Are You Ready to Get Married?
Getting married is a serious business. While most poor decisions are easy to recover from, a bad marriage is a much more serious matter. The potential emotional and financial impact of divorce can give the bravest of souls reason to pause. Give this major decision the consideration it deserves.
Enhance your odds of having a successful marriage by asking yourself these questions:
1. What makes this person different from the rest? You’ve probably dated several people in your life before this person. How does this person stand out from everyone that came along before?
2. How will my long-term goals be affected? Do you dream of wandering around Europe and focusing on your art? If so, marrying someone that dreams of staying at home in the Midwest and having six children probably isn’t a good match. Compromise is a part of any relationship, but you’ll be resentful if forced to completely give up your dreams.
- Make a list of the most important things you want to experience and accomplish in your lifetime. Is your partner a benefit or a hindrance to achieving these things?
- What’s most important to your future spouse? Will you be a help or an obstacle?
3. How emotionally healthy is my potential spouse? The less emotionally healthy someone is, the more challenging they are to be around. Life is difficult for the sanest of us. Those with emotional issues find life even more so. Dating a “fixer-upper” is one thing. Marrying one is something else entirely.
4. How well do we resolve conflict? It’s no secret that constructive communication is key. Yelling, avoiding, and pouting doesn’t normally result in effective conflict resolution. There will be conflict. It’s important that you find resolution calmly. The good news is that effective communication is a skill that you both can learn if you have the desire.
5. How similar are our attitudes regarding religion, money, and childrearing? These items are often the sticking points for many couples. Disagreements over financial issues are one of the most common causes of divorces.
- Can you deal with the way your potential spouse handles money? Can they be accepting of your financial habits?
- How many children do you want to have? How about your partner? How does each of you feel about spanking?
6. Would I be satisfied if my partner didn’t change at all? You already know your partner isn’t perfect. Expect that situation to remain in effect for their lifetime. Avoid going into a marriage believing that you can change them for the better.
- He won’t suddenly become more patient or ambitious. She won’t suddenly become less moody or spend less money on shoes.
7. Are we getting married for the right reasons? Are you just lonely, or do you really want to spend the rest of your life with this person? Do you feel that you’re settling because you can’t find someone “better”? Are you afraid of being alone? Make certain that you want to get married because you truly love your partner.
8. Do we bring out the best in each other? Does your partner bring out the best in you or the worst? Is your partner better for spending time with you? Ideally, you’ll both be the best possible versions of yourselves. Some people bring our worst qualities to the surface.
Many couples get engaged because of the intense emotions they’re experiencing. That intensity won’t last, and you’re left with a serious dose of reality. Do all that you can to ensure that you’re making a wise decision. Your future depends on it.