Just because you’re engaged doesn’t mean you should marry your fiance! Here’s how to know if marriage really is the right decision for you – especially if you’re having second thoughts about getting married.
If you have secret doubts – or open doubts – about the guy you’re about to marry, read Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away. Do not ignore your gut feelings, my friend! Do not ignore these red flags. Marriage is hard enough when you’re totally compatible…it’s downright torture when you’re not sure you ever should’ve married in the first place.
Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman is a bestselling book on Amazon – for good reason! It’s about preparing for marriage, so you don’t end up one of the 50% of couples who get divorced.
“My fiance and I are due to get married in five weeks,” says A. on How to Let Go of Someone You Love. “He is here on an engagement visa which means we have to be married by Sept 2 or the visa expires and he has to leave. Our problem is that we can’t seem to get on the same page in life.”
Below, she describes the red flags in her relationship – which I think are major for two reasons: 1) she calls it a “tortured, tormented love”; and 2) she wants kids, but he doesn’t.
How to Know if You Should NOT Marry Him
Here’s the rest of my reader’s story:
“We are both 37 and I want a family but he still is unsure if he wants one,” she says. “We love each other very much but we constantly battle over this issue. It’s is a tortured, tormented love. He wants me to say I will marry him with the possibility of giving up my dream of having a family. I know I will resent him for that. I want him to say he loves me enough to have one with me. Should we let each other go and never see each other again? Or, continue on knowing that one of us may be unhappy down the road?”
I think they should let each other go. Here’s why – and my reasons serve as tips for all women, to help them know if they should marry the guys they’re engaged to. A. isn’t alone in her feelings of hesitation and doubt – nor is she the only one second-guessing her engagement!
These are reasons NOT to get married
If you suspect you shouldn’t marry your fiance, read How to Know If You’re Settling in a Relationship.
Your family goals are incompatible
There are some things married couples can live with, such as a preference for Indian over Italian food. Other things are major dividing factors – and children is one of them. So is money.
If you want kids and your fiancé doesn’t, then your family goes are NOT compatible and you shouldn’t marry him. You will forever regret your decision, and you will waste your most fertile years. By the time you decide to follow your heart and pursue what you wanted all along (a family), you’ll be in your mid-forties or older. Sure, you could possibly still get pregnant and you could definitely still adopt, but the older you are, the more difficult it is.
Incompatible family goals are one of the biggest red flags for marriage – if not the biggest one. I think money problems are easier to work through than children incompatibilities. Read Marriage Advice From a Wife Who Stayed Married Too Long to learn more about how to know if you should marry the guy you’re engaged to.
You feel pressured to marry the guy you’re engaged to
A. is facing a time crunch – she has to marry him by September 2, or he loses his visa. This is the absolute worst situation in which to decide about something SO important! This is a huge amount of pressure, and it’s horribly unfair to her.
This is another reason I say no, he’s not the right guy to marry. I don’t care if you’re engaged and the wedding is tomorrow. The embarrassment and discomfort of canceling a wedding is minor compared to the pain of being married to the wrong guy.
Another important thing to consider is why you’re marrying him. Why do you want to tie yourself to this man for the rest of your life? Why are you in a love relationship that you’re not sure about? Read 5 Reasons Women Stay in Loveless Marriages to gain some insight into your motivation.
Your love causes pain, or makes you to second guess your fiance or yourself
I think A’s situation is a perfect textbook case of how to know you should not marry the guy you’re engaged to!
All love relationships are rocky and takes work. But there’s a difference between normal love that needs nurturing, and tormented love that is destined to fail.
A few weeks before I got married, I was scared and uncertain. But, I never doubted my fiancé – he was the last person I had doubts about! I doubted myself. I was scared I didn’t know how to be married, that I wouldn’t be a good wife, and that I was committing to something bigger than I could handle. In hindsight, I see that my fears were normal – and even healthy.
I believe that if A. marries the guy she’s engaged to, she’ll regret it within a few months or even weeks. I’m sorry I’m not more optimistic about this marriage, but all I see are red flags. And I think A. knows she shouldn’t marry the guy she’s engaged to, but she wants to be married and she loves him, so she’s conflicted. And there’s always that pesky issue of him losing his visa…
If the wedding is a thing of the past – or if you you’re going to marry him – read 6 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Marriage.
What do you think – are you certain you should marry the guy you’re engaged to? I can’t offer relationship advice, but writing about your relationship might help you gain insight and clarity.
My prayer is for all engaged couples to know when to proceed, and when to take a break from the relationship.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.