• How to Know If You Are Marrying the Wrong Person

    marriage, marriage counseling, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    One of the biggest things that happen in our lives is finding a mate and getting married. This event is a pivotal moment for many people and something they look forward to long before the event happens.

    Getting married can also be stressful and scary. But if you have the right partner along for the ride, then things should still be fun and exciting.

    Pre-Wedding Stress or Something Else?

    Sometimes, we do get carried away in the stress of wedding planning, and all that entails. Then suddenly, we find ourselves stressed out, burned out, cranky, and at odds with our future spouse.

    Nothing seems to be working between the two of you. Arguments and tears are more frequent than ever. And to top it off, you feel like you are spending more and more time apart.

    Hardly the picture of a future match made in heaven.

    So how do you separate pre-wedding planning chaos from growing apart from your future mate?

    How do you know that this may not be the right person for you?

    Although every couple is different and unique, I have observed over the years that these seven clues may indicate that you could be marrying the wrong person.

    1. You have run out of things to do together.

    While we go through phases of having more bro-time than sweetie-time, this is different. Spending time apart is healthy! But I’m talking about an essential difference in core interests. You like to be social and hang out with friends; he wants to stay home all the time. She intends to go to bed early (even on weekends!) and you’re into staying up late consistently. He goes to the gym six days a week, while his partner hardly can make it around the block without complaint.

    None of these characteristics are necessarily bad on their own. The potential conflict occurs when they are directly opposite of yours, or when the number of differences outweighs the similarities.

    2. You turn to your friends when you have a crisis rather than your mate.

    We can’t only depend on one person to be the “go-to” for any conflict (or celebration). We all need community and a network of loved ones to support us in certain ways.

    marriage, marriage counseling, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    However, when it comes to lifelong partners, there is a deeper level of emotional intimacy and trust that should be present. When things happen, be it getting fired at work, getting into a car accident (God forbid), or even getting your feelings hurt by your boss, really the first person you should be able to turn to when you need help should be your spouse or soon-to-be spouse.

    3. There’s sex, but no intimacy or affection.

    Being affectionate can be an indicator of trust and vulnerability in a close relationship. Affection lets the person you’re giving it to know that you care about them and you are aware and attentive to what they need.

    Sex, of course, is part of this very intimate affection that couples share. But you can have it without the emotional intimacy, closeness, and bonding that happen in an intimate exchange like this.

    The question here is, are both parties operating at the same level of intimacy? Are they connected on the same level? If you are more emotionally invested than your other half, then the relationship could be in trouble.

    4. You hate (or strongly dislike) and often complain about the main features of their personality, but hope they’ll change.

    Here’s the thing. People usually don’t change basic characteristics. Habits can change IF the person wants to change the pattern. But I can almost guarantee you that the person won’t change their habits because YOU want them to.

    marriage, marriage counseling, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    This issue is about acceptance. One clue that we have found “the one” is the recognition of the flaws (perceived or not) of that person and not working to change them. None of us are perfect; we are all flawed. Finding the one who loves us, and who we love, despite the flaws is golden.

    5. When you argue, things turn downright nasty.

    Arguments are healthy! Disagreeing and resolving that disagreement is an important process in any relationship, especially when two people are getting to know each other better and better as they move toward a lifelong commitment.

    If the arguments are punctuated with name-calling, dishes are flying across the kitchen, or fists are slamming down on the counter or the wall (or worse), then this could be a red flag. Throughout your life together, you will have disagreements and conflicts. It’s just a fact of life. Be sure that both of you are set up to handle it in a healthy way.

    6. You can’t remember the last time you had a good laugh together.

    Laughter IS the best medicine, as they say. And the more we laugh at ourselves, rather than the other, the better it is. Laughter reduces stress, brings people closer, and helps to diffuse tension.

    However, the lack of any humor could be a sign, especially if you can’t remember the last time you were able to relax and laugh with your future Mr. or Mrs.

    7. The big topics don’t get talked about – money, babies, the future.

    Forever is, you know, forever. There is a myriad of considerations as you plan your lives together.

    • Are you going to have children?
    • How many?
    • What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? Fancy? Simple?
    • How will you save for the future?
    • What is your idea of retirement?

    These major questions should be, no, NEED to be discussed. If your answers about these fundamental life values are vastly different, tread carefully.

    marriage, marriage counseling, Dr. Gary Brown, Los Angeles therapist, individual therapy, relationship therapy, DrGaryLATherapist

    If you consistently feel like there is a wall between the two of you, then you could be setting yourself up for some major challenges if you decide to move forward anyway. This is a significant red flag.

    If these clues are resonating with you, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email me. I have spent the past 25 years working with young individuals and couples who desire happy and lasting marriages. Of course, one of the most important things is being confident in your match. I would be happy to offer you a free 15-minute phone consultation.

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