I recently had a conversation with a friend about marrying for potential and how so many women (maybe even men) find themselves in that predicament. What predicament do you ask? The one where a woman loves a man with all her heart, but isn’t crazy about some of his habits and characteristics, yet decides that she is going to marry him anyway because he has so much potential.
This discussion about marrying for potential got me thinking about the reasons people choose to get married and the fact that many marriages end, not because love was absent, but because the reasons behind the decision to get married weren’t the best.
Should You Marry for Love?
The most common reason for getting married is love. I believe love is a beautiful thing. Really, I do. But, I really don’t think love is reason enough to get married. I could love a man until I turn blue in the face, if he has no motivation and is incapable of providing for his family, I doubt my love for him will take us very far. Is love necessary to sustain a good marriage? Of course it is. Is love enough, though? I don’t think so.
So what about this potential thing?
Should people marry someone because they see potential in that person? It depends. Do you see the same potential in them that they see in themselves? Are they working towards reaching their potential? Do they have the drive to become a better person and live their best life? If the answer to all these questions is yes, I don’t see anything wrong with seeing someone’s potential and wanting to nurture it.
However, it doesn’t always work out this way. Sometimes we see something in another person that they are nowhere near seeing in themselves. Sometimes we think someone can reach goals that they honestly have no true interest in reaching. Sometimes, we think someone will grow and develop in the way we want them to, because we love them so much they will eventually see that this is the path they should take. Now, as wonderful as it is to see so much in another person, if your vision is not in line with theirs, it just won’t work. Furthermore, if you know deep in your heart that your love for them will fade if they never meet the potential you think they have, you have to ask yourself if getting married is the best choice.
What are some wrong reasons to get married?
Aside from the whole potential issue, people often marry for all sorts of reasons that are quite valid when combined with other critical factors, but alone are not good reasons to get married. For example, you shouldn’t marry someone only because you have a child with them, or you shouldn’t marry someone simply because they have a great career and will provide for you. You see, your children will grow up and move out one day. What happens then? Or, what if your spouse loses that well-paying job and can’t give you the life you always wanted or expected? Does that mean the marriage is over?
Choosing the right spouse is not easy, and even when you choose the right person the challenges you face as a married couple can be tough to navigate. Imagine how difficult things can become if you choose the wrong person and get married for all the wrong reasons. How will you be able to manage the challenges? How will you get to your happily ever after?
Is your marriage doomed because you didn’t get married for the right reasons? I don’t necessarily think so because if love is present, you may be able to make things work. However, that will require you and your spouse being very honest about what your thoughts were when you entered your union and how things have changed for you. I think for any marriage to thrive, no matter what the challenges are, some “real talk” needs to take place. If you can’t keep it real, you’ll have a hard time keeping your union together.
BMWK – Help us fill in the blank. You shouldn’t marry someone because…..