Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Ten Things To Always Consider Before Marriage

A wedding is one of those events that most look forward to and eagerly anticipate. Little girls dream about theirs and act out the perfect wedding in play times. Couples spend countless hours looking for the perfect location and extra elements that will make their day memorable.

And yet beyond the wedding is a marriage, a hopefully lifelong relationship fueled by love, founded on faith and sustained by commitment that survives even the toughest of times. And sometimes people let wedding plans and excitement distract them from determining whether this other person they're planning to live with until death do them part is not just the person they can live with but also the one they can't live without.

I want to suggest that couples spend far more time on their marriage than their wedding. And finding that special individual can be helped dramatically by being willing to look at ten considerations and questions below and answer them honestly. No one is perfect, but these questions can root out some deeper issues that may rear their heads later and keep a marriage from being the intimate, loving, lifelong relationship it could be and should be.

And let me add that if several of the questions suggest significant problems or red flags, please consider not getting married until these issues are talked about and examined closely. Counseling may be valuable at that point too. There is little worse than being several years into a relationship knowing that there were skeletons lurking in someone's background that needed attention and can potentially destroy the relationship.

I have a theorem that has proven true over and over. If something is going on before the wedding, it will still be there after the wedding. Marriage changes little when it comes to problems.

My Marriage Top Ten:

1. Does your fiance like you? For example, do they laugh at your jokes, take interest in your likes and priorities, talk about things you enjoy or is it all about them or someone else?

2. Does your fiance seem proud of you? Do they brag about you to others, ever tell you they think you do something well or does it feel like they're always a little jealous or at best silent about your talents?

3. Do you make most of your decisions together or does the other one subtly take charge as though they know better?

4. Does either of your fiance's parents act the same way?  In other words, are there genetic, family systems issues involved?

5. Have you talked about whether there has been any abuse in either of your families? Abusive characteristics are often passed on from past generations or started in childhood. See #6.

6. Does your fiance tend to not want to talk about serious issues or problems or suggest that you can work them out after you get married?

7. Are faith, church involvement and spiritual growth considered by your fiance to simply be nice things but doesn't support with any enthusiasm or personal commitment?

8. Do outside hobbies, goals, education and work seem more important than your marriage, home and ongoing relationship together?

9. Does your fiance place undue importance in keeping family traditions and not upsetting their parents?

10. Do you simply sense something is fundamentally wrong and you can't put your finger on it?

Answers to these questions won't make any marriage perfect or unearth every potential problem but they will address most of the major ones. I know you might rather look the other way but don't. Your life and relationship depend on it. And if nothing else by asking these questions you may end up affirming that you really have found someone you can't live without.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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