her advice is clear: sexual attraction between two people is a good thing and energizes the marriage. But if the foundation isn’t based on strong communication and shared values, the chances of a long-lasting marriage based solely on animal attraction aren’t good.
RIGHT REASON NUMBER 1:
Working out differences.
Research indicates that one common theme among long-lasting marriages involves an ability to work out conflict. “All relationships have conflicts,” Davis says. The couples that can talk out their differences, surmount the conflict, and agree on a compromise last. The partners that trigger anger and resentment in one another or are unable to talk about their differences often can’t sustain marriage. WRONG REASON NUMBER 2:
Escaping the family.
Many single people feel stuck living at home. When a potential mate appears, they often leap at the opportunity to extricate themselves from their parents’ home and get engaged. Often it doesn’t matter to them if their potential mate is a good match because of their need to separate from their parents. “There are many ways to escape a family. Making a lifelong commitment with someone who isn’t a worthy partner isn’t the best choice,” Davis notes. RIGHT REASON NUMBER 2:
Sharing common interests.
If married couples share common interests, it engenders closeness and mutual experiences. Experts say that couples don’t have to share all common interests, but having enough of them encourages spending time together, a key ingredient to a successful marriage. Those commonalities can be as varied as spending time with their children, loving travel, following sports, as long as they both appreciate something together, Davis says. WRONG REASON NUMBER 3:
The infatuation syndrome.
Too many people confuse infatuation with love, suggests Barbara Bartlein
, author of "Why Did I Marry You Anyway? Overcoming the Myths that Hinder a Happy Marriage." Infatuation is defined as a fleeting feeling for someone whereas love is long lasting and is based on trust and commitment. “Infatuation is instantaneous and some experts suggest can be hormonal,” Bartlein states. Love has patience whereas infatuation has a sense of urgency and often that urgency fades. When marriages are based on infatuation, “When the zing is gone, they assume they married the wrong person and go looking again,” she adds. RIGHT REASON NUMBER 3:
Focus on what you need.
“Too many people get married for what they want instead of what they need,” Bartlein says. For example, Bartlein herself reads many novels and would love to discuss fiction with her husband, except this genre doesn’t interest him. Nonetheless, they have a solid marriage because she needs someone who is reliable, trustworthy, works hard. Marrying someone who meets her needs has enabled this marriage to last.