The Huffington Post recently released an article titled “10 Reasons It’s Totally Fine to Never Get Married.” The reasons are as bad as you might be thinking. Reasons like:
– “For men, being married could be connected to being overweight.”
– “Most people aren’t in a hurry to get married anymore.”
– “Marriage can present a slew of financial problems.”
– “Getting married can put your friendships at risk.”
– “Marriage can lead to the risky habit of relying on one individual for every emotional need.”
– “These days, a happy marriage requires a serious commitment of time and energy that can be hard to maintain”
– “And, as dim as it sounds, plenty of marriages in this country end up in a divorce anyway.”
– “Plus, there’s a good alternative to marriage. It’s called a civil union or a domestic partnership.”
In other words:
– You might gain weight.
– Make decisions based on data and the status quo.
– You have to spend money on someone besides yourself.
– You might actually spend time with the person you married, and less time with the people you didn’t.
– Who likes relying on people? That’s risky!
– Commitment is boring and requires effort, which is lame.
– Other people give up, you could too.
– Marriage requires legal commitment, and that’s a lot to think about. Instead of commiting your whole person to someone else, just use this half-hearted alternative that gives you some legal benefits.
This is what we are up against. Are the reasons here something that couples should consider? Sure, of course. Marriage does require commitment and energy, and you do have to weigh every decision for two (or more if you have little ones) people including eating habits, finances, and how much time you want to spend with your friends. But these aren’t reasons that make it “totally fine” to never get married.
Our self-asorbed society is an embarrassment, and not only that, but it blunders one of the greatest institutions of mankind: the complete, selfless, and unequivocal giving of oneself to another. Yes, marriage is difficult at times, but it is worth so much more than these asinine reasons. The level of reward received from marriage triumphs over these selfish and childish reasons.
The problem with the list they have created is that it missed the entire point of marriage: the other person. When you get married, you say in a number of words or deeds, “I will do whatever it takes to make you happy.” Didn’t they watch Frozen?
The bass-ackwards philosophy of our culture, though, tells us we have to make decisions that only benefit us. Where is the honor in that? If that is the way people are making decisions, then yes, please do not get married!
As awful and wrong as the writers often are at Huffington Post, the issue is not that they said people shouldn’t get married. There are people who shouldn’t be married. The issue is that they start from the wrong material end, ergo their reasons are half-hearted.
There are also good reasons people who can marry, should wait. Here are the real reasons why you might want to wait, or never get married at all.
– You’re a priest.
– You’re already married!
– You aren’t open to having children.
– You’re not ready to commit entirely.
– You’re not ready to share a legal and financial life with someone else.
– You are currently discerning a call to the consecrated life, be it hermit, priest, nun, etc.
– You’re “unequally yoked”, in other words, you have a mixed marriage. Though the Church grants these, the Catechism says much on the topic and of its discernment, “difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated” (CCC 1633).
I’m sure there are more. Again, the problem is not that the original author suggested someone shouldn’t get married, the problem is in their social philosophy. To the author, marriage better benefit the user, or else, what’s the point?
The point of marriage is not to be loved, but to love. Love though, has a way of reciprocating itself, so that the more you love your spouse, the more you will be loved in return.