When my husband proposed to me, we had already been a part of each other’s lives for years. We met and developed a friendship when we were both 17. We didn’t get engaged until I was 28. Our history ran deep. Because of that, I knew a lot about him (and myself) before we decided to get married. And, even with that, we continue to learn more about each other every single year. The learning never ends.
Falling in love is a wonderful thing. The feeling you get when the love of your life walks into a room – that feeling makes your heart melt. But you can’t get married only because of love. You have to ask yourself a few questions before you decide to spend your life with another person. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it takes work, and if you enter it ill-prepared – well you are setting yourself up for failure.
I think a lot of failed marriages are a result of people entering the union without being prepared. Sometimes that incredible feeling of love clouds our judgment and we lose sight of the other things that matter. To increase the odds of entering a union that will last, you need to keep it real with yourself. If you can’t do that, it will come back to haunt you. Of course there are many questions you need to ask your potential spouse as well, but before you start grilling this man, take a look in the mirror and have a one-on-one with the woman staring back. It can make all the difference.
Here are 17 questions I think every woman should ask herself before she decides to get married.
- Do I have unresolved issues with my father, and if so, am I taking steps to work through them?
- Have I lived on my own, and if not, do I want to?
- Where do I stand on having children? Have I considered all possibilities?
- Am I ready and willing to embrace his family (including children he may have) as my own?
- Am I clear on who I am and what I want out of life?
- Does he add joy to my life, or am I making him my only source of joy?
- Am I still carrying baggage from previous relationships?
- When it comes to the life I want, what are the things that I consider non-negotiable?
- Do I believe in traditional roles in marriage, or do I expect something different?
- Am I myself when I am with him, or am I trying to be someone else to please him?
- Am I clear on why I want to marry him? Are they good reasons?
- What would be missing from my life if he weren’t in it?
- Do we share the same values?
- Does he recognize my worth? Do I?
- Am I in love with him, or with the idea of marriage or a wedding?
- Do I feel pressure by any outside forces to get married?
- Does he add something meaningful to my life?