Well, you have bought the dress, ordered the flowers, and paid for the tuxedos, this should be the happiest time in your life. Something is wrong, and it is hard to explain.
The Bride To Be:
“When we were dating everything seemed good, but now that we have moved in together, I’m learning things about you that I didn’t realize before. Sometimes I wonder if we really know each other. I notice that when you are angry, you become physically intimidating. I notice that when you are mad at me that you give me the silent treatment for a week. I try to talk to you but that just seems to make you more angry. I heard you talking to your mother the other day about our problems, but you won’t talk to me. Lately, you are spending more time with your friends then you spend with me.”
The Groom To Be:
“When I come home I’m tired and you seem to want to talk. When I want sex, you don’t want to be bothered. When your parents come for a visit, you push me to the side and the three of you plan our wedding, without any input from me. I try to talk to you but you just get sad, cry, or you over-talk me. Lately, I have been talking to a co-worker, because I feel like I don’t have anyone else to talk to. We are supposed to get married in two months, but I have doubts, as it seems that we don’t really know a lot about each other and now those differences are starting to appear.”
Here are ten signs that you may not REALLY know your fiancé
- If you have not known and dated your fiancé for at least a year and a half. Meaning you dated for a year before accepting a proposal
- If you have not discussed important issues like money, sex, religion, etc.
- If you have not seen all aspects of his or her personality (range of emotion) sadness, anger etc.
- If you have not figured out how to have a PRODUCTIVE argument/conflict
- If you have not met all immediate and important family and friends
- If you have not discussed whether or not you want to have children
- If you have negative feelings toward your fiancé’s friends or family that you have not discussed or resolved
- If you have NOT discussed prior sexual and medical history (disorders, diseases etc.)
- If you don’t trust or have concern about your fiancé’s character
- If you and your fiancé live in different states and have dated and established a relationship LONG distance
If you need one on one coaching or counseling regarding your engagement please complete the form below.
via Daily Prompt: Perplexed
Relationships are complicated, whether we are at the beginning, the middle, or the ending phase, relationships take a lot of work. Often couples feel perplexed about their relationship status, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary app, perplexed is defined as being filled with uncertainty or the inability to understand something clearly. This is normal, however many couples enter into engagement and feel uncertain about not only their relationship status, but issues related to the planning of the wedding day. If you are feeling perplexed then perhaps you should address these feelings in couples counseling.
Here are some common issues that engaged couples feel perplexed about during the engagement stage.
- Their partner’s personality traits (anger, manipulation, laziness, difficulty managing money, not being truthful, lack of interest in sex, and conflict with perspective in-laws)
- Feeling as if they have rushed into the engagement phase
- Feeling that they are not ready to live with their partner on a daily basis
- Inability to communicate directly
- Inability to resolve conflict
- Inability to show affection
- Inability to move past prior cheating incidents
- Inability to stop cheating on partner
- Fear that you are going to miss out on the single life with friends
- Concern about physical or verbal abuse
If you are engaged and experiencing any of the above concerns, by all means, find a premarital counselor. Counselors who are specially trained can assist you with identifying key problems and resolving those issues, before entering a legally and spiritually binding marriage.
Many people decide to commit to marriage every year, yet as we all know the divorce statistics are at an all time high. What makes some marriages last and others dissolve, sometimes very early; a couple of years or less. Many experts and others in the field would probably have many theories as to why so many marriages end in divorce. Well, I think that several considerations should be mentioned when trying to figure out the marriage dissolution maze. I purpose the following reasons as to why some marriages last and others do not.
Marriages that don’t work:
FIRST: Marriage is forever, at least it used to be. Many couples in today’s world enter marriage with the thought process that if things get “sticky” or if the couple becomes unhappy a divorce is just one legal document away. Marriage is no longer forever!
SECOND: There seems to be this unrealistic belief that marriage brings happiness. This is a touchy subject, many don’t like when I inform them that their spouse is not responsible for their overall happiness. This is a heavy burden to place on another person, to make someone else responsible for their happiness. A spouse can do little things to make you happy and two people can create awesome memories, but at the end of the day true happiness comes from GOD and self. It is each individual person’s responsibility to create a relationship with God and to find out his or her purpose in life, which will lead to happiness. To say that a husband or wife has to make someone else happy takes away individual responsibility. Ideally, only whole and happy people should marry, thereby lessening the pressure that can be put upon a spouse to create happiness.
THIRD: Many people show up in marriage with many wounds; such as past physical and sexual abuse, abandonment issues by parents, trust issues from prior relationships, and mental health issues. All of this can lead to a volatile relationship. Wounded people marry looking for someone to HEAL them.
FOURTH: Many couples are selfish and not willing to work through the hard times. Couples like instant gratification and when they do not get instant gratification they become angry, bitter, and resentful. Most couples spend time crying and talking about how and why they are unhappy instead of investing that time into their relationship.
Marriages that work:
1. Individuals allow selfish needs to die
2. Divorce is not an option simply because someone is unhappy
3. Individuals have a relationship with God
4. Individuals are self-aware and work on healing and solving their issues from the past
5. Individuals understand that they are responsible for their own happiness
6. Individuals are aware of their role in the marriage and execute it daily
It is a very natural thing to want to be in a loving relationship with another person. Many search and jump from relationship to relationship in an effort to find love, comfort, and companionship. The problem with individuals desperately seeking relationships is that they often move forward with relationships before they are ready. So how does one assess whether or not they are ready to pursue or commit to a relationship? Well it is my belief that several things should be in place in order for a relationship to develop in a healthy manner. Hopefully the following relationship assessment points will assist in determining whether one is ready or not.
- You are ready if you are single for at least two years and have assessed and learned from your past relationship mistakes (both parties have a role is the dissolution of the relationship).
- You know why you want to be in a relationship.
- You are financially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready.
- Fully available (not married, not separated, or going through a divorce).
- You have been independent, lived alone, paying your own bills, and ok with being alone.
- You are ready when you know what you want out of a relationship (i.e. marriage, just dating, companionship).
- You are ready when you do not have relationship baggage (YOU HAVE HEALED AND PROCESSED YOUR HURT).
- You are ready when you can live in Relationship reality: are able to identify RED flags for potential relationship failure.
Are you worthy of marriage? Are you dating and thinking about getting engaged? How do you know if you are worthy of marriage? Do you know why you want to get married? Before marriage takes place, you have to be sure you are worthy of the title of Husband or Wife, so how does one know if they are worthy of marriage? Hopefully this will help you figure out if you are worthy:
- You are worthy of marriage if you are socially and emotionally mature.
- You are worthy of marriage if you are single (not engaged, NOT SEPARATED, and not a SERIAL SPOUSE (multiple failed marriages).
- You are worthy of marriage if you are financially secure.
- You are worthy of marriage if you are able to leave your family and cleave to your potential spouse.
- You are worthy of marriage if you are mature enough to commit, putting selfishness aside and understand the purpose of marriage.
- You are worthy of marriage if you know that God has to be the head of the relationship.
- You are worthy of marriage if you can problem solve, handle conflict, and listen.
- You are worthy of marriage if you RESPECT THE UNION OF MARRIAGE.
- You are worthy of marriage if you know how to create BOUNDARIES to keep others out of your relationship.
- You are worthy of marriage if you are able to spend the rest of your life giving the other person the advantage, so that their needs are fulfilled.
Marriage can be based on many different things, hopefully one of the things your marriage is based upon is trust. Trust is vital in all relationships, but it has to be earned and it has to be developed over time. When trust is broken or weakened, then steps must be taken to prepare the damage that has been done. Unfortunately, many people marry without the benefit of trust. For instance, the guy who commits an act of infidelity the night before his wedding in celebration of his last night of freedom. What about the lady that constantly lies about her past relationships, or her relationship with her family of origin.
Some people have emotional trust issues, they are not able to connect with their partner because of past hurts during childhood or in adult relationships. Some people have not witnessed trustworthy people because everyone in their life has let them down in some aspect and proven to be untrustworthy. Possibly, some people have character defects that need to be rectified through mental health and spiritual counseling.
Do you trust your spouse? Can you trust your spouse to keep his or her marital vows. Can you trust your spouse’s word, that they will do what they say they are going to do? Can you trust that they will pay the bills, care for the children, and be financially responsible. What about emotions? Can you trust your spouse or potential spouse to be emotionally available? When someone is emotionally available they are able to respond to your emotional needs in a caring and mature manner, when you are in need.
You should only marry if you are in a trusting relationship. If your mate exhibits the following attributes then you may not be in a trusting relationship:
- Selfish tendencies in most actions
- A pattern of lying outright or misrepresenting the facts
- Being secretive about most things, especially things of the past
- Unresolved trauma in either party
- Past history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Inability to keep promises
- A pattern of cheating in current and prior relationships
- High levels of insecurity
Marriage is one of the most important relationships that you will ever engage in, but it is also one of the hardest relationships to maintain. The key to a long-lasting and healthy marriage is to have a strong foundation. It is important to incorporate God into your marriage so that your marriage is able to grow and endure challenges. It is also important because God is the only one that truly knows how to make a marriage survive and grow. Only God knows the true meaning of marriage, and that meaning is free of selfish needs.
What is the foundation of your marriage? I have observed many marriages that are based upon lust, convenience, desperation, love, and loneliness. The problem with using one of the aforementioned as a basis for marriage is that each will lead to shaky ground and will not endure the test of time. When God is incorporated into marriage then we have a source for problem solving, learning how to love, how to over come challenges, and how to heal with the support of our spouse. Quite often in my professional teaching role I have asked couples why did they decide to get married, but I inform them that they cannot give the answer that they are in love. More often than not the couples have great difficult identifying why they want to get married. I think that if we do not know why we are getting married than we are starting on shaky foundation. If we marry because we simply do not want to be alone or think that no one else will want to marry us, we are starting on shaky ground.
So what is the foundation of your marriage? In what ways can you use the marital relationship to do God’s will?