Deciding to get married is typically an emotional decision in our modern times. In the past, marriage was based on logic, politics, and a plethora of unromantic considerations. However, love isn’t enough to make a marriage work. Before tying the knot, it’s important to reflect upon yourself and each other to start your marriage on a strong foundation. Here are five important things to consider before getting married.
Do Your Values Align?
Perhaps the most important consideration before deciding to get married is whether you and your partner share the same values. It’s natural to have differences of opinion, diverse interests, and to fit the “opposites attract” trope. However, your core values are those more profound beliefs that shape you as a person. It’s essential to find someone who shares those values if you want a healthy marriage.
To determine your core values, ask your partner and yourself these questions:
- What’s your biggest priority in life? (Family, building a career, social relationships, etc.)
- What brings you the most joy?
- What brings you the least joy?
- What’s your ideal future?
Your values may change over time. Some values won’t impact your relationship. However, core things like beliefs about human rights and whether or not you want children will set the stage for your marriage. It’s better to have this conversation now than to discover you want different things later on.
How Well Do You Know the Person?
Love at first sight and whirlwind romances are wildly romantic. However, it’s crucial to slow down and separate passion from logic when deciding to get married. In other words, you need to think about how well you know the person you’re marrying.
In our digital dating society, it’s not uncommon to perform a background check on your prospective partners. This investigation could range from diving into the depths of social media or pulling Mississippi County marriage records (learn more here).
What Are Your Relationship Pain Points?
If you’ve been together for a while, you likely have some relationship pain points. In other words, ongoing issues that recur throughout your relationship.
Having pain points in a relationship is entirely normal. However, it’s still worth evaluating how debilitating these pain points are and if they can be corrected. For example, you might hate that your partner leaves the toilet seat up or always forgets things at the grocery store. These pain points are different than if your partner cheats on you or you drink excessively and start fights.
Ask yourself two simple questions:
- What is the pain point?
- Can I live with it if it never changes?
You can probably overcome a toilet seat without long-term impacts on your mental health and well-being, but we all have our breaking points. When you go through this exercise, open yourself to the same level of scrutiny.
How Well Do You Communicate?
One of the most common issues in a relationship is communication. A lack of communication leads to stress, fighting, disappointment, and frustration. Sex and money tend to be the most significant stressors and causes of fights in relationships. However, communication can help a couple move through stressful situations without causing lasting damage.
If communication is a struggle, it’s worth seeking external guidance to help you both learn how to communicate better. It will take time and dedication to put these practices in place, but it’s well worth the effort before getting married.
What Past Experiences are Impacting Your Future?
Finally, look inside and determine what past issues still impact your behaviors and attitudes today. You may not be aware of how your past experiences shape your current reality. Past traumas like abuse, neglect, parental abandonment, etc., all impact how you navigate your existing relationships and will negatively impact your marriage.
Consider reaching out for counseling to help you truly let go of past traumas or learn how to live with them constructively before deciding to get married. This process may be ongoing during your marriage, but it’s essential to have a plan in place first.
Keep these five considerations in mind when you and your partner start discussing marriage.