So you’re engaged. Congratulations! Getting married to someone who popped the question (or to whom YOU popped the question) makes your heart beat a little faster. But just like many major life decisions, this one represents the first of many questions to follow. One of those questions is whether you’re marrying the right person.
Before you panic that the answer might be “no”, take a deep breath. The fact that you’re even asking this question is a sign that you take your future seriously and feel responsible for the ultimate success of your marriage. When you look into your partner’s eyes on that special day and declare “I do”, you want to be confident that “you will”. You want to “know that you know that you know”. This is a GOOD thing!
As you think consider your commitment carefully, here are 5 signs you’re marrying someone who will likely be an equal partner to you for life.
- You Accept One Another Fully
It’s probably easy to imagine living with your partner forever IF they remain exactly as they are today. However, both you and your partner will grow and evolve over time, meaning that some things will change “for better or worse.”
Things that will likely change include desires or preferences like how many children they want to have, whether they want to obtain more education, or where they want to live.
Other things, like personality traits and characteristics, are more hard-wired and much less likely to change, so if you accept these things about your fiancé, that’s a great start. Whether they are loud or quiet, messy or clean, fall into this category.
It’s wonderful to have your partner gently challenge you to be a better person and reach your highest potential. And believe me, they will. And hopefully, they are open to this kind of good-hearted challenge from you in return.
But if you’re secretly hoping that they will somehow magically morph into the partner of your dreams, you’re destined for disappointment.
And of course, acceptance in a healthy relationship is a two-way street, so it’s equally important that your partner accepts you for who you are—warts and all.
- You Trust Each Other Completely
If you’ve experienced that pit in your stomach and been questioning your partner’s integrity, honesty, or ability to be faithful in your future marriage, it’s bound to undermine your relationship, either because your fears are well founded or because your insecurity will eventually sabotage your happiness.
When these doubts are not dealt with, they will eventually bubble to the surface and have the potential to devastate your marriage. It’s not easy to face these things directly but looking with open eyes at any deceptions in the past is the best way of knowing whether they may happen again. As the saying goes, “The best way to predict the future is to consult the past.”
Having full trust and confidence in your partner should be a non-negotiable before you marry.
- You Fight Fair
If you and your partner resolve conflict in a way that is neither abusive nor emotionally damaging, this is a great sign. Disagreements naturally arise in all close relationships, so learning to “fight fair” and managing your disputes productively can actually make your relationship stronger.
This means that you walk away after an argument closer than ever, with a better understanding of your partner and what they care deeply about. There are no threats, nasty names, raised voices—and certainly no mental or physical abuse. Instead of fear, anger, and the need to control your partner, you bring a sense of curiosity and compassion to the discussion. You maintain full assurance that your partner loves and wants the best for you throughout the disagreement and act quickly to ask for—and grant—forgiveness.
If you’re not a pro at this, don’t worry! It takes time to learn to do this skillfully and most married couples spend a lifetime perfecting the art of conflict resolution. However, if your existing arguments are characterized by fear, defensiveness, stone-walling, name-calling, or threats of harm, you need to pump the brakes and address this head-on before moving forward with your engagement.
(FYI: Teaching couples to “fight fair” is something we specialize in, so don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help!)
- You Agree on the Biggies
You know what I mean by “the biggies”, right? Things like:
>> The timing and number of children you want to have
>> Matters of faith and belief
>> Where you want to live
>> Financial management
>> Boundaries with extended family
There will be times when you may not agree on a “big” issue and will need to negotiate and compromise. That’s perfectly normal.
But when you and your partner are on the same page on most of these matters, it lessens the opportunity for conflict in your relationship and heightens the sense that you’re MFEO (made for each other).
There are a multitude of factors to take in to account when considering marriage.
Here is another great article on How to Decide if You Should Get Married.
- You Share Life Goals, Aspirations, and Interests
There’s nothing better than daydreaming with your partner about the life you want to create.
It’s kind of like plotting a road trip. If you are each using a different map, it’s unlikely you’ll end up in the same place. Conversely, using the same map for your marriage will ensure that you’ll move in the same direction and arrive at your chosen destination together.
Not everything has to align perfectly, and one of you may want to go the 8-lane highway while the other wants to take the scenic route, but having some shared goals and interests will help you stay in the same lane and avoid the drift that occurs in so many marriages where individual partners begin to follow their own, individual pursuits.
To make sure you’re on the same path, choose a quiet moment to talk about where you see yourselves as a couple in 5, 10, and even 25 years. How do you see your lives unfolding and where do your visions overlap? Where do they diverge?
Where to Start
Hopefully, the 5 things above will help you answer the initial question about whether you’re marrying the right person. Here are some additional suggestions:
>> Balance your heart and your mind and make sure you’re not being swayed by emotion. Passion, attraction, and chemistry make for an exciting dating relationship but don’t lend themselves to a strong and satisfying marriage if other important things are missing. If your heart is telling you one thing but your intellect is telling you another, it’s time to stop, look, and listen. Don’t look back with regret because you ignored the “still, quiet voice” telling you not to move forward.
>> Review the history of your relationship and look closely at the areas where you’ve had the most trouble. At this stage, it’s probably easy to rattle off all the wonderful things about your spouse-to-be, but it’s worth the time to look more deeply. Do your “weakest links” fall into any of the categories above?
>> Invite input from trusted family and friends . . . and then listen to it! Is there something they can all see in your partner that you may not? Do they have any valid concerns about a life with your future spouse? What feedback can they share with you about YOUR maturity and readiness for a lifelong commitment?
>> Observe your fiancé closely, especially in moments of stress. Wedding planning typically provides MANY chances to witness this. Are there any red flags you’ve been reluctant to face?
I hope this was helpful and gives you a sense of confidence that you are absolutely, without-a-doubt, marrying the right person. But if you’re concerned about your future after reading this, please don’t be discouraged. So often, struggles are a vehicle for becoming even closer and stronger, but it takes courage and a willingness to face the truth, no matter how difficult.
I’d love to help you and your future spouse work through any difficulties you might have so you can get married and build the kind of authentic, happy life that doesn’t just look good on Instagram. If you’d like to chat, just reach out!
Michele Moore is a Certified Coach and former Licensed Professional Counselor. She and her husband Michael are the Co-Founders of Marriage Mojo, which helps couples create new happily-ever afters using an effective alternative to marriage counseling. She can be reached at [email protected]
Website : https://marriagemojo.com
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