Until Death Do Us Part: Am I Ready to Get Married?

Until Death Do Us Part: Am I Ready to Get Married?
Photo Credit: manifeesto / iStockPhoto.com
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How to Know If You’re Ready for Marriage

People worry about decision-making. They wonder if they are doing the right thing, if their choice is the best, and how their future will be impacted by the chosen option. The little decisions create large amounts of stress — the large decisions create even more.

You can imagine the stress triggered by something like marriage. An event meant to be an expression of emotion and your undying commitment to another person becomes a source of anxiety, panic, and self-doubt.

The unwanted feelings begin to twist and distort a time of happiness into a time of dread, uncertainty, and unease.

You wanted to get married. Now, you’re not so sure. So, how can you be absolutely assured that you are ready for marriage and that marriage is ready for you?

The Short and the Long Answer

In short, you can’t be sure. Marriage is an intricate balance; it is an interaction of endless variables like physical traits, personality characteristics, and situational responses. It is impossible to create an equation that will ensure success.

Without a guarantee, you must take a risk. You must leap into the insecurity of the situation.

Leaping is okay, but you should always look first.

Are you ready for marriage? The long answer involves looking at yourself and your partner to compare values, beliefs, and ideals to surmise how they correspond.

Asking the Right Questions

Compatibility is a major force in dictating marriage readiness. Unfortunately, people may focus only on positive aspects of the relationship when deciding on marriage. To obtain a complete picture, consider the following:

What Are Your Issues?

Before you can even inspect details of the relationship, you have to look at yourself independently. Are you well mentally and physically?

Surely people undergoing some sort of illness can be ready for marriage, but some issues, like an active substance addiction or an untreated mental health concern, will severely limit the success of the relationship.

If you feel healthy, have a strong sense of wellbeing, and are choosing to enter this union with good intentions, you could be ready.

What Are You Looking For?

People think about getting married for a variety of reasons. Are you looking for a soul mate for all eternity, or are you happy to have someone to look at while you eat dinner?
Your goal for the relationship will significantly impact your readiness. If your goal is unreasonable or unrealistic, you might not be ready.

Similarly, if your goal stands in sharp contrast to your partner’s, it could indicate that the relationship is not ready for the next step.

How are your communication skills? People with low levels of satisfaction in a romantic relationship frequently cite poor communication as a contributor. This means that if you or your partner needs major communication renovations, marriage should wait.

Poor communication will emerge in many forms like being secretive, judgmental, or inconsistent.

Strong communicators do not have to disclose every thought and experience of their day, but they do need to be respectful and value the views of the other. When your communication is compatible, you will know you are ready.

How Do You Handle Adversity?

Any relationship can succeed under ideal conditions — the real challenge comes when obstacles confront the relationship. Do you allow these problems to push you away from your partner, or do you take a team approach and rely on their support?

Every relationship will encounter its share of adversity. If your relationship has been tested and emerged stronger for the experience, it sounds it can withstand marriage.

What Are Your Deal Breakers?

Deal breakers are behaviors you will not tolerate in any way during the relationship. In many cases, deal breakers are reserved for infidelity, emotional or physical abuse, and encountering problems with the law.

For you, deal breakers might involve religious affiliation, political leanings, drug use, views of mental illness, and views on children and family. Before you can be ready for marriage, you must explore these deal breakers.

By uncovering issues prior to the ceremony, you can establish compromise or decide that you will never be ready.

Get the Best Start

If your inspection of the questions above made you feel less confident in your readiness, don’t fear. Unless you exposed a number of deal breakers, most of the other issues can be improved over time.

By practicing your communication skills, your conflict resolution, and caring for yourself as an individual within the relationship, you can move towards readiness.

Some people become overwhelmed with the prospect of improving the relationship. For you, consider a range of resources like mental health therapy, pre-marriage counseling through a religious organization, and consulting with friends or family.

These options can provide structure and support to point you and your relationship in the best direction based on their experience and expertise. They can spark conversations and thoughts that uncover just how ready or unready you are. There is no shame in taking steps towards improvement at any time.

A Love Note

This is the first time love is being mentioned, and it was done intentionally. Though love is an important factor in most marriages, it is problematic at the same time.

Love is hard to measure. You cannot quantify it. Even if you could, there is no evidence to support the idea that “more love” equates to marriage readiness.

Love is a feeling, and feelings frequently change throughout the course of a relationship. Imagine how your feelings towards your partner have changed during the relationship.

Love will ebb, flow, and morph throughout the time you are together. People who focus too much on love might be unprepared for and frustrated by these changes.

They may emphasize the intensity of their feelings to excuse poor behavior or to distract from indicators that they are not ready for marriage.

You can never be certain about your readiness for marriage, but you can take steps towards understanding what you and your partner bring to the relationship. By identifying these issues, you can begin to assess compatibility and your willingness.

Remember, in most cases, love is an integral part of marriage. It is not the only part, though. Contrary to the song lyric, love is not all you need.