“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
Friedrich Nietsche, Philosopher
Pros and Cons of Marriage
Many people all over the world consider marriage to be one of the most important things in their lives.
Yet, although marriage has some advantages, it also implies many serious problems.
In this article, an objective view of all the pros and cons of marriage is given.
Advantages of Marriage
- Increased level of security
- Socially accepted
- You can build wealth together
- You can support each other in difficult situations in life
- Necessary in many cultures
- You may be better able to sustain your relationship
- Tax advantage related to marriage in many countries
- Family connections may help your career
- May contribute to a stable family
- Important to be in line with religious concerns
- Marriage may protect you from being lonely
Increased level of security
One important advantage of marriage is that it provides partners with an increased level of security. For instance, if one partner dies unexpectedly, the other partner often has financial claims regarding the shared property and other things that they have built together.
Moreover, marriage often also implies the obligation to pay alimony in case of divorce. Although this is quite bad for the party that has to pay, it will be quite beneficial for the party who receives the money.
Another reason why so many people marry is that it is a socially accepted construct. The concept of marriage has been invented thousands of years ago and it has been a valid social construct until now.
Even though the purposes of marriages changed quite a bit over time, marriage is still considered to be the gold standard for long term relationships.
Thus, plenty of social pressure is often built around couples in order to force them into marriage. Hence, many people actually get divorced due to social pressure and not to the fact that they actually wanted to do so.
You can build wealth together
Another important upside of getting married is that you and your partner will be able to build wealth together. This can include financial assets, building a business together or also building a house.
In many cases, people will not be able to financially afford to build or to buy a house on their own and they need a partner in order to accomplish this goal.
Quite often, also banks are much more willing to give you a credit to buy a house if you are married. Therefore, marriage can be a great way to accomplish goals which you would not be able to accomplish alone.
You can support each other in difficult situations in life
Your partner can also help you to overcome difficult situations in your life. Life is hard sometimes for all of us and if you have a strong partner who supports you in those times, chances are that you will be able to get back on track much sooner in a healthy manner.
Especially if you are a rather emotionally unstable person, a strong partner may really help you to overcome difficult events in your life.
Necessary in many cultures
In many countries all over the world, marriage is considered to be the standard approach towards long-term relationships and many families apply quite a lot of pressure on couples to get married.
In some regions, you might even get socially isolated if you refuse to marry your partner and your family might even abandon you for that.
Therefore, many people in those regions often marry just to please their family and also out of fear to suffer from social isolation if they refuse to do so. Hence, in many countries all over the world, people see marriage as a kind of cultural necessity.
You may be better able to sustain your relationship
Some people also claim that it is easier to maintain a relationship once you are married. Many people feel that the barriers to exit that relationship are much higher for partners once they are married and therefore, if you want to stay together with your partner for a long period of time, you should get married at some point in time in order not to lose him or her.
Yet, this is a quite controversial topic since many people are not too afraid to end a marriage and to leave a partner if someone better is waiting for them, especially in our Western world where people seem to be quite flexible regarding leaving a marriage and going for a better partner instead.
Tax advantage related to marriage in many countries
Also from a financial standpoint, getting married can make sense. This also depends on where you live. In some countries, there are tax advantages for married couples, which may result in lower income tax payments.
Thus, if you plan to stay together for a longer period of time, it may also make sense to marry from a financial perspective in order to avoid paying a certain amount of taxes.
Family connections may help your career
You may also be able to benefit from the connections of your spouse’s family. For instance, if you marry a partner whose family has good connections into the business world, chances are that you can also profit from those connections since it will be much easier for you to get a good job or to get leading roles in a company.
Therefore, marriage can definitely help to accelerate your corporate career due to the additional connections you might have.
May contribute to a stable family
Marriage may also help you to create and maintain a stable and intact family. If you want to have kids, marriage may be a good tool since your kids may be better treated by society than without marriage. This is especially true in countries where living together with a partner without marriage is considered to be dodgy and not acceptable.
Therefore, if you live in one of those countries, you may also want to marry your partner so that your kids will not be bullied around in school or in other parts of their lives.
Important to be in line with religious concerns
In many countries, it is also crucial to marry due to religious concerns. Some people are quite faithful and think that the bible or other holy books are the most important rules to comply with in order to be a good person.
If the holy book says you have to marry, it is your task to comply with those demands without ever questioning them. Hence, if you grow up in a region where fundamentalists are quite common, chances are that you will be forced into marriage due to irrational religious claims and arguments.
Marriage may protect you from being lonely
Some people also strongly fear the thought of being lonely without a partner. Therefore, they are often willing to marry a partner, even though they are not fully happy with their decision but they still think that marrying this partner is better compared to staying alone.
Thus, the fear to stay alone may make people weak and may force them to marry, even if they do not like their partner too much.
Disadvantages of Getting Married
- You limit your level of freedom
- No other partners allowed
- You might get trapped in an unhappy marriage
- Dependence on your partner
- Bad for one party in case of divorce
- Divorce may lead to financial obligations
- Attraction may suffer significantly over time
- Divorce rates are quite high
- Many people are quite naive regarding the concept of marriage
- Divorce laws often favor women
- You introduce the state into your life
- You have to get along with the family of your spouse
- Individuality may suffer
- Daily routine may eat you up
- The effort is often not worth the price
- Marriage is not a guarantee that your partner stays with you
- Romantic vs. rational decisions
- Marriage is not for everyone
- Wedding can be quite expensive
- Feelings change over time
- Construct of the past
You limit your level of freedom
Even though there can be many advantages related to marriage, there are also many problems associated with it. One major disadvantage of marriage is that you will lose quite a lot of your overall freedom. You will have to make many compromises.
For instance, if you want to go out with your friends, you might have to ask your partner whether this is ok for him or her or not. Many people also become quite jealous over time and want to control what their partner is doing since they fear to get replaced.
Therefore, during your marriage, chances are that your partner will try to limit your freedom as much as possible, which can greatly reduce your overall quality of life.
No other partners allowed
Another downside of getting married is that you will have no access to other partners anymore. You promise to stay with your partner for the rest of your life and in case you meet someone who better fits your preferences and needs, you will not be able to build up an intimate relationship with this person.
Thus, if you know that you need to have a variety of different partners in your life to be happy, you should definitely not go for marriage since you will rather feel trapped and prohibited from meeting new partners.
You might get trapped in an unhappy marriage
Many people all over the world also get trapped in unhappy marriages. Over time, they lose all their affection for their partner and the marriage. Many people just stay together since it is convenient and not since they like each other too much.
Over time, this may translate into quite unhappy marriages and people might be much better off if they just stayed unmarried instead. Moreover, in many cultures, leaving a marriage is not easy and is even sometimes punished with death.
Therefore, especially if you live in one of those countries who have quite strict laws and rules related to marriage, you should evaluate with great care whether you want to get married or not in order to avoid being trapped into an unhappy marriage for the rest of your life.
Dependence on your partner
Another problem of marriage is that you may also become quite dependent on your partner. Quite often, one partner works in a job to provide for the family while the other partner stays at home and takes care of the kids.
However, the partner who stays at home will not have too much experience in the workplace and may have a hard time finding a job in the future.
This can lead to a serious dependence on your partner since if you are not able to earn your own money, your partner can treat you quite poorly and you still have to stay with him due to financial concerns.
Therefore, marriage can also imply a significant dependence on one partner, which is never a good thing for the dependent party since it makes this party quite vulnerable to get exploited.
Bad for one party in case of divorce
Marriage can also be quite problematic in case of divorce. In many cases, only one party gets custody while the other person will only be able to see his or her kids a few times a month.
This can lead to serious mental issues for people since they often want to spend more time with their kids and see them grow up, but they are not allowed to do so by family law.
This is not only pretty bad for the parent, but also for the kids since children need both parents in order to grow up in an emotionally healthy manner.
Divorce may lead to financial obligations
In case your marriage does not work out and you have to get divorced, you may also suffer from serious financial obligations. For instance, you might have to pay large amounts of money for alimony.
In the end, you might work in a shitty job and have to give away a big fraction of your salary to your ex-partner. Consequently, marriage is also a big risk from a financial perspective and you should really make sure that you understand this risk properly in order to avoid any quite unpleasant financial outcomes for you in the future.
Attraction may suffer significantly over time
In general, people will lose attraction for each other over time. This is not only true for marriage, but also for long-term relationships. We as humans are just not built to stay with only one partner for the rest of our lives from an evolutionary perspective.
Thousands of years ago, it was pretty common that a man had many different women. Therefore, just to stay with one woman for the rest of our lives is just not in our DNA. This is also one main reason why divorce rates are so high.
We are just not built to stay with one partner for a long time and you should consider this fact when it comes to the decision whether you should get married or not.
Divorce rates are quite high
As mentioned before, the divorce rates are usually quite high, especially in Western countries where people do not have to fear any serious punishment in case they leave a marriage.
There are several reasons why most marriages do not work out. It is usually a combination of many factors. Over time, people develop their character in different directions.
Also, their goals in life may change and differ too much in order to stay in a marriage. Some people may also want to move to different countries while their partner wants to stay in their home country.
All those factors may lead to divorce and you should be aware of those facts.
Many people are quite naive regarding the concept of marriage
Another big problem of marriage is that people are often quite naive and do not know what it actually means to get married. Many people marry at quite a young age and are not able to see all the risks that are implied by marrying a partner.
For instance, if you are forced into marriage by your parents at a young age, chances are that you will just trust them to know what’s good for you and you may end up in a disastrous state later on in your life. Hence, many people are just not mentally mature enough to decide whether marriage is the right way to go for them or not.
Divorce laws often favor women
The problem with marriage and the possibility of divorce is that in most cases, our laws generally favor women. This can mean that you have to pay large sums for alimony and also that the custody for your kids will often be granted to your ex-wife instead of you.
Therefore, when it comes to divorce, you as a man will often have a quite hard time and will suffer from plenty of injustice. To be fair, this is not always the case but there is certainly a tendency that women are favored in court in case of divorce in most regions of our planet.
You introduce the state into your life
In general, it is not a good idea to let the state decide what happens to your wealth. In case of divorce, you might lose a significant part of your financial wealth to your ex-partner and you may want to ask yourself whether this is a reasonable risk to bear.
If your partner and you really like each other, you may want to stay together as a couple without marrying each other. By doing so, you could avoid introducing the state into your life, which could protect you from unpleasant outcomes in the long run.
You have to get along with the family of your spouse
When you enter into a marriage, you will also have to deal with the family of your spouse. While this can be quite enjoyable in case you have the same values and world views, it might be quite exhausting in case you do not like each other.
Therefore, make sure to check out your partner’s family before you marry him or her in order to avoid having to hang out with people you don’t want to spend time with at all.
Individuality may suffer
During their marriage, many people also lose a big part of their personality and their individuality. Since you have to make so many compromises with your partner, you may not be able to live your true self anymore.
In turn, this may lead to serious mental problems since in order to stay healthy, we have to listen to our intuition and do things we actually like instead of just always compromising and limiting ourselves.
Daily routine may eat you up
Over time, it may also get quite tiring to have the same daily routine over many years. We as humans need a variety of different activities and tasks in order to develop in a healthy manner. However, in a marriage, plenty of opportunities are taken away from us since there are so many obligations we have to take care of.
For instance, we have to work in a job to make money, have to take care of the kids every day and so on and there will not be too much time left to experience new exciting things.
This daily routine may not be satisfying at all for many people and marrying may be a bad idea due to that.
The effort is often not worth the price
Many people think that they miss out on something if they don’t get married. The truth is that all the problems that you had before with your partner will not get better once you are married, they actually get far worse.
Therefore, make sure not to get married due to the wish that your relationship with your partner will become better. This is not true at all in most cases.
Marriage is not a guarantee that your partner stays with you
Many people also have the flawed belief that your partner will stay with you for the rest of your life once you are married. Yet, if your partner is unhappy in the marriage, he or she will watch out for alternatives and if your partner finds a better fit, he or she will be gone in no time.
Thus, don’t believe that marriage will tie your partner to you. This will not be the case, at least not in Western countries where people do not have any punishment if they leave a marriage.
Romantic vs. rational decisions
People also often get married out of romantic feelings, even though their brain might tell them that this might be a bad idea. Therefore, there is often a conflict between romantic attitudes and rational thinking and many people may benefit from listening to their rational voice more than their romantic voice when it comes to the topic of marriage.
Marriage is not for everyone
Many people are simply not made for marriage. Especially if you love your freedom and do not want to make any compromises, marriage will definitely not be the way to go for you since you will never be happy if you are a freedom-loving person who wants to stay flexible and experience new things all the time.
Therefore, you should ask yourself which character type you are in order to be able to evaluate whether marriage is the way to go for you or not.
Wedding can be quite expensive
Another issue of marriage is that the wedding ceremony can be quite expensive. People often spend incredible amounts of money on their wedding and some people even take on some debt for their wedding. Therefore, make sure that you can afford getting married before actually proposing to your partner.
Feelings change over time
We as humans develop over time and so do our feelings for each other. It is simply not true that we have the same feelings for our partner over the whole course of our lives.
Chances are that you will become less attracted to your partner over time and you have to ask yourself whether you want to live with a person to whom you may no longer be attracted to before getting married.
Construct of the past
Marriage made a lot of sense in the past. Yet, in our current times, there are not too many reasons anymore to get married for many people. Thus, marriage can also be considered as some kind of historical construct that has become obsolete.
Top 10 Marriage Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Marriage Pros||Marriage Cons|
|Important in many cultures||High divorce rates|
|Creation of wealth together||You may lose your wealth|
|Tax advantages||Attraction vanishes over time|
|Social acceptance||You may not get along with your partner|
|Security aspect||Your partner may cheat on you|
|Support in difficult times||High level of dependence|
|Important family connections||It may be hard to get out of a marriage|
|May be important for religious aspects||Individuality will suffer|
|Marriage may protect you from loneliness||Marriage as outdated social construct|
|Stable family conditions||Introducing the state into your life|
Should You Marry?
Whether you should get married or not is a question that you have to answer yourself, depending on your individual preferences.
In my opinion, marriage is a rather outdated social construct and especially as a man, getting married is quite risky in many parts of our planet right now.
Therefore, make sure to evaluate all the pros and cons of marriage carefully in order to avoid unpleasant surprises in the long run.
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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