10 Ways To Know If Your Pre-Wedding Jitters Are ACTUALLY Red Flags

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pre-wedding jitters

Its normal to be nervous before your wedding. But how do you figure out if you're making a mistake?

You’ve planned the wedding, bought the dress, and paid for the reception. Everything is moving along just as it should. Then you hear it. That little voice in your head. (Or maybe it’s the voice of your great Aunt Mary.)

You know the voice. It’s the one that says: "Are you sure?"

At first, you brush it aside. Of course, you're sure! You’ve wanted to be married ever since you were a little girl. You've dated your fiancé for years. You can’t wait to have kids! Of course, you want to get married!... Right?

While pre-wedding jitters are normal, sometimes, in the rush of the moment, it’s hard to know whether the reservations you're feeling are just nerves, or something more.

Here are 10 tips to help you decide whether you should say, "I do" or "I don’t":

1. If you haven’t talked about money, you are NOT ready to get married.

People can be financially incompatible just as they can be sexually incompatible. Is your fiancé a saver or a spender? Are you going to pool your resources after you marry or maintain separate accounts? How much money do you each earn and how do you plan to pay the bills?  

Talking about this stuff is way less fun than planning the perfect wedding, but if you don’t have these conversations now, you may find yourself wishing the wedding had never happened.

2.  If your fiancé won’t talk to you about money because he says it is unromantic, DON’T marry him.

Seriously. If you think talking about money before the wedding is unromantic, just think about how you are going to feel talking about the mountain of credit card debt or student loans he brought into the marriage that you didn’t know about until after you were married. 

3. If you want kids and your fiancé does not, stop right now.

Having kids, or not having kids is a deal breaker issue. It is also one of those rare issues that can’t be compromised, and can’t be changed.  

I have known more than a few couples who were totally in love, got married, and then ended up miserable and/or divorced because each one thought the other would change his or her mind about having kids.

4. If you are not sexually attracted to your fiancé, don’t marry him.

Some people believe that they should marry their best friend. That’s a great idea. But, if you would rather do just about anything other than have sex with him, you’ve got a problem!  

While you may think that you can survive without sex, if he wants it and you don’t, your marriage is going to get strained pretty quickly. Plus, living in a sexless marriage will eventually erode your relationship. Not only will you not be lovers, but you may end up not even being friends.

5. If you think the irritating issues you have with your fiancé now will go away after you are married, you’re WRONG.

If he does things now that make you crazy, he’s not going to stop doing them after you are married! As a matter of fact, he will probably find even more things to do that will make you wonder what planet he came from.

Address your issues NOW. It’s better to know whether you will be able to work them out before you tie the knot.

6. If your friends and family don’t like him, there’s something wrong.

You don’t need permission from anyone to get married. But your friends and family know you better than anyone else. They love you. If they don’t like your fiancé, don’t blow off their opinions!  

You don’t have to agree with them, but at least listen to what they say, and take your time before tying the knot.

7. Love may be blind, but you don’t have to be stupid.  

Yes, you may be in love, but your fiancé is not the only man in the world! If you see red flags, don’t ignore them!  

If you suspect that your fiancé is already cheating on you, or has a drinking problem, or isn’t being totally honest about anything that matters to you, don’t rationalize his behavior... address it!

Putting on blinders to avoid seeing the truth does not lead to living happily ever after.

8. If you were married before or have way more money than your soon-to-be husband, get a prenup.  

Yes, I know that many people think getting a pre-nup is like admitting your marriage will fail before it has even started. It’s not. If you have kids from a prior marriage, you have to protect them financially.

If your fiancé doesn’t understand that, then maybe he’s not the right guy for you. The same thing is true if you have significant assets and he doesn’t. If he truly doesn’t care about money, then signing a prenup won’t be an issue.

9. A ticking clock is no reason to marry a time bomb.

There are a few reasons to get married that are worse doing it because you want kids and your biological clock is ticking. Just because you're getting older does not mean that you have to settle for someone who is not right for you.

Better to stay single and adopt a child, than to marry the wrong guy and have to put your kids through a divorce.

10. Remember that it's never too late to change your mind.  

No one wants to be a runaway bride, but if the little voice inside of your head is screaming, "Don’t do this," then for heaven’s sake, don’t do it!

It doesn’t matter how much money you have already spent on a dress, flowers, a photographer, and a fancy reception. It doesn’t matter how embarrassed you feel about calling off the wedding.

I promise you, getting divorced will be way more expensive and embarrassing than cutting your losses now if you know you are not doing the right thing.

Karen Covy is a divorce advisor, lawyer and mediator. Check out her website for advice on relationships, marriage, and divorce.