For most people, getting married and establishing a life with that special someone is one of our greatest desires. And it’s not surprising, considering that we are social beings with a need for secure attachment. Being securely attached to someone in a committed relationship is a vital source of stability, safety and contentment – or at least that’s what we want!
Unfortunately, we can be blinded by those desires and overlook some important red flags. I recently created this list that will help you understand when you should get “spooked” about getting married and slow down… or even run!
Before You Say, “I Do”… Consider These Cautions
Marriage, in its original design, is a sacred commitment that promises fulfillment, stability, partnership and purpose. But it only works well if it is based on a firm foundation. Be very cautious, or avoid the altar altogether if…
1. Your partner doesn’t share your strongly held faith and spiritual beliefs.
2. You have a high conflict relationship and issues rarely get resolved.
3. You feel compelled to rescue or fix your partner and you believe marriage will change them for the better.
4. You are afraid that no one else will ever love you or that you are getting too old to have better options.
5. You want to escape your current living arrangements.
6. Your primary motivation is to have children.
7. You want a father or mother for your child.
8. You want to “make it right in God’s eyes” because you’ve been sexually intimate.
9. Your only real connection is that you became pregnant together.
10. Your primary motivation is financial security.
11. Your family and friends are not supportive of your relationship.
12. You are in a relationship that began as an affair.
13. Your partner has a history of deceit and unfaithfulness.
14. You struggle with strong doubt that goes beyond “cold feet”.
15. Your partner has an ongoing problem with addictive behavior.
If one or more of these statements is true for you, it will be important to pay attention and address the issue. Discuss it with your potential spouse, if possible, or with someone you trust to give you honest perspective. Oftentimes, someone who cares about you will be a better judge of whether you should walk confidently up the aisle or get spooked and wait or run the other direction.
Based on your own experience, do you have anything to add to this list? What advice would you give to someone who is planning to get married? We can learn from each other, so leave a comment below!
Live, Work & Relate Well!
Dr. Linaman is a psychologist and executive coach providing counseling and professional development services to individuals, couples, work teams and organizations.