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Question (to Facebook community of women in difficult marriages): “If you could give advice to young women on the verge of getting married who see some red flags that their marriages might be difficult, what would you say?”

 

Stop, wait pause!!!! Give it time. (I saw lots of red flags, but I was thinking with my heart, not my head).

 

To consider pre-marital counseling with a professional counselor. Not all pastors (though well-meaning) are trained to perform anything more than basic counseling, and many couples just go through the motions of having a few sessions with their pastor and that person just goes through the “basics” with them. I would urge any young couple to seek out biblically-based pre-marital counseling with a licensed professional.

 

To slow down and not rush into marriage. If it’s right, the relationship will still be there (and hopefully much more secure) even if you hit the pause button for a while. I always said my experience with pastoral counseling was a joke. However, now that I look back, it wasn’t that the pastor wasn’t capable. The problem was I wasn’t able to adequately answer his questions because I wasn’t ready for marriage. Ask yourself specific questions like, “what do I admire and love about this man?” ,”What am I willing to offer this man as a wife?” If you have a difficult time putting these answers into words, you may need to sit for a while on them until you have a clear view of who he is to you. After all, it shouldn’t be about how he makes you feel, or what he does for you. It should be about what you are willing to do to make him feel loved, appreciated, respected and admired.
Don’t…..my daughter got married recently and I really didn’t want her to. You are never as prepared as you think. Marriage is the hardest thing you will EVER do. Be prepared for bumps, be prepared for surprises.
Character issues are normal for each one of us. Take an honest look at how he has handled challenges in the past. Is he willing to admit he is struggling? What actions has he taken to help himself grow as a man? Does he have close friends? Do they inspire him to grow into a better man? Look at the past. It is the greatest indicator of what to expect in the future.
I would say date at least a year BEFORE getting engaged… talk about things rather than assuming your marriage will run like your parents’… finances (separate or together), sex (how often, desires), chores (who does what), communication (styles), kids (how many), etc…. make sure you go through at least one hurdle before saying I DO… see how they handle conflict before you are “stuck”.
Well, there are some things that are deal breakers — abuse — that’s a deal breaker. Stalking — deal breaker. Controlling type behavior, wanting to know where you are all the time, deal breaker. If he doesn’t remember everything you say — not a deal breaker. Most men don’t remember everything we say. If they cuss and scream at you while dating — deal breaker.
Make sure he has an authentic, genuine relationship with the Father.
Don’t get married right now until red flags are no longer there.
We can never be one hundred percent sure before saying I do if we’re making the right decision, but you should definitely have a peace and settledness surrounding your choice, and if you don’t, sweet one, stop.