In some cases, two people may agree to such a marriage so that one person can legally enter another country where their spouse resides.
As another relationship expert has succinctly explained, a marriage of convenience is not about love or compatibility but rather about the mutual benefit, such as financial gain, that each partner obtains from the relationship.
In some instances, those who are involved in such a marriage may not even live together.
Reasons for the marriage of convenience
As previously stated, the marriage of convenience occurs not because of love but because of a mutual benefit or some sort of selfish gain that one partner achieves from the marriage.
Some common reasons for such a marriage may be as follows:
The convenient marriage based on money occurs when a person “marries rich” to acquire wealth, but has no emotional connection or real interest in their spouse.
This can also occur when a person wants to be a stay-at-home-parent and enters into a convenient marriage in order to benefit from the financial support of the spouse.
For instance, the couple may have children together, and one partner, who does not desire to have a career, stays at home while the other spouse financially supports the other.
For business reasons
Such a marriage may also be based on business. Two people may enter into a business agreement and have a marriage that focuses solely on their work. This could occur when a woman marries a business owner and becomes his assistant.
To advance their careers
Similar to business partnerships, the relationship of convenience may occur for career advancement.
For instance, if one member of the partnership is studying medicine and the other is already a practicing physician, the two may marry for career advancement.
The student benefits from linkage to internships and residencies, and the physician benefits from creating networking opportunities.
Because of loneliness
In some cases, a person might enter into the marriage of convenience because they simply haven’t found “the one.” Fearful of being alone forever, they marry someone who is readily available without first establishing a true connection or a loving relationship.
To benefit the children
According to marriage psychology experts, sometimes people become involved in a marriage of convenience when they are not really in love or emotionally connected, but parental obligations keep them together.
In this case, they stay together for convenience to avoid breaking up the family.
For other selfish benefits
Other reasons for such a marriage include selfish reasons, such as marrying to enter into another country, or marrying someone to benefit a political career.
For instance, an up-and-coming politician may marry a young socialite to improve his public image for the purpose of political campaigning.
Beyond these reasons, sometimes people remain in a convenient marriage and tolerate life without love or passion, simply out of habit.
They become accustomed to a certain way of living because it is simple, and it is what they know.
The relationship of convenience may also continue because a couple does not want to deal with the burden of selling a home, dividing property, or handling the financial ramifications of splitting.
It is simply easier to stay together in some cases than it is to file for divorce.
In some instances, perhaps the wife stays at home and cares for the children, and there is a marriage at his convenience, because the husband, who is financially supporting the family, does not want to leave his wife and divide his assets in half.
Also watch: Is there anything wrong with marrying for money?
Is the marriage of convenience valid?
While a marriage of convenience occurs for reasons other than love and affection, it is still valid from a legal standpoint.
If two consenting adults enter into marriage, even if it is for personal gain, such as to advance their careers or for one spouse to stay at home and raise children, there is nothing illegal about such a marriage.
So long as the marriage is not forced or somehow fraudulent, marrying for convenience is completely valid. In fact, an arranged marriage, which is an extreme form of the convenient marriage, is legal so long as no one is forced into the situation.
Why marriages of convenience don’t work
While such a marriage may have financial benefits for one or both spouses or help the couple to advance their careers, these relationships do not always work. There are several reasons living in such a marriage is problematic.
To begin with, as marriage psychology experts explain, marrying for convenience can be unhappy, because it is lacking in passion or true companionship.
People who enter a marriage of convenience for financial or career-related purposes may have their economic needs met, but ultimately, they are missing out on the emotional and psychological benefits of a true connection with their spouse.
Most people desire to experience love and human connection, and when a person chooses a marriage of convenience, they are giving up the happiness that comes from finding a lifelong partner they truly love.
Experts from the field of sociology have also explained the problems that occur with marriages of convenience.
For instance, sociological history shows that originally, marriages of convenience occurred when families arranged marriages between two people, and women were seen as men’s property. Ultimately, this led to loveless marriages.
In modern times, convenient marriages, in which one partner relies on others for economic support, have continued. This has led to ongoing problems, in which the loveless marriage leads to unhappiness and even infidelity.
Others warn that over time, such a marriage may not be so convenient. For instance, if you get married solely so you can stay at home with children, you may find over time that you desire a career, which means that it will no longer be convenient for you to stay at home while your partner supports you financially.
It can also be difficult to stay committed to a marriage of convenience as problems arise. Without a solid foundation and compatibility, it can be challenging to cope with the daily stresses of marriage, and you may even find that you are attracted to someone else, who is more compatible with you.
In summary, problems with marrying for convenience are as follows:
They lack true love and affection.
You may find that you are missing out on an emotional connection.
Over time, the original reasons for marriage, such as financial support, can change, making the marriage not-so-attractive.
You are likely to find that you are unhappy.
Without love and attraction, you may be tempted to have affairs or seek another partner.
How to tell if you are trapped in the relationship of convenience
Based on what is known about the problems with the relationship of convenience, there are some signs that may suggest you are stuck in such a relationship. These can include any of the following:
You feel that your partner is emotionally distant or not in tune with you.
There is a lack of affection in your relationship.
You or your partner have had affairs, or you feel tempted to step outside your relationship to meet your sexual or emotional needs.
You find that you and your partner don’t have much in common, or you don’t typically have fun together.
It seems as if all conversations with your partner center on finances or business.
It may also help to consider the difference between love and convenience. With a marriage based upon love, you should be happy to spend time with your partner and should enjoy their presence.
You should care deeply for your partner and feel a strong sense of affection and a desire to be intimate.
On the other hand, the marriage of convenience is task-oriented. You may spend time with your partner out of necessity or in order to accomplish necessary tasks or goals, and not simply because you enjoy spending time together or want to partake in common interests.
In summary, there are several reasons for a marriage of convenience, including financial support, career advancement, or to avoid loneliness, but in the end, there are problems with a relationship of convenience.
While it may provide for some needs, such as financial security, a marriage for convenience often fails to meet a person’s need for emotional connection, love, and affection.
Marriages of convenience may be legally valid, but the most successful marriages are built on a solid foundation of love and compatibility, with partners being committed to each other out of mutual attraction and a desire to spend their lives together, and not just for personal gain.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.