25 Worst Reasons to Get Married

25 Worst Reasons to Get Married

Why do so many couples end up in marital therapy? It often starts with the reasons why people get married in the first place. On the psychiatrist’s couch, people tend to open up and reveal what really drove them to get hitched. And in many cases, their deep-down motivation to pair up wasn’t something that lays the foundation for a lasting union. It’s no wonder they end up having problems.

After more than 30 years of treating couples for marital conflict, the psychiatrists and psychotherapists at Amen Clinics have heard it all. Based on working with thousands of couples in crisis, here are 25 of the common—and worst—reasons why people get married that almost guarantee you’re going to run into trouble later on. Do any of them sound familiar to you?

Why Couples in Marital Therapy at Amen Clinics Say They Got Hitched

  1. “I got to an age when I thought I really ‘should’ be getting married and starting a family. So I pushed my boyfriend at the time to propose even though we had a lot of problems.”
  2. “I’d always struggled with depression, and I was convinced getting married would make me happy.”
  3. “I grew up in a family where I never got any attention, and I just wanted to feel special for once and have something be about me.”
  4. “I’d always dreamed of having the perfect wedding, and honestly, I think I was more excited about the wedding than the getting married part.”
  5. “We were having issues, and I thought getting married would fix them.”
  6. “I can’t stand being alone and liked the idea of having someone who would always be there. I still like that idea; I just don’t think I picked the right person.”
  7. “I’m embarrassed to say this, but I really wanted all those amazing wedding gifts.”
  8. “All my friends had already gotten married and were either double dating or getting pregnant, and I felt left out.”
  9. “My girlfriend gave me an ultimatum to get engaged or she would leave me. I wasn’t ready to get married, but I didn’t want to lose her either, so I proposed.”
  10. “We both come from very religious families that don’t believe in sex before marriage, and we really, really wanted to have sex.”
  11. “We accidentally got pregnant.”
  12. “I thought that getting married would make my boyfriend settle down and stop going out drinking so much, but it didn’t.”
  13. “I came from a really poor family, and I thought getting married meant I would be financially secure.”
  14. “My parents put major pressure on me to get married. I felt like I had to please them.”
  15. “I was getting up in age after my first wife died, and I really wanted to have someone who would take care of me if I got sick or needed help as I got older.”
  16. “I couldn’t stand the idea of my younger sister getting married before I did.”
  17. “I found out that my ex got engaged, and I didn’t want her to feel superior to me.”
  18. “I was just so tired of the dating scene. It was exhausting and so depressing.”
  19. “I had some health issues, and I really needed the health insurance benefits from my girlfriend’s work.”
  20. “The sex was the most amazing I’ve ever had.”
  21. “I started seeing some red flags, but I didn’t want to back out after we had already gotten engaged and sent out the wedding invitations. So I went through with it.”
  22. “I was afraid that it would be my only chance, and if I didn’t get married then, I’d never have another chance.”
  23. “I grew up in total chaos and getting married seemed like a way to find stability.”
  24. “It was on total impulse. We ran off and eloped after a month of knowing each other.”
  25. “I wanted to rescue her from the terrible upbringing she had and thought I could fix her anxiety.”

Can Brain Imaging Help Save Your Marriage?

Even if you walked down the aisle for the wrong reasons, there is still hope to save the marriage. Gaining a better understanding of each other, learning to stop blaming and start taking responsibility, changing dysfunctional behavior, improving communication skills, and developing shared goals are some of the benefits of couples therapy. In some cases, however, talking through problems isn’t enough.

Brain SPECT imaging studies of couples in therapy show that underlying brain health issues are often the root of dysfunctional relationships. And in many cases, it isn’t just one person who has brain health problems, it’s both people. When one or both partners have abnormal brain activity, damage from head trauma, or problems due to exposure to toxins, it can get in the way of making any progress in therapy.

Brain imaging can be so helpful in marital therapy for so many reasons, including:

  • It helps couples stop playing the blame game and increases forgiveness and understanding.
  • Couples stop seeing their partner’s hurtful or unacceptable behaviors as a character flaw and start seeing that they are due to a brain disorder.
  • It allows couples to see how past trauma has altered their brain function and continues to impact their present relationships.
  • It gives hope that when the underlying brain issues are healed, the relationship can heal too.

Marital conflict, anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834. If all our specialists are busy helping others, you can also schedule a time to talk.


  1. Thanks for this information. I didn’t know this before. Now I am almost 28 years old and hopefully will get married in couple of years. I would definitely think about these reasons to analyse myself before getting married.

    If you could provide few good reasons to get married, it would really help.

    Thanks again for this valuable information. You are doing great work. May God bless you all.

    Comment by SHISHIR — August 13, 2020 @ 9:08 AM

  2. I am 64 and never married , but I would in a heartbeat if it was rite , My reason is because I have a deep need to be loved and give love , I do love myself , but my life is incomplete without another person to love . I realize that after 50 years of being by my self I want to be with some one , And I believe at least for me that quality intimacy is best with one person , and that is a true marriage of two with or without a marriage license !
    Anyway that is my thinking of having a significant other . and the worst can become the better if two truly love each other and are committed !

    Comment by Frank — August 14, 2020 @ 5:10 AM

  3. So important to question the reasons behind getting married. I’ve been divorced three times. Each marriage ended tragically for different reasons. I would never wish the pain of divorce or a terrible marriage on anyone.
    I’m 48 with 3 children aged 25, 9, and 8. I love my children but I would have chosen a better path if I had known better.

    Comment by Celina — August 20, 2020 @ 8:24 PM

  4. I would agree that it would be helpful to also have at least ten good reasons to get married…and/or some comments from folks married more than forty years (not folks claiming perfect harmony all the time….but real people who have lived and worked thru major life issues and come through it all to a place of a stronger marriage and deeper love for each other) Always looking at the positive is helpful to balance out the negative. After 50 years of marriage we would be happy to help and/or mentor young couples anticipating marriage within the near future.

    Comment by Lynn Gamache — August 24, 2020 @ 5:13 AM

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