Marriage suffocates many people who wish they could hit “rewind” on their lives and step away from the altar. “Buyer’s remorse” plagues people who bring home goods and then want to return them; “marriage misgiving” insures unhappiness when people say “I do” but wish they had not — people who return home as newlyweds and wish they could return their new spouses.
Only after vows are exchanged, now do some realize that that one’s freedom, socially and romantically, has been redefined. New responsibilities—perhaps for home ownership and for children—weigh heavily. The memory of a lost romantic partner may appear like a ghost and suddenly it seems unwise to close that door forever. Only at the instant when years of dating or even years of being engaged turn into gold wedding bands, do many people actually consider the enormity of what they have agreed to. And, for many people, the weight of that reality makes them wish they had backed out. Like cement, marriage is permanent.
Sometimes that feeling goes away in a week or in a few months; sometimes, it never goes away. Plenty of couples cancel weddings. Plenty divorce after a year. Plenty divorce after two years. People tell counselors that ten and twenty years and thirty years after getting married they knew on their wedding day that they were making a “terrible mistake.”
Yet people stay in marriages that become empty shells because, on balance, leaving their spouses seemed more painful than remaining with them.
It may be that married love for many people means this: I loved my spouse enough to suffer this journey alongside him (or her).
Millions of people who wish they had not gotten married or had married someone else, and that they have felt that way for the duration from the beginning of their marriages.
Research tends to support the grim news about regrets and marriage. According to a survey published in the Daily Mai, a quarter of married people in the United Kingdom wish they had never tied the knot — and more than one in ten walked down the aisle with doubts.
A third admit they didn’t marry for love but got hitched so they could have children, buy a house, or simply to receive lots of presents.
A survey of 4,000 people found that 15 percent of husbands and wives had last-minute doubts about marriage, and if that is representative, it means that some 84,000 newlyweds in the U. K. start marriage with doubts. (Around 560,000 people due to wed in Britain this year.)
The survey by market research firm www.OnePoll.com revealed that 23 per cent of married people said they wouldn’t marry their spouse if they had a second chance.
Of those, 14 percent would rather have married a former sweetheart.
Thirty-five per cent said the person they married was not the best sexual partner they have ever had and another 33 percent said that being single was more fun than being married. Some 12 percent of people said they stayed with their partner just because they couldn’t be bothered to find someone new.
“We tend to think of marriage as something people do when they are in love but this survey reveals that people tie the knot for all sorts of different reasons,” said John Sewell, spokesman for OnePoll.com said:
“And many of them aren’t sure they want to get married – even as they are standing at the altar saying their vows, which may worry some brides and grooms-to-be.”
The survey also found that Brits had an average of two serious partners before they met their husband or wife, although one in four had no previous serious partners.
Despite the fact many people come to regret getting married, Brits, like people all over the world, still named love as their number one reason for heading for the altar.