You’re treating marriage like the lottery: You have to be in it to win it! You’re not sure this marriage is the right thing to do, and you’ve seen plenty of red flags that suggest you should at least postpone the wedding and work with your fiancee to establish a healthier foundation for marriage, if not end the relationship altogether. Maybe you’ve been dating since junior high and marriage just seems expected of you now that you’re out of college, or past the age of 30, or have a couple of babies together. What the heck, you say (with varying degrees of support from family and friends): Why not go for it? After all, there’s a 50/50 chance you won’t divorce. And no matter how unhappy you may be sometimes, married is better than single, right? (Sounds like a convict hoping for a minimum sentence with a chance for parole. How romantic.)
The truth: Treating marriage like a game of chance will bring lottery-like results—the vast majority of people end up buying losing tickets, with a few others ending up with tickets with winnings that hardly make up for what you invested to buy them. Sounds a lot like a 50 percent-plus divorce rate, with more than 80 percent of couples having at least one dissatisfied partner.
The fact that so many marriages end in divorce is not evidence that the institution itself is flawed, but testament that too many people who marry are unprepared and unqualified for it. They treat marriage as a roll of the dice, maybe with a kiss (and hot sex) for good luck. However, there are principles, guidelines and skill sets (such as identifying relationship sustainers) for establishing the kind of healthy relationship that is the best foundation for Good Love and a lasting, sustainable marriage. It may take longer and require more education and preparation (i.e. self-love and personal growth), but it will get you what most of us want—not just a dream wedding (or weddings), but a true, resilient, loving marriage that lasts a lifetime.
If you’re engaged, it may be difficult to break the engagement, or even to postpone the wedding. But we repeat what we’ve said in earlier posts: It is often necessary to treat break-ups as an act of self-love, to end unhealthy relationships in order to make time and space for healthy ones. Better to be single wishing you were married, than married wishing you were single.
ARE YOU A SUCCESSFUL, HIGH-ACHIEVING SINGLE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR “SINGLENESS”? CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT SCHEDULING A 1-ON-1 HIGH-IMPACT COACHING CONVERSATION WITH ZARA OR ALFRED!