If you have attended one of our pre-married/pre-engagement classes you have already seen this list. For those who haven’t and are considering marriage, this is a wonderful time to pause and do some serious evaluating.
Not all of these need to be considered deal breakers, but once the wedding process is on “full speed ahead” it is very difficult to stop it or slow it down. But I assure you – it would be better than proceeding when there may be factors in the relationship that are particularly troublesome. It is so much easier to deal with issues before joining your lives together. Once the rings are on, some people are not willing to face the painful places in their lives. Do it while you both have a stronger motivation and before inertia has set in.
So look over this list carefully and don’t minimize or rationalize away the problems. Marriage should be a lifetime commitment and it takes both your brain and your heart to be in sync when you make the second most important choice in your lifetime.
- You’ve known the person for less than a year
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Over dependency on family
- Over dependence on partner
- Serious quarrelling (or uncontrolled anger, raging)
- Many significant people in your life are uncomfortable about your relationship
- If there is a serious problem that is unresolved
- Significant financial problems or serious debt
- You feel pressured to marry due to age, sex, etc
- You believe sexual involvement must lead to marriage
- Both are 18 or younger
- You just have to get out of your parent’s house
- Strong cultural, social or economic differences
- There’s no plan for your relationship – no goals
- God is not as important to your partner as to you
- Unaddressed abuse in either person’s background (physical, sexual or emotional)
- Physical abuse – even once (get out)
So what did you notice? Are there any items that made you uncomfortable? Or are you smiling because nothing applied to your relationship? You may have to dig a bit deeper into the relationship to find out some of the answers. You may have to ask family or friends or other trusted people in your life what they see. Weigh their answers carefully, especially from those who are not overly critical or overly positive by nature.
By the way, if you were wondering about the first most important choice in your life: it is making a commitment to follow Christ.