3 common reasons why people want to get married

A lady in the lift at my apartment block chatted me up today. (No, she's not lesbian.) She made some small talk initially and quickly proceeded on to tell me about her problems. I don't know whether I have the "you can tell me all your secrets" written on my forehead because people seem to tell me many things voluntarily! She asked me whether I felt lonely and when I answered, "No," she shared that she feels lonely all the time.

This lady is single and in her 40s. Her main worry, among others, is not being able to find a husband. I asked her why she is anxious to get married. Here are her reasons:
1. To have a man to provide for her financially
2. To have someone to take care of her if she is ill or when she gets old
3. For companionship

This anxiety to get married and the reasons for wanting to do so are not unique. I hear about these from many of my female friends. Guys usually mention reasons #2 and #3.

These were my responses to her:
#1 Financial Security
Having a husband is no guarantee of financial security. He may have a job today but no job tomorrow and she might have to take care of him financially.
My advice to her: Get a job (she's not working), spend less and save more.

#2 Caregiving
He might die before her, he may not take care of her when she needs care, and maybe he's the one who needs her to care for him.
My advice to her: Eat well, exercise regularly.

#3 Companionship
Similarly, he might die before her, he may not around when she needs him.
My advice to her: Get to know more people by getting a job and participating in social activities such as line-dancing which is free.

I know it sounded brutal but she took it very well by agreeing with me and added, "marriage is a gamble". Wise words.

If you have better advice or suggestions, let me know just in case I see her again :)

Related posts:
[Marriage: the necessary evil]
[What you want is not what we want]
[How many children do you want to have?]


David said...


Your series on society and social commentary continue.

Marriage however is getting the most superficial treatment.

Recent post, 10 Types of friendships-for-convenience, 10 Types of friendships-for-convenience, How to find a good woman, and Ready-made man vs DIY man to name a few go into detail on what makes relationships work or fail.

Marriage is perhaps humankind's oldest and most cherished institution. Marriage remains the building blocks of the family unit.

While you rarley talk about family, Yu-Kym was born into a family, the result of an intimate act of Love.

Without marriage there would be no family structure. Much fiction has been writtern about alternate realities, but with out marriage an family humans would like still be primitives living in small pre-tribal groups. Think early cave dwellers and hunter-gatherers.

The three points you present, and not in depth at that are considerations for marriage partners.

Should my wife have avoide me since I am 10 years older, certian to die before her, and perhaps require caregiving?

I would think that someone avoiding marriage because they do not want to ever be a caregiver for a loved one is a shallow soul.
What will happen to that individual in old age? Who will care for them?

Most of all you left out all mention of love, affection and the caring one has for a beloved spouse.

Marriage is not for the shallow minded nor immature. Such marriages end in divorce every day. Marriage more than just a reliable ONS.

Marriage is and should be a life long commttiment.

I know this as our 20th anniversary is just days away!

I would not trade a single moment of marriage for a lifetime of being single.


Yu-Kym said...

Congrats on your 20th anniversary!

I think you may have misunderstood my objective of this post.
The title is "3 common reasons why people want to get married" not "3 reasons why people should get married".

As superficial as these reasons may sound, they are really what people have told me and what they believed to be true! Such beliefs were probably passed down from the older generation but are no longer applicable now.
I don't know how many people actually thought about it or bother to sound their friends out.

I hope people would think about whether their reasons for wanting to get married make sense at all, and stop stating these reasons to pressure women to get married.

Mouse said...

Hi Kym, I would have to partially disagree with you on the first two reasons. It is not to be totally categorize as not reasonable, but a mathematical question of redundancy. In anything you do, or at least in industrial practice, critical plant carries redundancy. Yes the backup might fail, but we manage the failure to reduce the probability of failing. This all can be reduced with due diligence during acquisition, proper condition monitoring during operation and thorough maintenance during overhauls. Relate that to the way a wife choose her husband, communicate with her husband and guide her husband. Exact same thing applies. What I'm trying to say is, it is not a definite failure, it will last the whole life if managed properly. It is also a negligence of the wife if the husband fail to do his part. It is a marriage, a two way thing. Not a one way road with the blame fingers pointing the other. :)

As for the 3rd reason, yes you can always find companionship externally. But how much can you trust those people? We will at some point feel lonely. We need to know someone will be there for us. Maybe not for you, but bare in mind not everyone is mentally as strong as you are. Different people have different needs on how dependent they need to be.

Hope that's not too offensive. Just a different perspective of life. :)

Yu-Kym said...

Hi Mouse, I didn't say it's a definite failure.
One party may have tried everything to reduce the likelihood of failure but it may still fail because, as you rightly pointed out, it's a 2-way thing. One common backup plan which women use nowadays is keeping a job and having their own savings. I don't disagree with women keeping their jobs but I disagree with looking at it as a redundancy or backup plan for a marriage. http://yu-kym.blogspot.com/2009/10/plan-b.html

For companionship, having a husband is not a guarantee of companionship or having someone to rely on in times of need. Sometimes, friends are more reliable than one's own spouse - I'm sure you have heard many such examples.

Your perspective is a very rosy one. I don't blame you for thinking that way because that's exactly what society and the media want us to believe. Marriage is one way to keep things in order and people in check.

ColdTrickle said...


i have a close, financially well-off friend who once told me that he can get care-giving and companionship from his good friends and that marriage is not something he will get into for the sake of companionship or receiving care. he had enough friends. guess what. his friends got married, they had their own lives. his unmarried friends over time became a boring meetings - even though they had many different things planned each week in their meetings. they were, i mind you, his very good friends. however, there is a whole world of difference in being very good friends and a married partner.

eventually, this friend of mine got married and is happy father of two.

the reasons for getting married is not as superficial as what you pointed out.

one would not value care-giving and companionship till one is much older, when the world has moved on, having its own life, leaving you lonely.

interacting with us faceless people, might give you the level of companionship you desire at this moment. but do get a companion - a real one.


Mouse said...

Kym, you are right. But my believe in marriage relies heavily upon the phrase due diligence. :) It's all about risk management. Haha.. I recall one movie who he did risk analysis on his gfs before deciding which one to wed to. Sad, but true. This is how life got us to nowadays. Not many out there can be trusted. But with proper due diligence, you minimize the risk. Such is life, whatever shit happens, we don't suicide. We accept, we embrace and we move on.