Marriage is intended as a lifelong commitment, and therefore the decision to marry is not one that a couple should take lightly. If you are considering marriage, you must make sure that you are, in fact, ready to get married.
The big day that you have dreamed about for years has arrived. The person you love has asked to or agreed to marry you, but how does one know if they are ready to get married? While volumes could be written to address this issue, this article will attempt to generate some thought on a variety of issues that a wise prospective bride or groom should contemplate before entering into the marriage agreement.
Things to consider when thinking about whether you are ready to get married
If you and your partner are considering marriage, you need to make sure that you can imagine spending the rest of your life with them and only them. If you can’t imagine being with anyone else, then you are certainly not ready for marriage. Remember that being married to someone means that you will likely be spending almost every day of your life from that point on with them, so it is important that you like to spend a lot of time together.
It is wise for individuals to know themselves well before attempting to blend their lives with the life of other individuals. Things that are important to know are what one considers as goals for his/her life. Things like finishing college, having a career, rearing children, taking care of the extended family if need be, travelling and a variety of other aspirations should be considered and especially considered when considering marriage.
There should be clear communication on the goals that each person has with their intended marriage partner so that any issues/conflicts between the two individuals in regard to these goals can be discussed to make certain that there is a plan in place for when these issues arise. One example will be if both individuals want to attend college. There needs to be a plan for how to meet financial obligations while one or both spouses are in college.
While the goals of individuals may change over the course of a lifetime, it is a good idea to at least enter marriage with a clear plan to accommodate the goals of the bride and the groom. If there is no way to formulate such a plan and neither partner is willing to sacrifice a goal, then this might indicate a need to postpone or forego the marriage.
Can you actually live with the person? A lot of people choose not to live together until after they are married, but in doing this, they do not know what their partner is like to live with. No matter how well they get on with each other, some couples simply cannot live together. You have to make sure that you can live with all of your partner’s little annoying habits, many of them you will not have even noticed if you have never lived together before.
Do you and your partner want the same things out of life? For example, do both of you want children? This could be a massive issue later on in your married life if one of you wants children and one of you does not. This is an issue that you really need to discuss before you decide to get married; there is no point in hoping that your partner will come round to your way of thinking eventually, as they almost certainly won’t, and trying to convince them to change their mind on such a life-changing issue is not fair to them.
Perspective brides and grooms should have clear ideas on how both they and their partner wish to live as a married couple. Questions such as: Do we want to have careers that demand a lot of our time and reap the large financial gain, or will one person stay home and/or work part-time to care for the home and children that might eventually come into the picture? If there is a large gap in the lifestyles that both partners view as ideal, this may signal a red flag when the wedding is over and reality sets in.
Similarly, do you and your partner share the same ideas for other aspects of your lives? For example, where would you like to live? This can be another big issue, perhaps one of you wants to stay in a big city while the other wants to live in the countryside. Perhaps this is something that you can compromise on, but if it is not, then it could become an issue.
Knowing the expectations that an individual has for his/her future mate is something that should be clearly defined and communicated prior to marriage. Expectations in the area of spiritual leadership/participation (or the lack thereof), parenting, communication, child-rearing, conflict resolution, dealing with in-laws, sexuality, financial management, travel, relocation, and traditions are a list of some very common conflicts in a marriage and therefore are things that one should know how they can somewhat anticipate their future spouse’s to feel toward and expect to handle.
While there will likely be differences in opinion on a variety of issues, the impact that these differences could have in the future for both marriage partners should be considered.
Learn to compromise
You and your partner will have to compromise on many things during your married life together. You have to make sure that this is something that you are both willing and able to do. You cannot have your own way all the time, and neither can your partner, this can be a hard adjustment to make, and you both have to make sure that you are ready to do this.
The most important thing to consider when trying to decide if you are ready for marriage is how well you know your partner. Remember that marriage is intended as a lifelong commitment, and the better you know your partner, the more chance you have of knowing if they are indeed the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Genuine preparation for marriage involves knowing oneself and their intended spouse very well and being willing to make sacrifices and work through differences as they arise. A prospective bride/groom must be willing to commit to some degree of selflessness in order to make a successful marriage.