Marriage is not a child’s play. Marriage isn’t like those relationships where you are still trying to woo someone into trusting you and falling for you. During those times, we pretend about a lot of things, we try our best to be loving, caring, kind and forbearing.
While it doesn’t take long for some people’s true character to show in a relationship, some are able to hide a lot of their issues in relationships only to show their true colours in marriage, when they have probably gotten what they want.
However, no matter how one tries to hide his or her flaws, they get exposed somehow. The problem is that we are not always very sensitive to notice these flaws when they leak. This is why marriages hit the iceberg many times.
You’d hear one party saying “he suddenly changed!” He didn’t change, she didn’t change, you were simply blind not to know who you were tying the knot with. We may hardly notice the worst of people if we let our emotions cloud our reasoning.
Some people saw obvious red flags in their relationship but couldn’t think straight because they were “madly in love”, they excused those red flags and wrongly assumed that their partner will change with time only to see them get worse with time.
When we are getting to know people, there are things we must deliberately look out for. These things are hidden in tiny details and when we do not pay attention to the details, we’ll hardly notice them especially when there is a deliberate effort on the other person to impress us and endear themselves to us.
Truth is, many people have their own ideas of what marriage is. Some of these ideas are shaped by culture, religion or their personal convictions. Coming from different backgrounds, viewing marriage through the same spectrum is impossible for the majority of people.
This is why what is ideal for me turns out not to be the ideal for someone else. When I begin to try shoving down my definition of marriage down the other person’s throat, problems arise.
Before considering marriage with someone, you need to make sure that both of you share similar ideas on what marriage is. And also important, ensure both of you share the same value! This way, the minor differences (because there definitely will be) won’t become a major problem.
For example, if a man believes a woman must submit unconditionally to him and bow to him without reserve, then you shouldn’t give a second thought of being with him if you have reservations about his idea of marriage because, at the end of the day, there must be a clash of interest.
While he may try as much as possible to hide that part of him during courtship, through discussions and asking intelligent questions, you can know what his idea of marriage is like.
The man’s (in the example) idea of marriage may not be the ideal (from a perspective) but it was shaped by his culture, religion or personal convictions. You don’t expect him to suddenly change because he likes you. Truth is, people hardly change, they easily pretend that they do.
Marriage is not a place to do trial and error. You don’t get married to people hoping they would change, you rather get married to people accepting who they are. If they eventually change for good, better! However, it’s important to understand people, know their weaknesses and decide if it’s something you can live with.
Once there are major psychological differences between two persons, it will be nearly impossible to stick together as married couples. This is why psychological problems must be the first thing to address before deciding marriage.
When you are getting to know someone, this should be on the priority list of what to watch out for. If you are looking for quick pointers to the things you should look out for before marriage, you might find this list helpful.
6 POINTERS TO LOOK AT BEFORE MARRIAGE
- Faith – You should be aware of his or her faith and be sure it aligns with your belief system or you can condone it. We have always heard that there is no boundary to true love but truth is, our spirituality and faith can have a great impact on our relationship and also question our compatibility.
- Financial Plans – You should be aware of your partner’s financial situations and plans, you should know if its something you can put up with. This includes knowing what they do for a living, knowing about their debts and knowing how they understand finance and financial roles.
- Background check – You need to know where your partner is coming from, the kind of upbringing he or she has, how it affects his or her decisions and the impact it may have in your relationship.
- Values & Principles – You need to know your partner’s values, you need to understand how he or she defines important things that are likely to come into play in your marriage. What do they think about equality, parenting, fidelity, commitment and so on? For some people, they believe the husband is superior to the wife and provides for the family, for some other persons, they believe both are equal and can provide for the family according to their financial abilities. This is a very important discussion.
- Past relationships – While you do not have to start probing your partner to a certain extent, you need to know about some of their previous relationships, what they left behind, what they took from their past and so on. You don’t have to be taken by surprises by their past and you don’t want to commit yourself to someone who isn’t willing to share their past or someone who had a past you can’t accept.
- Temperament – You need to know and experience how your partner reacts to issues. Can you cope with your partner’s temperament? Are you willing to condone it if you are not comfortable with it?
It is not limited to the few listed above. While you swim in the river of love and enjoy the best of the moments in your relationship, you mustn’t get carried away. Does this mean you are being negative? No, it means you are being intentional about the decisions you make about marriage.