“We are in the ‘divorce age’,” said a friend when we were hanging out and learned that a friend and her husband were splitting up.
We were all casually hanging out, talking about life, love and everything in between when one of our friends in the group suddenly spoke up, “Ladies, it’s over — we are getting a divorce”.
A deep silence filled the room and she added, “It’s better this way. We were two different people, toward the end, almost two strangers. I don’t know how that happened but it did.”
We left it at that.
A couple of weeks passed and we got wind of another two friends who were also getting a divorce. That was 3 couples in a month.
It got me thinking — why is this happening?
Are some of us rushing into marriage? Is it possible to prevent a divorce?
With those questions in my head I started doing some research. I began some deep contemplation about my own relationship, read about other happy couples… I basically went on a Googling spree.
I did find some interesting stuff which made a lot of sense to me.
So I’ve put this list together for anyone who’s thinking about getting married or wondering if they should at all — these 7 questions could help give you some clarity.
1. How aligned are your life goals?
Once upon a time, you were just hoping the cute guy across the table would like you. Why? Well… because he was cute. And that was enough then, but if you are considering getting married, it goes deeper than that.
If you’re going to spend the rest of your life together, then it’s important that your life goals are aligned. These include core values and traits in a life partner that matter to you.
You can’t predict the future, but when you know what your life goals and your partner’s are, this gives you an idea of what you can expect from someone moving forward.
And yes, this include the topic of kids. It’s crucial to know whether you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to having children. A lot of marriages end over the fact that one person wants children and the other doesn’t.
2. How is your sex life?
Now at the beginning most of us start off with fireworks and passion. Honeymoon phases always seem perfect. But after a while, you will notice a trend.
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself: “How is our sex life?” “Do I enjoy making love to my partner?”
Yes I know this is a tough subject for many. Heck, it even makes me blush at times. But it’s still a very important question. Knowing how you connect with someone on that level is pretty crucial to the success of a relationship — and marriage.
You have to also ask yourself this tough question — are you okay sleeping with the same person for the rest of your life? Can you be happy and satisfied by that? If the idea scares you, then you might want to discuss either the possibility of an open marriage, strategies to keep the spark alive, or holding off on marriage until the idea of one person for the rest of your life doesn’t sound like a death sentence for you.
3. Does he/she make you laugh?
Making sure your partner makes you laugh is still one of the best relationship advice I ever received.
I was having a hard time trying to figure out what I wanted for my heart once upon a time, and a friend said to me matter-of-factly — “Marina, you should always choose the one who makes you laugh.”
After being with my husband for almost a decade and two kids later, I still believe that to be true and in fact, could be the key to a fulfilling relationship.
If you think about it, it’s really just an aspect of enjoying the other person’s company and if you want a marriage that lasts a long time, well, you gotta be able to enjoy the company you keep.
A sense of humor also helps couples overcome the tough times, and in a marriage, there will be a lot of those.
4. What are your money beliefs/habits?
Apart from sex, money is another subject that can be a sensitive issue for many. Every couple needs to be able to talk openly about their finances. It’s a great sign of trust.
Does anyone have any debts? What about savings? Will you have a joint account together? Who pays the bills etc.?
5. Do you trust him/her?
Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised by the answer for many people who have never really thought about this.
Your life partner should be someone whom you trust implicitly. You should not have any reservations or doubts about him/her. If you have trust issues, then you should resolve them first before getting married. Talk to your partner about your concerns and the things that bother you, and see if getting your insecurities off your chest makes anything better.
6. How do you see yourself with him/her?
You need to feel good about yourself as an individual (not as part of a couple) when you’re with your partner.
The key is to learn not to make being married your sole identity.
Relationships should not complete us, but rather, help us grow and become a better person.
7. What your intuition say?
Your intuition has a special way of showing you what is right or wrong for you — and that is true even when it comes to knowing whether your partner is a good match for you or not.
Regardless of whether he/she does everything to match your taste, what’s important is how you honestly feel around them. Your match will always make you feel warm, content, special and safe.
No matter what others around you say, always listen to your gut by tuning in to your powers of intuition.
After asking yourself these seven questions, if you’re still unsure, try making a list of pros and cons. It might sound weird, but this actually works for some.
It did for Charles Darwin, the father of evolution.
Charles Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, in January 1839 — but not before he thought real hard about it and came up with his own list of pros and cons of marriage and impact this might have on his personal and professional life.
You can see the full list he wrote in 1838 here, but also enjoy this infographic below:
And what did Mr. Darwin do after all that? Well… he got married the following year. 🙂
On that note, I’d like to end by saying this:
Deciding to get married or not is a life-changing decision — so taking a moment to reflect on that before going for the big YES.
Do you have any thoughts to share on marriage? Any tips? Share them with us below.
p.s. Looking to keep the spark alive in your relationship? Check out our articles on “5 Ways To Keep Falling In Love With Your Partner” and “5 Phrases To Help Any Relationship”.