Do the work before the "I DO"
Have you ever heard someone say that problems they have in their dating relationship will get better once they are married? Believe it or not this is a thing. This belief that marrying your one true love will solve all your problems is often shown in pop culture as something that is a good thing. What I have found as I have worked with couples of all sorts is that problems you have prior to marriage will be problems you have after marriage. There are some things you can do in order to make sure that you take care of the things that need to be taken care of before you marry.
When people are dating they often have an inability to be authentic with one another. This inability doesn’t allow for a key thing in relationships, honesty. This honesty about all things is what forms the initial foundations of a relationship. Sometimes people can’t be honest because they are fearful of what the other half of the relationship will think of them. Perhaps one partner was never raised with an ability to be honest about things. An inability to be honest will doom relationships.
When you’re in a relationship and there are obvious red flags you need to pay attention to these. These red flags could be any number of things…controlling behavior…continued contact with an ex…abusive language…. These behaviors aren’t momentary lapses of judgment, they are long-term continued behaviors that will be brought into a marriage if not paid attention to. If they are brought into a marriage, it’s a good chance that your marriage will end up in divorce.
Listen to others
So many times, friends and families are able to clearly see what we often will miss. We forget this and then are shocked when they point out something that we should pay attention to. Many times, we even break off relationships with someone because they care enough about us to say something. My suggestion is that if you have someone that cares about you point something out in your relationship, listen to them. They are doing it most likely because they care about you. Listening may give you some insight that can make your relationship with your significant other better.
Make a choice
Many times, people have the facts before them and they still head into a marriage with huge amounts of relational baggage. Making choices to not stay in a relationship or not get married is hard. Yet, if you make the right choice sooner than later it will dramatically affect your life in a positive way. Too many people get married and then 3-8 years into the marriage make the choice. When they do this, there are so many more things involved and much more damage that takes place to kids and extended family. Making a hard choice earlier to end a relationship can be one of the best things you do not only for yourself, but for others.
In the midst of this decision-making process, it is important to find support from people that care about you. This could be friends or family that know what is going on. It also could be important to seek out an emotionally unattached third party to help you problem solve. This would be a counselor, psychologist or pastor of some sort. Doing this alone can be overwhelming so getting the support you need is of high importance.
There are many things to consider as you make important life-altering decisions regarding your relationships. These are a few ideas on what to do when you make a decision to make change. There could be many more. What are some that you would add to this list?