Marriage Is Not the Cure for a Bad Dating Relationship

BY: - 6 Jun '13 | Relationships

Share this article!

TNMCoupleEngagementRing

Marriage can be magnificent, amazing and beautiful. But it doesn’t possess any super powers. It can’t take a struggling dating relationship and transform it into a marriage made in heaven. No, the commitment itself won’t even be able to perform that particular trick, although there are many of us who hope it would. There have been so many couples who believed marriage was going to be the cure to the confusion, disagreements and mayhem existing in their lives. Contrary to popular belief, our vows are just words until we actually put some action behind them.

During a recent  “Strawberry Letter” segment  of the Steve Harvey Radio Show, a listener wrote in asking for advice on his troubled marriage. Through the letter he shared how challenged the relationship had been from the very beginning. This young man thought if he married his woman things would improve.   To his surprise, the relationship worsened and he was at the point of walking away.  I can’t recall the advice offered  on the show, but the idea behind the letter is what had me stumped.

I wondered exactly who or what  gave him the impression that making such a level of commitment would change the bad behaviors, negative attitudes and drama present in his relationship. What guarantee did he have, going in, that marriage was the solution. It’s like putting a band-aid on a broken leg;  it won’t heal anything. Problems, like the ones he mentioned, are usually below the surface  and require extra attention and action. Disrespect, lack of trust and ineffective communication usually still exist after we say I do, if neither partner is willing to correct.

If a person drives us crazy when we’re just dating, they’re probably going to drive us the same kind of crazy once we marry. The individual has to acknowledge their present behavior isn’t benefiting the relationship. If they are unable to do that, what makes one recognize it in a marriage? I am a firm believer that when people show us who they are, we must believe them. People can and do change, but they have to want to. We don’t have the power to change them and neither will marriage.

Marriage works best when it includes two relationship focused individuals who are willing to go above and beyond to make it work. Marriage won’t save us, heal us or fix us. We must be realistic about our expectations. It should, however, compliment us and begin on a solid foundation. Our focus should be on strengthening the relationship before we decide to take it to the next level, so we have the greatest chance at marriage success.

BMWK, do you think marriage is a solution for an already struggling dating relationship?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 372 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and a Career Coach/Trainer. She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Ebony Magazine, Essence.com and on the Michael Baisden Show. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two children. For more of Tiya's fearless life and love wisdom, visit her blog at www.theboldersister.com

Store

like what you're reading?

Start Shopping!

Discussion

Facebook Wordpress

6 WordPress comments on “Marriage Is Not the Cure for a Bad Dating Relationship

    1. Tiya

      Thanks Lamar. I am not sure why so many think marriage will improve their situations. It puzzles me.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Lamar, I complete agree with you. Stop the bleeding before it starts.
      That mindset requires many to get serious with themselves and a level of maturity that many don’t want to deal with. Maturity = Responsibility. i.j.s

      Reply
  1. Chaplain

    Yes I believe marriage does offer a viable solution, and in some cases is the ONLY viable solution to a challanged relation. Here are two quick reasons. One- it burns the boat! As long as two people continue to try to strenthen a relationship BEFORE marriage,they are just kidding themselves. The real sanctifying heat cannot come until REAL commitment is solidified and tangable. Until marriage, both parties AND their respective families keep tend to keep an emotional distance, reserving some, just in case.

    TWO- the most violent an unstable of all relationships are the unmarried. They garner more domestic distirbance calls than any other. Why? Because an unmarried relation, dispite what we’d like to bleieve is a breeding ground for the insecurities wed like to think we’ve overcome or outgrown. It turns otherwise highly functioning folks into emotional weenies. Its like working for an employer who keeps you temporary, or on probation, never closing the deal. Do you look for another job?
    Closing the deal is super important and offers great psychsocial and spirtual relief. For many, if not most, especially the younger ones,the longer you drag it on, the worse its likely to become.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Great point, but I do have to disagree. The real commitment comes before the marriage and appears when both people show they are willing to make sacrifices and change negative behaviors for the sake of the relationship. If a person has insecurities or any other baggage, they won’t disappear once they get married. And there is usually a valid reason that, an employer for example, is only keeping you on temporarily. If a marriage has a real chance at survival we have to at least start it off on the right footing. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
    2. Tiya

      Great point, but I do have to disagree. The real commitment comes before the marriage and appears when both people show they are willing to make sacrifices and change negative behaviors for the sake of the relationship. If a person has insecurities or any other baggage, they won’t disappear once they get married. And there is usually a valid reason that, an employer for example, is only keeping you on temporarily. If a marriage has a real chance at survival we have to at least start it off on the right footing. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>