Ask 100 people what the purpose of marriage is and you might get 100 slightly different answers. It’s a question that many people may have never considered. Instead, getting married is something most people do because they want to but have never really thought much about what the purpose of marriage is.
How Your View on the Purpose of Marriage Influences Your Relationship
Your view on the purpose of marriage will make a big difference in your overall satisfaction in your relationship. If you and your spouse have two different ideas about the purpose of marriage, you’ll likely find it causes some disagreements and conflict. However, many people don’t ever really uncover the true reason for their conflict is based on their differences in beliefs about the purpose of marriage.
Is the Purpose of Marriage to Make You Feel Good?
Sometimes people marry because they think marriage will lead to happiness. They think that having a spouse will ensure they never feel scared, insecure, and lonely ever again. They imagine marriage will mean they have a fun and active social life and will lead to ongoing marital bliss.
When people aren’t already happy with themselves, marriage won’t solve anything. In fact, it will likely lead to a lot of disappointment and heartache. Marriage isn’t the cure for depression or dissatisfaction in life. Marriage is not meant to be a fairy tale that will take away all of your previous problems. People who divorce in an attempt to seek more happiness from another mate will likely be disappointed if they are just chasing the idea that marriage should make them happy.
People who make the best partners in life are those who are able to deal with negative emotions successfully. People who work to meet their own need and are content with their own lives can say that marriage enhances their life but isn’t the solution to all their problems.
Is the Purpose of Marriage to Prevent You From Having to be Alone?
Sometimes people get married to ward off loneliness. They may think that having a partner ensures they won’t feel lonely again.
However, married people can certainly still feel lonely. If you anticipate that your spouse is going to meet all your needs to prevent you from feeling lonely, you may be disappointed. In most marriages, there will be plenty of times your spouse isn’t home and you’ll fill lonely. Or worse yet, there will likely be times your spouse isn’t able to give you the attention you want and you may feel lonely with your spouse in the same room.
When people get married to fill a void, they may be disappointed and blame their spouse for not being able to fulfill their duties. Your spouse isn’t going to be all things to you all the time. In fact, it is essential that you have other ways to meet your needs and deal with negative emotions without depending on your spouse to prevent you from feeling lonely.
Is the Purpose of Marriage to Have Kids?
Sometimes people just assume getting married is what you do. You get out of school and you find someone you can marry and then you can have kids.
But is the whole purpose of getting married just to have children? If so, what happens when the kids are grown? What will keep you together then?
Hopefully if you choose to have children together, it will be just a part of your marriage and not your entire purpose for being together. You need a strong and healthy partnership to successfully raise children together.
Spiritual Views on the Purpose of Marriage
What if you viewed the purpose of marriage not to be about anything that has to do with you feeling better or being able to raise a family? What if you viewed the purpose of marriage to be a challenge that helps you grow together? If someone views marriage in this light, it can certainly lead to a different attitude about conflict.
What if you decided that the purpose of marriage wasn’t about making you or your spouse happy but was about your faith? For Christians, sometimes the view on marriage is that marriage should make you holy. This sort of view helps couples understand marriage isn’t meant to be easy but instead will be challenging.
What if your view was not about what you will be gaining, but instead, what you will be giving? Instead of blaming your spouse for not giving you what you need, you would be free to focus on helping your spouse. This could certainly lead to some changes in how you treat your spouse.
Develop Your Marriage Mission Statement
Consider developing your own mission statement for marriage where you put into your own words what the purpose of your marriage is. Wedding vows are a somewhat generic form of this but usually aren’t personal. Consider making a mission statement specific to your views on the purpose of marriage. Talk to your spouse about it and see if you can both agree on a purpose statement that says what your marriage is all about. Then review it often to help you stay on track with living out your views and goals with marriage.