Life coach and author, Paula Quinsee explains that one of the reasons families pressurise one to get married is because traditionally from a societal perspective, getting married is expected when one gets to a certain age or place in their lives.
She says traditionally, the path we’ve all been conditioned to follow is to meet someone, fall in love, get married and have a family.
“Parents always want to see the family grow in terms of grandchildren and enjoying their golden years with family and grandchildren, as it gives them a sense of contentment,” she says.
Prophetess and inspirational life coach, Cindy Mabaso, agrees and adds that every parent wants to see the progression of life being carried over to their children. “It’s part of creation – life is progressive, so at some stage parents or family start having an expectation as to who you’re going to spend your life with,” she says.
Mabaso adds that in terms of the Word of God, it says we shall marry and multiply and when that doesn’t happen, those around you may seem concerned. She says biblically, there’s no set age or time to marry or achieve certain things, although she’d advise those being pressurised to not take it lightly.
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“When questions are raised about when you’re tying the knot, I would advise doing some introspection. Whether it’s a generational pattern or a personal choice, you have to dig deep and have a sense of self so that you understand why – not for those pressuring you but for yourself.”
She says when you fully understand the ‘family trend’ or how your behaviour, personality or words have contributed to you taking ‘longer’ than expected, you’ll be able to stand your ground when you get questions from those around you.
Quinsee says no matter what the reason is for one not being married, no one should be pressurized into get married, especially if they’re not ready to take that next step in their relationship.
“When it comes to managing that pressure, particularly parents, it would be best to sit down and have an honest discussion with them where you explain to them where you’re at and why you’re potentially not ready to get married yet.
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“You’re living your life, not your parents so you need to be happy and comfortable with the life you’re living, she says.
If they still don’t get it, Quinsee advises you put healthy firm boundaries in place. “When the topic arises again, you can firmly tell your family we’ve discussed this and I’ve shared with your where I stand, so can we leave it, she says. It’s not that you’re avoiding it but you’re just being very firm in the boundaries you’ve placed.”
Mabaso also disagrees with getting married to please your family. “You need to make a decision you can live with and fight for, because it’s your life. Those who are putting pressure on you might not be there for you when things get tough,” she says.
The consequences of rushing into marriage include you resenting your family because they have pressurised you into something you’re not ready for, says Quinsee.
In addition, she says you may end up in a relationship that may not be right for you because you’re trying to keep everyone else happy. “It could cause conflict in the marriage because the underlying resentment you have for your family could result in you taking it out on your partner and it’s not necessarily their fault,” says Quinsee.
Mabaso adds that you may end up marrying the wrong person because of family pressure. She says when you enter into a covenant you know deep down you won’t honour, you end up being destructive, bitter and sometimes it may breed jealousy.
Both Quinsee and Mabaso also add that rushing into marriage may also lead to couples and individuals incurring financial repercussions
Any marriage that happens prematurely or due to pressure, tends to feel heavier than a union you enter into whole heartedly. When you marry because you want to, there’s a flow from within your inner being that will enable you to face challenges head on and not easily want to give up
When you enter a marriage for the wrong reasons or due to pressure, issues such as adultery start to chip in says Mabaso. “When you marry because you want to dignify yourself or age, you get deeper into a life that’s not meant for you,” she says.
Both Mabaso and Quinsee say there is no set right time or age for marriage because every couple and relationship is different. ”
It must feel right for you, you have to feel like this something you want to do, says Quinsee. “Every relationship has ups and downs but you have to work through those – it doesn’t mean the relationship is going to end or that you aren’t compatible but it’s a matter of working through those differences.”