So If you want to have a successful and fulfilling marriage instead of one that ends in divorce after only a few years, what can you do to protect yourself? Here are some suggestions from women who answered the question, "What do you wish you had known before you got married?"
1. Take your time. Tina told me: "It was only a year and a half between the time we met and the wedding. I thought it was long enough at the time, but I should've listened to my intuition and not gone through with the wedding."
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2. Pay attention to your intuition and your inklings ... even when you don't want to. You may feel like there is something wrong before you have enough logical evidence to support your feelings. Don't be embarrassed by that; it simply the way the human mind works. Even if you just have a case of jitters, it's worth talking about with a sympathetic listener.
3. Avoid making up Excuses. Don't make up stories about why your friends and family are not enthusiastic about your choice. Remember, they care about your happiness even if they don't have much skill in sharing their discomfort with you.
4. Collect real data. Spend some time really paying attention to the way your fiancé treats every person he has contact with: this includes service people of all kinds. If he does something that distresses you, call it to his attention and see how he responds.
5. Risk the embarrassment of calling off a wedding. It's the easiest way to avoid divorce and even though it's expensive it's far less costly than giving up years of your life and then divorcing later.
It's much easier to focus on the excitement of planning a wedding then it is to do the important work of preparing for a successful and fulfilling marriage. Do it anyhow! You are worth it!
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