Six Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Married

It’s no wonder brides and grooms get “cold feet” before the big day. After all, marriage is a monumental life commitment. It can be difficult to tell whether what you’re feeling is normal anxiety or your gut instinct signaling you’re making a mistake. Here are some essentials to consider before tying the knot:

1. Do you really want to get married?
Do you believe in marriage? Be honest and listen to your own voice. Maybe you’d actually prefer to remain common-law. It’s so simple to get swept up into the social normalcy of getting married. It’s easy to believe you want to get married when:

Your partner really wants to;
• You’ve been together for a long time, so it’s the next logical step;
• Friends or family want you to get married.

These are, generally, not good reasons on which to base such a big life decision. To have a long, happy marriage, you need to be clear and sure that this is what YOU want.

2. Why do you want to marry this person at this time?
You should be able to answer this question clearly and in some detail. Do an inner search and ensure that you are not subconsciously getting married in order to:

• Feel like an adult;
• Fix existing problems in your relationship;
• Distract from unhappiness in your life;
• Succumb to social pressure because friends are getting married.

3. Have you been with this person long enough? And do you know this person well enough?
Long enough and well enough are subjective terms so you’ll have to decide what’s right for you. Discovering new things about each other can be a joyful aspect of long-term couplehood. But the more you know about this person before getting married, the lesser the chance of discovering qualities, behaviours or values that you can’t live with after the fact.

4. Are you realistic about what being in a long-term relationship means and looks like?
The romance surrounding a wedding doesn’t reflect what your relationship is going to be and feel like once you’re married and things get back to normal. Getting married doesn’t create intimacy, happiness or romance — you and your partner do.

5. Have you talked with your partner about how each of you wants your marriage to be?
Are the two of you on the same wavelength? Where you have differences, can one or both of you compromise to bridge the gap? We all carry internal templates of expectations and how things should be in a marriage. Some expectations are negotiable — others aren’t. Be sure you can live with each other’s expectations.

6. Are there warning signs about your partner or significant problems in your relationship?
Does your partner have a drinking problem or is he irresponsible with money? Do you fight in ways that are hurtful, or has one of you had an affair? Consider seeing a couple’s therapist to see if problems can be resolved before you make a decision about marriage.

by Carole-Anne Vatcher