It surprises me the number of people who do rush into marriage; I personally would not have considered marrying my OH if we hadn’t been together long enough (for me, it’d be a minimum of 3 years; as it was, we got engaged after 5.5 years and will have been together 8 or 9 years by the time we marry). I don’t understand people who rush into marriage after a few months or a year together; yes, it can work out; equally, what is the rush? Why not get past that hoenymoon period and make sure your relationship will withstand the test of time?
I’m also sceptical of couples who have never ever had a disagreement or encountered any issues, as I think these things really test a relationship, and I think it is very very rare for 2 people to never disagree. Now my OH and I don’t argue often; in fact, it’s very occasional (unless I’m hormonal.. ahem..!). But we have had disagreements and the fact that we have been able to handle those together as a couple, and reach a compromise, tells me that we are equipped to deal with marriage. We have also dealt with some very difficult things, such as my diagnosis of endo, 2 operations, and chronic pain, his mum being hospitalised for 3 months, his uncle dying 6 months into our relationship, etc. Again, we’ve come through these things stronger, so again I feel confident that we can handle pretty much anything life throws at us.
It sounds like this couple rushed into things with rose-tinted specs; and in very few instances will that work long-term. That said, I think his warnings are largely common sense; my OH and I talked about marriage, as well as other big issues, at length well before we got engaged.
Also, I personally do not think marriage HAS to be for life. No before people jump on me for saying that, we are no longer living in a time when a woman was her father and then husband’s property; people now have the option of divorce if they need it. Does that mean people should enter into marriage lightly? Of course not. But I think that in this day and age it is naive to enter into marriage assuming that it will definitely be for life, or being determined that it WILL be, irrespective of what life throws at you. I love my OH, and vice versa: right now, we are totally right for each other, and we firmly believe that in 10, 20, 30 years time this will still be the case. But people can and do change. People can and do fall out of love. What is working for us now, might not in 40 years time. We could grow apart. To me, that is not a cynical outlook, but a realistic one. And if a time ever came that we no longer felt the same way about each other, I do hope we wouldn’t flog a dead horse and woudl admit defeat. So I disagree with him that marriage has to be forever, and this to me demonstrates a certain naivety on his part, and is perhaps one of the reasons this marriage did not work.