When You Need to Renege on the Walk Down the Aisle
3/8/2013 12:09:00 PM
I was talking to a family member who was ready to walk the aisle and knew the inevitable:
They needed to not go through with it.
Even though they didn’t want to disappoint anyone or hurt their mate, the pain came anyway. Fast forward five years, and there was the pain of divorce. Although many people are turning away from marriage, there are still people who want it. But you should want it because it’s right. Dr. Neil Warren, founder of Eharmony pointed out previosu research conclduiing an increasing number of Americans now believes marriage is "becoming obsolete," while the National Marriage Project at the time reported more than three-quarters of Americans still believe marriage is "important" and that more than 70 percent of adults under age 30 desire to marry someday.
So it's clear that a great amount of people still crave to be married. When done right, marriage can be the greatest institution and partnership ever! In his best-selling book,The Social Animal, Dr. Neil points out the author David Brooks saying that "by far the most important decisions that persons will ever make are about whom to marry, and whom to befriend, what to love and what to despise, and how to control impulses." He cites multiple studies that have found a strong correlation between the stability of good relationships and increased life happiness.
But it can be way too easy to choose the wrong person. I agree with Dr. Neil that attraction and chemistry often can be mistaken for love. If you get married based on attraction and don't consider if a true agape love can endure, you will be headed for problems. While no one intends to be in an unhappy marriage, it can happen by not making a sound decision. But a good marriage doesn't happen by default – commitment, open communication, similarities yet the ability to complement one another and hard work are all critical.
But don't get it twisted. You have to listen to your heart – even if that means you bought the dress, rented the tux and are having second thoughts. Sure, wedding jitters are common, but if they're due to any of these problems, don't go through with it. From Your Tango, combined articles address this issue. The first tips are from Christina Steinorth on when you need to re-consider that walk down the aisle:
1. You don't get along with his family. Many couples go through with weddings hoping all the family stuff will "just work out." Don't fall into this trap because it seldom does. In fact, issues with in-laws tend to get worse over time — especially when babies come along. If his family is causing a problem in your relationship before you're married, you may want to give serious thought to calling off your wedding.
2. You've dated for less than a year. Most people are on their best behavior for the first twelve months of a relationship. After that, people tend to let their guard down a little bit and you get to see what a person is really like. This is important because ideally when you get married, you will be spending the rest of your lives together — you will need to know if your partner is someone you can live with on a day-to-day, long-term basis after the honeymoon phase of your relationship is over.
3. You haven't come to an agreement about kids, careers and other fundamental issues. So many couples get caught up in wedding planning, that they forget to talk about the fundamental issues of sharing a life together. Will you have kids? How many? What religion will you raise your children? Where will you live? Will one of you be a stay at home parent? How will holidays be handled? How will housework be divided? Couples should spend at least as much time paying attention to the details of their lives together as they do to the details of their weddings. If you can't come to an agreement to these types of fundamental issues before your marriage, you should consider calling off your wedding until you reach a mutually acceptable agreement on the details of your lives together.
4. You lack conflict resolution skills. A lot of couples write off arguments before a wedding as "wedding day jitters," but the truth of the matter is that if you have horrendous arguments and fights with your partner and nothing ever seems to get resolved, you may want to consider calling off your wedding until the two of you work on your conflict resolution skills. Long-term relationships require good conflict resolution skills and the good news is that they can be learned if both couples are committed to doing so.
5. Your gut feeling is telling you to call it off. We have gut feelings for a reason and where most of us get into trouble is when we don't listen to them. If your gut feeling is telling you to call of your wedding, it's probably a good idea to listen to that feeling and at the very least postpone your wedding until the feeling goes away. If you are meant to be together, that current gut feeling that is telling you "don't do it," will eventually pass.
Now from “6 Good Reasons To Call Off The Wedding “by Jane Garapick, she focuses on men but I think you can use the tools regardless of gender (after all,men can pick the wrong woman, too!) But check what she had to say:
1.You’re hoping he’ll change. You already know you don’t share the same values, but you think he’ll “come around” once you’re hitched. Maybe he wants to keep partying with the old gang and you’re ready for the white picket fence. Or you see onesies and flushable diapers in your future and he doesn’t want to have kids. Even when you want the same things, marriage is a rough road, fraught with the ups and downs and curve balls that you’re just not expecting. But if you’re going into it thinking “opposites attract”, we’ll work it out, he’ll settle down once we’re married, well, you’re definitely in for more downs than ups.
2.) You need counseling before you're married. Let's face it, you're not even in the "honeymoon period" yet, which is purportedly utter bliss. If your relationship is on the rocks before the big day, plan on the very likely fact that it will just get worse once the vows are exchanged. Planning a wedding is stressful and there are bound to be disagreements, but if you can't work through conflicts in a reasonable fashion now, how do you think you'll be able to work through them when you're facing the difficult challenges of running a household, raising a family, building a life? If you're expecting your irreconcilable differences to magically disappear once you're married, you're living in a world of illusion.
3.) You haven't discussed the details yet. Many people think that talking too much about the future is just so, well, unromantic, that they're afraid of putting a damper on the excitement and losing the abdominal butterflies. But the reality is that more couples split due to issues over children - not just whether or not you want any (that one is usually covered) - but how will you raise them? Public school, Private school, homeschool? Heavy handed or gentle? And then there are the career questions – will you move for each other? Does following your passion and living your dreams trump a high salary and the lifestyle that comes with it? These are all questions that need to be answered, and if you don't know the answers yet, then you had better find them out before you answer "I do".
4.) You haven't lived through all four seasons together. We all know that once you hit adulthood a year races by in what seems like an instant, so if you aren't entering into your fifth season with him then you just haven't spent enough time getting to know each other yet. You're talking about spending a lifetime together – why not wait just one short year before tying the knot? If you're so in the throes of new love that you just can't wait, then by all means get engaged, but take at least a year to plan the wedding. You'll be glad you did.
5.) You're doing it for the wrong reasons. If you're marrying him because of pressure from your family or friends, or because on paper he seems like such a catch, but in your heart you know you're just not feeling it for him, then it's the wrong thing to do. If you're hoping that you'll grow to love him, well, it might happen, but it's a longshot. Better to hold off until those seeds of love have actually sprouted.
6.) He's already cheated on you. See reason number one above. If he's already put himself into the cheater category, it's more than likely going to happen again. The only thing that's going to change is your view of reality.
The truth is if the relationship is right, then postponing the wedding won't change anything, and your love for each other will only grow stronger. And if you end up departing ways, it wasn’t meant to be. That's real talk. Better to be single and happy than committed to the wrong person – for better and mostly for worse. Even if you bought the dress, rented the facility – if you need to postpone it now – do it. If not, you will prolong what you could have avoided – a divorce.