Love

5 Questions Happily Married People Ask Themselves — Before They Walk Down The Aisle

Photo: sergey causelove / shutterstock.com  
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Getting married is easy but staying married is harder — and very few people consider this fact before they get married.

They too often picture the wedding and the honeymoon and the babies, but not what it would truly look like to be married to their person forever.

So, good for you for looking for things to consider if you are engaged to be married, but not quite sure if it's the right choice for you.

In order to stay married, it’s important to take a good look at those things that are making you pause now and question whether or not you are ready.

RELATED: 6 Crucial Things I Wish I'd Known About Marriage At Age 26

Here are 5 things to consider if you are getting married but unsure if it's right.

1. Do you love this person for the way they are right now?

So many of us are with people who we believe that we can change. “Oh," we think, "they won’t always be this way. Someday they will change."

And, while this might be true, more often than not, the person who you are considering marrying is exactly the person you will be married to for the rest of your life.

So, consider your person. Do you like the way they dress? Do you like the way they are at parties? Do you like their politics? Do you like their friends?

Do you hope that they will be open to letting you go to Peru for 6 months next year, even if they say now that they won’t be?

I know that it’s hard to know what you will want from your partner in the future but I can promise you that if the person who is in front of you right now isn’t exactly the person who you want them to be then it’s not probably a good idea to get married.

On the other hand, if the person you are marrying might not be perfect but has the attributes that you want in a person, then having a successful marriage will be way more likely. After all, if you can agree on things now then it’s most likely that you will be able to agree on things in the future!

2. Do you just want to have a wedding?

I always tell my daughter that, if she wants to get married, it’s really important that, before she does, she throws herself a big party and gets a big floofy dress.

Why? Because so many people are caught up in the idea of a ‘wedding’ that they don’t consider what being married is really like.

For women, from an early age, we are bombarded with the idea of ‘happily ever after.’ And ‘happily ever after’ includes a fabulous wedding and a dress the likes of which we will never wear again.

Many girls grow up dreaming of their ideal wedding. And the reality TV world shows us over-the-top weddings that, because of FOMO, people aspire to have.

So, I want you to seriously consider if you are doing this because of the wedding, because of your big day when you get to be the center of attention, where people will shower you with gifts and when you get to ride off into the sunset with your partner.

The stuff of fairy tales, maybe, but not necessarily the stuff that makes a healthy marriage.

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3. Are you getting married because of timing?

I remember when we were on our honeymoon I asked my ex-husband what it was that had brought us together. He said ‘timing.’

I should have walked away from that marriage right there and then.

In many ways, marriage is contagious. Are there some people in your circle who have gotten married, who have settled down, maybe bought a house and are having babies? And, are you green with envy, thinking that that is the life that you want?

I would encourage you to pause and consider if that really is the life that you want. And if it is, is it the life that you want RIGHT NOW?

I know now what my ex-husband meant by timing and, in retrospect, I know that timing is why we got married. We had just moved in together, our friends were starting to get married and I wanted babies! So, we got engaged and got married.

While my ex-husband and I had a lovely life together in so many ways, and have two great kids because we got married, I do wish that I had waited, waited until I had found someone who I was madly in love with, who I married not because everyone else was and because I wanted to have babies but because he was truly the one I wanted.

My therapist once told me that the people who can successfully bring a struggling marriage back to a healthy place are people who were madly in love with their person from the beginning.

So, consider if you are getting married because it’s ‘time’ or if you are doing so because of the love you feel for your person.

4. Are you getting married for yourself?

Ok, so perhaps you are of a certain age. Or perhaps your friends think you should do it. Or perhaps your parents were married when they were younger than you. Or perhaps your religion frowns on non-marital cohabitation. Or perhaps you are pregnant.

Or perhaps your grandmother's dying wish is that you marry your person.

There are many pressures out there, by society and by family and friends, to get married. As I said before, everyone aspires to the happily ever after. And everyone has an opinion on when and where and why a wedding should occur.

I know that my friends insisted that my ex and I were perfect for each other. We were both funny and smart and kind and workaholics. And while I agreed to some degree, I wasn’t 100% sure. But they insisted and, when the time came, I let their opinions over ride mine.

Are you getting married because you know that this is the person who you want to be with forever or because everyone else believes that this is the person for you. Everyone else who doesn’t actually exist inside this relationship, who doesn’t necessarily see or feel what you feel.

This is one of the most important decisions of your life — make it for yourself, not for other people.

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5. Are your values, goals and traditions truly aligned?

Again, weddings are fun, marriage more challenging. And a key part of a healthy marriage are values, goals and traditions that align.

In my marriage, my ex’s and my values and goals were definitely aligned. We wanted to have successful careers and be financially stable. We wanted me to stay home and take care of the kids and for him to work. We wanted to teach our kids to be kind and we wanted to make sure that they felt loved. All of those things were awesome.

What didn’t align for us, however, was our relationships with our extended family. This is something that we were both aware of before we got married but we ignored, figuring it wouldn’t have much of an effect on our marriage. And it was, in fact, that thing that tore us apart.

From the beginning we wanted to do things different ways. I wanted to do things the way I was raised and his mother insisted we do things the way she wanted them done. My husband was caught in the middle and handled it very poorly. As a result, his mother and I became increasingly estranged, which didn’t make things good for anyone. And I started to trust my husband less and less because he wasn’t advocating for me.

Do you and your partner have any values, goals or traditions that aren’t aligned now? Do you see red flags for things that might be issues in the future but are you ignoring them, hoping that things will change or that they won’t really matter?

If there are red flags, stop! Think carefully. Perhaps even discuss them with your partner! It is very important that you are aligned about the things that will be a daily part of your life, the things that will keep your marriage healthy for years to come.

Knowing that there are things to consider if you are getting married but unsure is, I know, something that you were hoping would never happen to you.

No one wants to think that getting married might not be the right thing for them. I mean there is a ring on a finger, invitations have been mailed out, mothers are eager for the big day. You don’t want to let anyone down. But you just aren’t sure. You don’t want to make a mistake.

I applaud you! The embarrassment that might come from walking away from a wedding is way better than the pain you will have to feel when you get divorced.

So, consider if you are marrying the person who is right in front of you. Are you getting married because of timing or because other people want you to? Are you getting married because of the big white dress? And are you marrying someone you are truly aligned with?

Think about all of these things carefully before you take the next step. You will be glad you did! I promise!

RELATED: 10 Things I Seriously Regret Not Doing Before Getting Married (That You Can Learn From)

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach who helps people find and keep love. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com for more information.

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This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.