Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,

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Why did you get married?

I have been conducting an unofficial, personal poll since 1980 of many people who have gotten married, and I ask them why they got married. I am fascinated to hear the range of responses I have gotten and I think it reveals much about our different societies.

Instead of revealing any of the answers I've gotten over the decades, I'll give you my own personal reasons, and ask you to offer your own reasons for getting married. Usually the way I ask this question of someone who is about to get married is as follows:

"You are about to get married. May I ask why you are getting married, as opposed to continuing your relationship as you have without getting married?"

Here are my own answers:

First wife: I'm getting married because I think that's the best way to have children in our Western culture.

Second wife: I'm getting married because it's much easier to go through the world as husband and wife, than as boyfriend and girlfriend, or whatever funny sounding alternative names you want to come up with. Lover? Partner? No, that has a different meaning.

So come on now, give it up - what were your personal reasons for getting married, at the time you got married. Bonus points for the perspective years have given you into your original motivations!

  • Apr 15 2013: I got married because I wanted to spend my life with my wife. I found that sharing life's experiences was more enjoyable with my wife. I felt loved, needed, and more at peace with life in general with my wife. We shared the desire to have a family and further share our lives with them as we taught them the things needed to be happy and responsible adults.

    No regrets. We have become a team relative to the family, providing suport and sharing in life's triumphs and tragedies. We have grown to know and respect each other and work to hold things together when it seems like things are coming apart. We both know that lonely times are just temporary, and will soon disappear when we can hold each other, talk to each other, go to garage sales, watch wheel of fortune, and share meals once again. We both think now in terms of 'we' for the most part, and I know what she likes to do, so i try and integrate things I want to do with things she likes to do. She does likewise. I found that it almost doesn't matter what we do together, or how it turns out, sharing the experience or adventure is still much more fun than always doing things alone and adds to the collection of shared life experiences that provides us conversation material and fabric for shared memories.
  • Apr 18 2013: I'm getting married in a month or so, so this is perfect timing, isn't it? I'm getting married because I love my fiance. By that I mean I love helping her and supporting her in her life, and she returns the favor in mine. I want to have that kind of deep, permanent relationship developed over years that I've seen in my parents and elsewhere. I also want to be a father. More than anything else, I feel the most important role I'll ever hold is that of a father. My fiance feels the same way about motherhood, and she's going to be fantastic at it. We have all the same goals in life, and we agree about how to get there. We both have already decided that divorce is not an option for us. We're going to put in the effort every day to keep love strong, instead of letting our marriage decline until we're miserable. It takes effort, planning, and foresight, but this matters to both of us so much we're going to do it. Are we innocent, wide-eyed, naive, and young? Absolutely. I know it'll be the most difficult thing I've ever done. But it's worth it.
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    Apr 17 2013: I married because of pressure from my parents; I was a single parent of a child from a failed relationship; I was 29 and living with my future husband; we lived 3 years together before getting married; the pressure from my parents was constant from fear that I could end up with another child out of wedlock so when we graduated from college and time came to find jobs and establish a place to live we got married. I thought all our life together that we were not fit for each other but we didn't give up for a long time; we ended up divorcing in the 19th year.
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    Apr 16 2013: I'd be honest. I wanted to have sex and create a family in social conformity.
    After 21 years into it, I realized that on account of my limited faculty I am incapable of such act of wisdom and foolhardy for a second time.
    It will be unfair not to say when I think of my wife now, I see a friend and comrade in a struggle that is life.
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    Apr 15 2013: My first marriage was at a young age. I married because I had no faith in my ability to live a life of Independence emotionally or financially and, a fear of being alone. It didn't last long and I remained single for a long time. I had lost faith in my judgement of character but, more important I had given up my "voice" for I realized I was modeling myself meeting his needs, opinions, desires. Years latter I remarried because I found a relationship in which we shared mutual respect, honesty, values and humor. It was a bit of a leap of faith for me but, a really small leap. 23 years later, my life with my husband has been enriched in ways remaining single never would have brought me. yes, he is my best friend.
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    Apr 15 2013: There was that girl that I really liked who only had a visa for the duration of her studies in my country. In order for her to stay with me, I had to convince the government that I was serious about her. So they challenged me to sign papers that would make me miserable, should I ever break up with the girl some time in my life.
    Sure enough, we crashed and divorced. I'm a homo sapiens and homo sapiens believe in eternal love, although it usually lasts about three years. Now here's what bothers me. Governments know that people are not wired to save healthcare money or retirement money. People buy crap instead, so somebody in charge collects money from people, so that they can afford to save their children's lives, when it comes to that.
    But governments know about love too. And like casino owners, they're watching us lose, watching us blame it on bad luck. I don't understand why this is. I mean, sure, my country used to be run by a philosophically-challenged superstitious institution. So it can be expected that one should get a few tax rewards for not being gay and for expressing the intention of having sex with a single partner.
    But come on... How much does mariage cost our administrations? Everybody is getting divorced, goddamn it, everybody knows that!!! (And those who're not are probably miserable)
    • Apr 18 2013: You don't know anyone happily married after 30 years? I sure do. It's the norm, rather than the exception where I live right now. It's not just a front they're putting on either. Sure, everyone's got their problems, but the majority of the people I know are genuinely happy in their marriages. It's possible. Hard, but possible.
  • Apr 15 2013: I haven't.
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    Apr 15 2013: G'day DL

    Very good question, I could say because my partner wanted to as it was the right thing to do however if that was the only reason I wouldn't have gotten married in the first place.

    I was 40yrs old & thought it's about time I settled down I suppose because I was a bit of a rat bag. Marriage means commitment I suppose & to make a commitment one can't be frolicking about.

    Love
    Mathew