It is every girl’s dream to be married.
From the time they were young, they dream of wearing the perfect dress, walking down the aisle to a song they’ve picked from high school, looking to the crying eyes of her Prince Charming.
“And they lived ever after,” women would sigh as they start scouring for the best venue, caterer, and dress for what should be the best day of their lives.
That is why, the first people women would usually call after getting engaged are their parents and their girl best friends.
Together, they would scream and shout as they gushed on how big the stones on their engagement rings are, while the men would wink and joke to the guy that this unfortunately is the beginning of the end.
Hence, it is a shock to many women that marriage is not what it promised to be.
Maybe it’s our high, unrealistic expectations, or maybe it’s because nobody really told us women how married women are like — that it would be a lot of sacrifice than happiness — but I observed that so many women regret getting married, especially during the adjustment married.
When Marriage Becomes Unbearable
In the last two years I’ve been here, I’ve seen more than a handful of women getting married. At least half of that are unhappy in their marriage and are thinking if their marriage is “worthwhile.”
“It’s only been two years,” I told my unhappy friend during one sob fest. “And you have a lovely baby girl. Why would you think of giving up? You just got married!”
After talking to many girl friends who seem to regret getting married, I have compiled a short list on why these women regret getting married to their spouses. May this be a warning to my fellow girl friends who want to get married but actually don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.
1) When you get married, you separate from your family. This is HARD.
This was an immediate lesson for me when I first got married — You cleave yourself from your family and join his.
During the first two weeks of my marriage, my mom and I had a hard time settling on a comfortable dynamic.
You see, before my marriage, I was with my mom 24/7.
We would go out together. I would accompany her to her errands and even join her to her senior retreat. We even shared the same bed after my dad passed away. My mom was very makulit but I loved being with her. She spoiled me, and always made life for me very comfortable.
So after marriage, it was tough staying away from each other.
Imagine, my mom even dropped by our hotel the day after our wedding to give us some stuff! She would call me consistently on different times those first few weeks just to tell me what’s going on with her life. And being the good daughter that I am, of course, I was happy to hear from her and regale her with stories on how life is as a newlywed.
Husband was not very happy.
“If a woman wanted to be with her mom all the time,” he once said, “Then she shouldn’t get married.”
I insisted that my mom was merely trying to be sweet and concerned. But I knew he was right. Boundaries had to be made.
In the end, we settled on spending every Saturday together.
She would cook us a delicious lunch at her house, and I would spend the afternoon with her while my husband goes to work. Then after work, my husband picks us up and we have dinner and a movie together.
It keeps us in close contact but at a consistency that my husband is comfortable with. Problem solved.
However, not a lot of couples are as lucky. My friend for example still couldn’t cleave herself away from her family. “They need me,” she insisted. “I am very good at organizing and they need my help in organizing their wedding.”
Unfortunately, she had four other siblings and three were getting married, one per year. That means, she has to drag herself to supplier meetings and was at her family’s beck and call. She would take their calls for even the minutest details much to the chagrin of her husband, who wants her to make him and their baby a priority.
This is a problem of leaving and cleaving. If a woman cannot let go and be firm of her family’s boundaries, she will have a problem with her husband. It will cause unnecessary tension in her family.
In Genesis 2: 24, the Bible states, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
2) When you get married, you marry his entire family, quirks and all.
Woe is to the woman who dislikes any of her husband’s family member(s).
Trust me, this feeling would most likely NOT go away.
And if you don’t like them, chances are, they don’t like you too.
And that’s a terrible feeling to have.
One of my husband’s cousins is getting married this June. Unfortunately, his parents do not like the girl and insists on boycotting the wedding. The girl’s parents feel slighted and pridefully insists that the two of them get married with the girl’s family footing the entire wedding bill.
Every week, there is news of more bickering fueling the clan’s eager gossip fodder. The woman is adamant that no guy’s family will stop her happiness, while the cousin is miserable at being caught in between. It is an awful situation to be in. What’s even sadder is that the couple is entering in a thorny marriage that is already full of mutual hatred, strife and hurt.
Do you think that the conditions would improve after they get married?
No, I think not.
Families are supposed to be one of the greatest supporters of your marriage. When times are tough, it is usually a family member who will shake some sense to the stubborn spouse and try to save the marriage.
My mom is a good example. When my husband complains to my mom, when he is no longer in earshot, my mom would tell me that I was wrong in this situation and I should treat my husband better. She would then teach me what she would do in my situation. Usually, that requires the woman to be more open, considerate and (gulp!) submissive.
Imagine if my mom was anti-husband? Then everything she would say would merely poison our marriage!
I think one of the reasons why my brother hasn’t married his long-time girlfriend is because I still have reservations about her, and am quite open about it.
I honestly think she lacks discipline, is just working because my brother would not marry her otherwise, and will not be an asset to him as my mom was to my dad. In other words, she is not “gao,” or is someone you can rely on. She will maybe make a decent mother to their children. But she will not in any way be spectacular, and someone who can help him in his business.
Now, do you think I would be super supportive if my brother would ask for my opinion about him marrying his long-time girlfriend? Honestly, I would be okay with him marrying her, but would warn him that he may have problems in the future if he has high expectations of her capabilities.
Being someone who wants to be sure in what he’s getting himself into, my brother would also share the same reservations. Which is probably why he is still mulling over whether to marry her or not even though her parents are already pressuring them.
Trust me when I say this, FAMILY MATTERS.
There are many marriage that breaks apart because the wife cannot get along with her husband’s family and vice-versa. Open your eyes and consider whether you want to get married to your boyfriend is any of his family members do not like you! If any of them like you, they will make life harder for you. I’m serious, this spells trouble in the future.
When I got married to my husband, I also got married to his family. That is why, I try my best to endear myself to his family.
They are not joining my family. I am joining theirs! And it is to my best interest if they like me. Because life just becomes a lot better if your in-laws like you!
3) When your husband falls short of your expectations, the woman do not know how to communicate her needs properly in the way that men can accept and understand. So the fights escalates.
When we were dating, my husband and I would go out every night, pick a decent restaurant, watch a movie and then make out a little bit before sending me home before midnight.
After marriage, my husband and I would overtime at work. Then, we would grab food either at my in-law’s house or eat at a local turo-turo. If we’re lucky, we can still watch House of Cards before sleeping. We would be too tired to make out, much less to nookie. Then the grueling day starts once again.
Talk about a demotion in the romantic scale!
“Where’s the romance?” I would ask my husband. “When was the last night we had date night?!”
“But I’m tired,” my husband would reply. “Romance is hard to find in the most mundane of things. You don’t demand it as much if you know you have it.”
Yes, romance deteriorates after you get married. It takes effort to keep the romance especially after family and financial pressures.
When you get married, you save up for the future. What’s worse, when the baby comes, kiss your love life goodbye. From the first year, all you have time for is your work and your baby. Husband be damned.
Many women still demand the same level of romance, love and care from their husbands. “You’ve changed,” they would accuse their husbands. “You didn’t use to act this way!”
Now ladies, one thing you should NOT do is to tell your husband he is not giving you enough. Men hate this. They want to make you happy. And knowing that they’ve done all they can and you’re still unhappy are sure fire ways of having that one big fight.
In return, men would get defensive. Most guys would ignore you, which would make you even madder and provoke a fight just to get a reaction from him.
Bad move — guys have pride. They will refuse to give you what you want if you play hardball. On the other hand, women will also not want to give way. Hence, we will start to nag and insist our way, which will make things worse.
Trust me when I say this, when married couple fight, one has to give way. If both stand their ground, that marriage crumbles. Words get exchanged and feelings get hurt. After awhile, people forget why they are fighting and just remember the hurt they feel.
I am very lucky in this regard.
My husband is not as stubborn as other men. Because he has been married before, he knew what being stubborn can get you. They were already starting their annulment procedures after a mere six months of marriage.
“It is better to be married than to be right,” he would say. Then he would try to understand what I am so pissed about.
Two, we are direct communicators. If I am unhappy, I tell him specifically why I am unhappy, and what he needs to do to make him happy.
“My wife tells me that her ex can understand what she’s feeling without her telling him,” my guy best friend complained. “I had to hold my tongue from telling her that she should’ve married her ex then!”
“I am not a mind reader,” another guy friend moaned. “Why can’t she just tell me what she wants instead of crying and telling me I should ‘get’ it if I love her? What does me knowing what she is thinking have to do with loving her? If I didn’t love her, I wouldn’t have married her!”
Ladies, if you expect your men to be mind readers and don’t tell them what the hell you want, then there would be hell in your marriage. Men cannot help you if you don’t tell them specifically what you want them to do.
One of our biggest fights as a young couple has to do with technology. I hated the fact that my husband was always on the phone, texting his customers and answering messages. I hate the fact that he does this as soon as he wakes up, and until he goes to bed. When we were in Disneyland Florida, it irked me that he was Flipboarding instead of spending time with me.
Here is my complete post on how technology is evil for marriages.
In the end, we resolved to save our marriage and keep technology on certain times. For example, no cellphones during meal times. That means, as soon as we get inside the restaurants, he would have to put his cellphone away.
He falters from time to time, and gets irritated when I remind him, but clear instruction has made our married life better.
Compare this to a friend of mine who shares the same problem with her hubby. The issue is, she keeps on telling him to put the phone away but there is no conditions involved except that she doesn’t like him on the phone all the time.
Ladies, please explain clearly why he should put it away. Don’t ask him to do so just because you told him to. This is the best way for him to disobey you. Men don’t like to be ordered around. They want to be convinced. Convince him and then set certain conditions when he can play on his cellphone.
4) When you delude yourself in thinking that your differences before marriage was acceptable, only to find out they were deal breakers after marriage.
This is a really stupid reason why marriages fall apart.
You marry someone thinking you can accept your differences, then one of you realizes too late that you can’t take it anymore.
By then, you are stuck in an unhappy marriage.
Common differences include the following:
- Difference in religion. For example, you are Christian while he’s a Muslim. What if his parents encourage him to take another wife?
- Differences in personalities. What if you like joining business associations while your husband would like to keep to his close circle of friends? So do you start doing different things together? What are the chances you will meet somebody else who share the same interests? Would you start thinking you married the wrong man?
- Differences in career expectations. What if he wants you to stay at home and bear his children, while you want to have your own career? On the flipside, what if he wants you to help out in his family business but you only want to stay at home? His family is unhappy on how selfish you are and makes life harder for you?
- Differences in wanting a kid. You want children. He doesn’t. Uh-oh.
- Differences in home habits. He wants you to be domestic. You’ve never touched a cooking utensil in your wife. He starts comparing you to his friend’s spouses who can cook. You feel unfairly judged because you thought he already knew you were not domestic.
- Differences in raising a kid. You want to raise your kid your way. He and his family has other ideas.
- Differences in deciding how much freedom a woman can have in their family. You want the freedom of being able to do what you want. He and his family thinks you should be more controlled in what you do because you now represent their family. This is very common in very rich families.
- Differences in thinking how important you are to their family. You want to be seen as an important part of their family. But since your in-laws do not like you, they show favoritism to other members of their family. You hate that feeling but cannot do anything about it.
The list goes on and on… now, would you still want to be married?
5) Lastly, you married for the wrong reasons. You felt that you were forced into the marriage.
This is quite sad. Marriage should be a decision made by the two parties, and no one else. Unfortunately, other factors come to play.
For example, many people get married if the girl gets pregnant.
Or if they’ve been dating for a long time, and it would look bad to both sides of the family if they break up.
Or if the guy/girl is pressured to marry someone their family wants in order to please their parents. This usually happens with Chinese families where a guy/girl likes a Filipino but marries a Chinese kai shiao due to family pressure.
Or if the woman is afraid of being single for life and marries the next guy who asks, even if they are not really compatible.
No! No! No!
You should only get married if you want to marry him, and he wants to marry you!
There should not be any pressure. Don’t say yes just because he asked. Or because it’s time. That’s bullshit. Do not get yourself in a pile of crap because you are afraid of being alone.
Because marriage can be heaven or hell depending on who you marry. And when shit hits the fan, it’s better to be married to someone you chose, instead of someone who was simply pushed down your throat.
There is no worse feeling than to be “stuck” in a marriage. It’s like a decaying disease that will never get better. What’s worse, the longer you are in that marriage, the more restless and depressed you get.
Marry for the right reasons! Don’t just jump into marriage because you’re afraid to be single! See here a first-person account on how much it is a hassle to escape a marriage wrongly entered.
What’s worse than being single is to be married and miserable. Trust me on this!
There you go. My Top 5 Reasons Why Couples Divorce Very Quickly. If you have any additions, please feel free to share in the comment below.