Marriage and Divorce: What to Consider Before Getting Married
By Daniel H Moss, Attorney
With so many marriages ending in divorce, one might wonder why couples decide to get married at all. As a divorce attorney, I can tell you that before you take “the plunge,” you should carefully consider the following factors:
Don’t Rush In
Take your time to really get to know your partner. Find out what interests and values you share and where you might differ. Differences are not necessarily a bad thing, but how you and your partner communicate and work through them is important.
Ask yourself the following questions: Do you share the same values? Do you enjoy spending time together even on days when nothing exciting is happening? Do you share the same outlook on children and how you will raise yours if you have them? Are you able to compromise with one another?
Evaluate the reasons why you are considering marriage. You’ll want to make sure you are making this decision with both heart and logic – that you not only want to get married, but that you want to be married to your significant other. Ignore the pressures of society or family regarding when or why you should get married. Focus on how you truly feel about your partner and the prospect of spending the rest of your lives together.
Marriage is not always sunshine and roses. Financial strains, careers, children, religion, families and so many other things can cause strain in a marriage. Plan for the positive goals, but be prepared for the struggles that might come your way. Be prepared to compromise.
Ask yourself: How do you and your partner handle arguments and adversity? Do you work together as a team towards the solution? Or do you argue over the stressors in your lives?
Work at It
Marriage takes work. Dating can be an exciting time of getting to know each other filled with all of the new things you can share and learn about one another. Often, when the excitement ends and the relationship starts becoming more settled, things can feel more like a daily routine. If you don’t work at your relationship and build on it with purpose, you can start to drift apart. Intimacy can begin to wane. Physical and emotional intimacy are important factors in maintaining a healthy relationship. Work at ways you and your partner can maintain those connections as your relationship matures over time.
Tell it Like it Is
If you’re mad, say so. Work through anger and arguments so that you aren’t carrying around resentment. This can build up over time and create a barrier to your relationship. This is often where relationships fall apart. If you are not able to communicate, air your grievances and truly forgive, your relationship could fall victim to an unending, unhealthy resentment.
So much goes into maintaining a healthy relationship, but considering these items beforehand can help you anticipate or avoid problems in the future. If you do start experiencing problems in your relationship, I suggest seeking help from a professional as early as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it can be to reconcile.
It may come as a surprise since I am a divorce attorney, but my first suggestion when people contact me is not always to file for divorce. Just like marriage, divorce is a serious decision with many factors to consider.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your unique situation or would like a referral to a marriage counseling expert, please do not hesitate to contact me.