Contributed by Rev. Rudy Heezen Toronto Wedding Officiant
One question I am often asked is: ‘Rudy why do people get married?’ Why not simply live together, what is the difference?
Following some reasons why people choose to get married. You may have different views on this and that’s OK, or you may decide to not get married as living together works for you and that is OK too. Ultimately the choice is yours. Just be sure you choose marriage for the right reasons!
Reasons to Get Married
Every couple has different reasons to get married unique their relationship, many couples share similar reasons for planning the long walk down the aisle. While other couple’s reasons are purely emotional, legal, financial, or some combination of these, recognizing why marriage is important can help you to understand the commitment you are about to make to your long term relationship.
Emotional reasons are the most noticeable reason for people to get married. The companionship romance and love a couple shares can compel them to make the commitment to spend the rest of their lives together. Not all emotional reasons are romantic, however. Some people may choose to get married because of fear – fear that they will always be alone or that they will not find someone else to share their life with. Some people may also get married out of anger, either to spite their parents or another individual with whom they’ve had a relationship. While the positive emotions behind wanting to get married can make the event seem magical, the negative emotions for marriage can be devastating. Couples should always carefully examine their emotional motivation for marriage before they commit to I do.
Getting married can be very practical for financial reasons. A married couple can take advantage of tax breaks associated with marriage, and the legal commitment of a marriage ensures financial security for providing for children. Sharing medical insurance for couples and families can also be very cost effective, and couples can enjoy financial benefits with regards to communal property, inheritances, retirement accounts, and other financial matters.
Legal reasons can also explain why people get married. If a couple is legally married, they can invoke hospital visitation rights and caregiver decisions with fewer bureaucratic roadblocks. Parental and property rights are also easier to manage legally when a couple is married, including issues such as employment sick leave, next of kin, and home ownership.
Many couples choose to get married for religious reasons. In some faiths, a couple may not be considered married if they only complete a civil ceremony – a religious ceremony is required to confirm their union before the eyes of God. A couple who shares the same or similar faiths may want to honour their relationship with a religious commitment, or if their faiths are different they may plan an interfaith or non-denominational ceremony to blend their spirituality together.
Modern society also puts pressure on couples to marry. While cohabitation and open commitments are more acceptable and more common than ever before, the solid commitment of a marriage ceremony is still sought after as a firm indication of a couple’s bond. Many couples feel intense peer pressure to marry from their parents, relatives, or other married friends, particularly if they already have children or plan to start a family. Single individuals may also be pressured to “settle down” and get married.
So, Why Do People Get Married?
With so many reasons to get married, it is important for couples to truly examine their relationship and decide why they want to make this commitment to one another. Some reasons are good, some not, and some reasons are all together irrelevant about a long term relationship. Every couple planning their wedding should carefully consider why they want to get married, and they should consider those reasons with realistic expectations. For example, a couple who is deeply in love needs to realize that the fresh romance of a new relationship will not feel the same after a lengthy marriage, and a couple who marries purely for tax benefits needs to realize that the financial reasons for marriage should not be the only reason for tying the knot.
Be sure you get married for the right reasons to stay happily wed.
Every couple can answer the question “why do people get married” in a different way.
Through it all, always, always remember love conquers all!
Have a wonderfilled Wedding Day!
Rev. Rudy Heezen
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