I Asked My Friends "What Makes You Want to Stay in a Marriage?" And Their Answers Were Shocking!
Mariam Youssef
12/15/22, 12:17 PM

Although this article may be personal and intimate since I’m talking about my friends and their marriage experiences, I’m sure you’ll relate and even identify with some of their answers and experiences. All of my friends that I interviewed for this article share two things in common: they’re in their early 30s and they’re all moms. Nonetheless, not one of them shares the same marital experience or reasons to stay in a marriage. That said, it’s time to reveal their shocking answers to this question: what makes you want to stay in a marriage?

It is mandatory to mention that Fustany isn't either pro or against these opinions. We're just sharing different people's experiences and personal choices.

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“Family is warmth”

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” –Michael J. Fox

When I asked Friend 1 this question (I’ll call her that because I’m not disclosing names), she didn’t understand why someone would want to figure out a reason for staying in a marriage. To her, marriage is natural; it’s life. She said, “marriage is home, warmth, and everything a person could ever look for in life. Any successful, lucky woman should have an established family by the time she’s 35 or so if she wants to settle down.”

“My kid and sex…!”

However, Friend 2 shocked me with a totally different answer. She said, “I am only staying for my kid and sex!” When I asked her to elaborate, she explained that she wants her kid to have a normal life with their two parents. She doesn’t want her kid to go through the complications caused by divorced or separated parents. Regarding the second point, I think every married woman would agree that a man who knows how to please his wife, satisfy her needs, and rock her world in bed is a good husband, even if he isn’t; you know what I mean?

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“We’re holding on to each other”

“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.” – Unknown

This quote brings us to my next friend whose answer was probably the shortest, yet has the deepest meaning. She said, “I hold on to him because he’s trying hard and holding on to me.” I remember someone saying that finding the right person may be luck, but a marriage that lasts for 40 or more years is work! It takes a lot of work and effort to make a marriage work. Although falling in love may have eased the way for this couple to get married, wanting to stay and holding on to one another despite their differences and the daily challenges they face is what’s making her want to stay!

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“He’s not that bad!”

This dear friend of mine chooses to stay in and work on her marriage because “I love him and he’s not that bad,” she says. However, she followed this beautiful statement with “I often think about leaving.” So when I asked her “what’s stopping you?,” she repeated, “he’s not that bad.” Some women choose to hold on to their marriages in spite of their husbands’ flaws because they’re not too bad. If you think about it, this makes sense in a way. Marriage takes two flawed people to work together on making it work. Love can’t do this on its own. In fact, love will fade the minute you decide to focus on your partner’s flaws. Remember that you’re a human being with flaws too. So, it is in spite of these flaws that people decide to continue to be together.

“It was all about having a baby”

“When I decided to get married, I thought I found true love,” says Friend 5. “I got married because I thought it was true love, but now I know that true love is having a child, not getting married.” Sometimes, we become in desperate need of finding someone whose existence identifies ours. And just when you think you found the one, comes this miraculous small creature that you’ve just met to mean the whole world to you and make you feel loved and your heart full of warmth that you no longer need validation from anyone else.

“I went from a prison to another prison”

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

When sweet, naïve girls dream of getting married, their parents always set their expectations that when they do, they’ll be at liberty to go out whenever they want, travel the world, and do anything and everything with their hubby. Unfortunately, this is not how it works. Don’t get me wrong; some married couples do enjoy such liberty and freedom, but they’re scarce. 

This was Friend 7’s answer: “I’d rather be alone and explore my life on my own; however, what’s holding me back is that I want my kids to enjoy family life. I don’t want to deprive them of living with both of their parents.” She also added, “When I got married, I didn’t get the sense of partnership that I was looking for or expecting to find. Currently, my life revolves around my kids and their responsibilities. In a nutshell, my life doesn’t belong to me.”

“I don’t want to go back to my parents’”

This is probably the most practical friend I have; therefore, her answer is practical too. She chooses to stay in her marriage because she cares a lot about her family. Although she might use some alone time, she doesn’t really feel alive without her family. Her answer to my question was “I don’t want to go back to my parents’ house and I need my kids to grow and be raised in a certain way that only I know how to provide…I also love him.”

Although none of my friends shared the same answer, I’m sure that all of them agree on one thing: family is everything! I don’t want to sound all wise and preachy, but I can assure every one of you, most importantly my friends, that you are the reason why your families are surviving. Your men may not show it and your kids may not be aware of it just yet, but you are the oxygen to your families. Stay strong and keep working hard to make your marriage work. One more thing, even though Fustany is rooting for you and your efforts to make your marriage survive, we never support staying in marriages that demonstrate domestic violence or result in poor mental health.

All image credit: @karenwazen

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Mariam Youssef

Growing up, I've always wanted to become so many things: a fashion designer, painter, singer, actress, and anything that revolves around art. It wasn't until I watched "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" that I realized that writing is the one thing that will enable me to write about all sorts of things and all types of art. Writing is one of the dearest things to my heart as it expresses who I am and what I stand for. My wardrobe is pink inked, fashion is my passion, beauty is my duty, and cats are my best furr-iends❤️

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