Why do you want to get married? – Part 2

Why do you want to get married? – Part 2

A ring is a token of your faith and love to each other

 In our journey to understanding the motives behind the union of marriage, we addressed the conscious and unconscious reasons people often say ‘I do’.

In Part 1, we explored the pres­sures of aging (I am growing old; therefore, I have to marry) and societal expectations (My family, friends and society are putting pres­sure on me to marry).

In Part 2, we delve into the influence of peer pressure and the desire to wear a wedding ring. Whether you have been following the series or are just joining us, let us continue exploring the reasons some people get married. These include (stated in their own words):

3. My friends are all marrying; I’m the only one who is not yet married

I can understand how you feel, especially if you are a woman. As a single woman (or man), you may have difficulties attending social events alone without a spouse or would-be spouse (especially wed­dings, marriage anniversaries, and baby naming ceremonies).

Most of these feelings connected to those social events range from loneliness to embarrassment, and to anger. You feel uncomfortable that you have to go to yet another couples-centered event all alone.

I know that these feelings can make you have all kinds of un­healthy thoughts about your self-es­teem, self-value and even future prospects.

Nevertheless, going ahead to marry anyone at all simply because of “my friends are all marrying; I am the only one who is not yet mar­ried” thoughts and feelings, can be quite dangerous.

I know you will want to know what you should do if you feel that way. Well, I can give you a few coping strategies. These strategies include:

a. You do not have to attend all your friends’ weddings.

It is not compulsory or mandato­ry for you to attend every wedding that is organised. As a coping strat­egy, you can be very selective of the weddings you choose to attend.

In such cases, you can show your love and support to such friends ahead of the event day by genuine­ly wishing them well, giving them some form of financial or material support, and communicating how much you care about them getting married.

When these are done ahead of time and are well communicated, your friends will understand and greatly appreciate your efforts.

b. If you decide to attend the event, then be quick to challenge any automatic negative thoughts about yourself.

It is a fact that many of us are highly critical of ourselves. If you have any automatic negative thoughts, such as—“I am always going to be alone”, “I will never find someone who loves me”, “I am nobody”, “life is not treating me well”, and “I am such a loser”—then pause.

Stop yourself and stop those negative thoughts by: I. always being quick to identify the nega­tive thoughts, II. challenging them, and III. replacing those negative thoughts with alternative healthy thoughts. Re-frame your thoughts to be more positive and helpful to your own happiness.

4. I need to wear a wedding ring too

There is nothing wrong with wearing a wedding ring and prob­ably enjoying a little glamour that comes with marriage ceremonies.

Except if you fantasise that being married with wedding ring on finger automatically implies happi­ness and fulfillment in life; then you may be greatly mistaken and in for a shock.

Sometimes the thought of “I need to wear a wedding ring too” is a little more subtle for a lot of unmarried people.

For some people, they see mar­riage as a status symbol, so they get married thinking they will parade around town with their spouse and people will bow in their presence like they just conquered an entire empire, city or something.

Unfortunately, these are only fantasies; they are not the reality. Do not forget that for some people, wearing a wedding ring has come to represent a shackle of bondage be­cause of the many domestic abuses they suffered as a result of getting married.

Meanwhile, a ring is a very pre­cious thing—a token of your faith and your love to each other. It is a never ending circle that indicates the continuing love of God—a love that never fails and never presents itself selfish or puffed up.

Therefore, my hope and prayer for you is that as you give yourself wholly to the wisdom and practical­ity of these articles, as well as the Bible and pre-marital counselling— the wearing of your wedding ring will come to represent something more lasting!

To be continued …

Source: Excerpts from ‘Pre­paring for a Happy and Fulfilling Marriage’ Book by REV. COUNSEL­OR PRINCE OFFEI (Psychotherapist and Marriage Therapist).

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