Some people are afraid to get married. There could be a bunch of different reasons for this particular fear.
For example, let’s say you got married, maybe you did it when you were youngish. You were immature and your spouse at the time was immature, and the two of you outgrew each other pretty quickly.
Now it’s years later, and you’ve been living with a woman or man that you love, are loyal to, but won’t marry. I know you’ve got all kinds of reasons why marriage would not be a good idea, all the way from money to family issues.
The point is, you’re afraid to marry and not being honest with yourself. You see, another way to look at this problem is to suggest that there is nothing more important in this world to do during your lifetime then to express your love for someone if indeed you are in love with someone. Holding marriage off indefinitely is a form of negative self-sacrifice that can be kept out of awareness by substituting the reason(s) I suggested and probably a million more.
Let’s face it, if you are ‘in love’ with someone, truly in love with him or her, beyond a shadow of a doubt, getting married is a confirmation of the fact that you feel the way you do and vice versa. Beyond that it is an intimate communication to the person you are in love with that what you feel is pure and forever. This kind of commitment is a great gift. In fact, the most loving gift one person can give to another. Why would you deprive yourself of that?
Let’s do another common expression of marriage phobia: suppose you grew up in a family where people practicing the awful art of controlling each other for personal gain. This kind of experience is bound to affect your love life, more specifically the kind of relationship you’re bound to set up with someone you’re in love with. You will probably expect, no anticipate, that marriage is going to be a ‘prison cell’ in short order. Just another situation where you will be mercilessly controlled and exploited. What reason would you have to think otherwise?
In my way of thinking this is absolutely tragic. Tragic because you are sacrificing your love life because of other people’s insecurities and control issues. Think about that. It’s bad enough that we are extremely vulnerable to being influenced while growing up, but a lifetime of being affected by the limitations in other people’s psyches is too much.
I say it’s important to break free and declare our own love lives! We do that by recognizing other people’s negative or limited influences on us in our own behavior and the relationship we set up in love. Once you can recognize the replication of what you grew up with in your own love relationships and you’re committed to getting it out of your love life, you can work on it.
Of course work on it means you practice (forever if need be) doing what you need to do to not let your undesirable past experience control your experience of love and marriage in the present. The great hope for all of us is that we can have love lives that belong exclusively to us as individuals. My love life is mine. It should not be dictated consciously or unconsciously by the unresolved issues of people from the generation before me.
Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan