12 Reasons You’ll Regret Getting Married

Dear Singletons,

Hi there. I heard through the grapevine that you want to get married, and that it’s your first time at “the altar.” Is that true?

Well, good for you! Happy happy day!

Love is such a fickle friend, though. Are you sure you’re ready?

You’re nodding your head. You seem confident. I like that. But still. You’ve never been married and I have, and there is a big, fat galaxy of difference between those two worlds, I can promise you that much.

See, marriage, in many, many strange and twisted ways, means you aren’t just you anymore. You’re you … and someone else. It’s almost like you wake up one day and stroll down to the church or the temple or the courthouse or wherever and just sign right up to have another head attached to your body. I know that sounds kind of weird and even a little gross, but that’s the reality of the situation. That’s exactly how marriage can turn out for you if you aren’t ready to shed your old skin in more ways than one. Or ten.

That said, as a married man of nine years (ahem, that’s actually like a half-century in Modern Marriage Years), I have been to the well and I have drunk from it’s waters and I have learned a thing or two about what will always cause a wedded person to seriously regret getting married.

Straight up, I’m no expert and I don’t claim to be. But I’ve made so many marital mistakes by now that I’m probably as qualified as anyone out there to speak my peace when it comes to what works … and what definitely doesn’t.

Here then, in all of their glory, are the 12 reasons I have come up with which will cause you and your spouse epic regret if you don’t deal with them early on. Because marriage, my friend, like life itself, constantly requires us to morph and change in time, for the betterment of our fellow human.

Well, it’s either that or the whole jig is up. Seriously.

Love and luck,


  • Look before you leap … 1 of 13
  • 1. You’re really selfish. 2 of 13

    Chances are good that you are somewhere between 40-65% more selfish and self-centered than you think you are. It's okay though, because this applies to just about every human being on Earth. See, it's the part of our genetic makeup that allows us to survive. Literally. But what our selfish ways amount to in terms of survival also tend to work against us when we decide to share life with another person, who, incidentally, is pretty selfish themselves. So, learn to give and give and give some more and you should be okay. Keep up your old ways though and you will seriously be a fish out of water.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 2. You’re so vain. 3 of 13

    In order for a marriage to work, you have to take a machete to huge hunks of your ego. Look, back when you were single or dating, or even engaged, you were able to get away with thinking a whole hell of a lot about yourself. You just knew that your taste in movies and bands was impeccable. Plus, you were still the only one of your friends left who could manage to work a demandingĀ  job, do hot yoga every morning at 6am, AND maintain your middle school weight.


    Thing is, once you get married, you need to find a way to take your ego and hurl it off a very high building. No more can you pretend to be the only person in town who knows exactly what's cool and what's not. That person you're choosing to be with for the rest of your life wants you to love some of the same things they do. And some of those things might be called Michael Bolton music. So deal with it.


    Image: S. Bielanko


  • 3. You’re terrible with money. 4 of 13

    No one is born thrifty. Or smart. We come into this world greedy and glutinous, trying to get as much milk from the boob as humanly possible. We throw epic hissy fits if it doesn't happen, too. Somewhere along the way though, we are expected to inherit the responsibilities of those who came before us, and who set the world up as reasonably as they could just so we could waltz right in and inherit it. And a big part of that so-called adulthood we inherit is being at least a little smart with our money.


    If you drag your shopaholic ways or your Mt. Fuji of credit card debt into a marriage with you, make certain that you work diligently hard to be accountable for them. At that same time, do everything in your power to help your husband or wife out by being as good with money as you need them to be. Otherwise, your marriage is toast.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 4. You’re a cheapskate. 5 of 13

    Okay, so maybe you are good with money. In fact, maybe you're too good. I know, I know, that seems like it would be something hard to argue with, yet think about it for a second. If you marry a person and want to share life's ups and downs with them, if you want to experience the world you're both living in to the very best of your abilities within reason, then chances are very good that you are going to need to want to spend a little money here and there, even if you've somehow grown accustomed to being tight with a buck. People love a person who is smart with money, but no one likes a cheapskate. (FYI: there is a big difference). Learn to have fun in your marriage; buy some champagne along the way, to toast your new home or your new kid or even losing your dumb job. You probably won't ever regret it.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 5. You need your "space." 6 of 13

    One of the main epiphanies that comes along to any newlywed person is the staggering realization that they are no longer as "free" as they used to be. And by "free", I mean that they have retired from that phase when they were the only one occupying their own mental and physical world. Truth is, now they have a certain someone standing next to them waiting to get in the fridge at breakfast time and then sighing in the hallway as they wait for you to get out of the bathroom at night. As a result, don't ever misinterpret the stuff you used to be able to do when you were a dorm rat as a real loss of "freedom," my friend. You don't really "need your space." What you need is to start sharing it with the person who you're going to grow old with.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 6. You never want kids. 7 of 13

    Do not, under any circumstances, marry a person who is up in the air about having kids if you know you don't want them. Nothing will mess your world up more. And I mean nothing. It's perfectly normal to want children just the same as it is to not want children, so there is no argument from me here about that. It's just that you need to be extremely clear and vocal about your mindset if you know you will never ever want to be a mom or a dad. Even then, there is always a chance that you or the person youĀ  married, a person who absolutely had the same ideas as you when it came to children, might back down or have a change of heart. Being clear about this one from the get-go is your best way to avoid a complete nightmare down the road.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 7. You like things a "certain way." 8 of 13

    If you have somehow managed to spend enough time with someone that you happened to fall in love with them, then by now you have each been exposed to the others idiosyncrasies. People often overlook the "little things" when it comes to a person's lifestyle or demeanor and that can be a very good thing, of course. However, it can also be tragic down the road. Be sure that you heed any red flag warnings signs that go up, like when your partner expresses any disenchantment with the fact that you simply HAVE to have things around the house arranged a certain way or the food in the fridge stashed according to the food groups or whatever. No matter what your "little things" are, if they kind of bug your spouse in the early days, just wait to see what happens a few years down the road. Make adjustments accordingly.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 8. You have sexual hang-ups. 9 of 13

    This one is nuclear-powered, so listen to me closely here. Your sexual past is your sexual past and you are entitled to feel whatever you want about the intimate roads you have or have not been down. BUT, if you happen to bring a lot of heavy sexual baggage into a marriage, especially if you have done your best to hide it away from your partner somehow, then you may well be doomed from the start. See, sexuality and sex is a very, very awesome and powerful part of two people hooking up to conquer the world together. Naturally then, whenever one person consistently leans toward NOT wanting to get jiggy there will be hot hell to pay. So look, if you find yourself seriously hung-up sexually, really try and talk it out with your "better half", and then try to seek out some bonafide professional help. Otherwise, it's just sad torture for both of you.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 9. You bore easily. 10 of 13

    Being married is pretty mundane stuff much of the time. Now, I'm not at all saying that you and your spouse will have to give up your individual or collective wild streaks; not at all. What I AM saying though is that once you get hitched you probably won't be out there base jumping or hunting grizzly bears four nights a week.


    Face it, married life isn't some Lite Beer commercial where sexy people sky dive out of a tiny plane together just to land, side by side, on a driftwood stump beside a crackling bonfire on a private beach where they get to laugh and raise a toast with gorgeous friends. Heck no. No matter who you are or how exciting you want your life to be, you will ultimately need to spend some serious time just hanging out, the two of you, together on the couch, doing next to nothing. And that's actually a cool thing. Trust me.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 10. You still want "to travel." 11 of 13

    Oh damn. You mean you're all set to be married soon and you haven't had the chance to embark on your 5-month Moped trip across India subsisting exclusively on native plants and sleeping out under the stars with the monkeys who want to eat your face?


    Well, you might as well kiss that pipe dream goodbye, chief. Traveling and experiencing the world is, without a doubt, one of the greatest things this life has to offer. Yet, the truth of the matter is that, unless you're a Rockefeller or the lucky dude who invented the Snuggie, you will likely be doing less hardcore traveling once you have started a family (even a small one) with someone else. I'm not saying you have to kill your wanderlust dead, because you should never ever do that. I'm just saying that you probably need to start living a bit more vicariously through Anthony Bourdain, like the rest of us.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 11. You’re a dreamer not a doer. 12 of 13

    Maybe you are going to pen the Great American Novel one of these days. Maybe your lucky break in Hollywood is just around the corner (you can taste it!). Hell, maybe you will be kidnapped by aliens, taken into outer space, and then plopped back on Earth to newfound fame and fortune as a well-paid talk show guest for the rest of your life. I'm a big time dreamer, so far be it for me to ever dare to tell you that your dream is running out of steam. Big ideas and hopes are what keep us alive in some ways; just not in every way. We still have to earn our keep in the world, especially once we enter into a marriage with someone who trusts us to carry both our weight AND a little of theirs, too. Given all that, my advice to you is this: don't get married if you aren't ready to streamline your visions of grandeur here and there for the sake of the partnership. Because you can't eat dreams, no matter how badly you wish that you could.


    Image: S. Bielanko

  • 12. You don’t love yourself. 13 of 13

    Remember at the beginning of this whole thing when I said I was "no expert" on any of this? Turns out, I was wrong. See, for better and for worse, I have spent a large part of my life battling myself and hating on myself and that has affected my marriage a lot. I know it sounds difficult to understand if you've never been there (and I sincerely hope you never have) and excuses are useless, but confidence and the ability to love yourself for whoever you are, warts and all, is by far, the most important thing you will ever bring to any marriage you enter into.


    We live in a world where unobtainable perfection and glorified ideals of what our lives should be like are slathered across our eyeballs, day and night, 24/7. It's easy to lose sight of what living is really about, and how worthwhile and valuable a lifelong love affair between two people can be. I guess what I'm trying to say is, before you get married, make sure that both you and the person you love accept and relish the reality of who you truly are. And then go say your I do's, because you're about as ready as you're ever gonna be!


    Image: S. Bielanko

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You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

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