Tying the Knot Too Soon: The Dangers of Whirlwind Marriage

Reviewed May 17, 2016

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Summary

  • Slow down and ask yourself important questions.
  • Explore many serious topics as a couple before making a commitment.

David and Mary have been together for three months and are ready to tie the knot. “It was love at first sight,” says David. Mary adds, “The physical attraction is definitely there, but our personalities and views on life click, too.”  “We really are perfect for each other,” David says convincingly.

Like David and Mary, most couples that are “ready” for marriage are confident in their relationship. Though the rate of divorce fluctuates, a significant number of marriages sadly end in divorce. The fact is many couples do not really know each other before exchanging vows. They do not get a chance to work through critical issues that may challenge their relationship. These things take time and cannot be rushed, which is why tying the knot too soon can jeopardize a marriage.

Love is blind

During the first few months of a new relationship, initial passion and romantic love can keep you from seeing your partner for who he really is and can overshadow flaws and destructive behaviors that will challenge your marriage. All new couples are wise to wait until the infatuation has faded, when it is easier to look objectively at the relationship and the potential for a happy and solid marriage.

Getting married for the wrong reasons

Some people rush into marriage for the wrong reasons. You might want to slow down and ask yourself the following first:

  • Am I lonely and think marriage is the answer?
  • Do I feel pressured to get married by my family, friends or myself?
  • Am I “settling” because “time is running out”?
  • Do I see my partner as someone to fulfill aspects of my emotional or spiritual psyche that I should be fulfilling on my own?
  • Am I getting married to be “taken care of"?
  • Am I getting married to take care of my partner, so I will not have to take care of myself?
  • Am I unhappy with my partner’s degree of self-esteem, maturity, temperament or patience, for example, but think she will change after marriage?

Issue to explore before commitment

Couples considering marriage should explore many serious topics before making a commitment. This is especially important for couples like David and Mary, whose brief relationship has not offered enough time for important issues to arise on their own. Doing so will help couples recognize potential problems and avoid premature compromise. Before getting married, discuss these areas with your loved one:

  • Future plans (hopes and dreams as individuals and as a couple)
  • Family background (how you were raised, troubled family relationships, etc.)
  • Education
  • Life experiences (accomplishments/failures, happy/sad times, etc.)
  • Career (ambitions, work habits, etc.)
  • Values (what you cherish, ideas of right/wrong, stance on hot topics, etc.)
  • Love and commitment (conflict resolution, spending time together, ability to tolerate and encourage relationships outside marriage, capacity for intimacy, feelings on divorce, etc.)
  • Sexuality
  • Children and family (whether to have children, how many, child-rearing philosophies, role of in-laws and family, etc.)
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Finances and household operations (where to live, handling money, division of labor, etc.)

Resource

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
www.aamft.org

By Christine Martin

Summary

  • Slow down and ask yourself important questions.
  • Explore many serious topics as a couple before making a commitment.

David and Mary have been together for three months and are ready to tie the knot. “It was love at first sight,” says David. Mary adds, “The physical attraction is definitely there, but our personalities and views on life click, too.”  “We really are perfect for each other,” David says convincingly.

Like David and Mary, most couples that are “ready” for marriage are confident in their relationship. Though the rate of divorce fluctuates, a significant number of marriages sadly end in divorce. The fact is many couples do not really know each other before exchanging vows. They do not get a chance to work through critical issues that may challenge their relationship. These things take time and cannot be rushed, which is why tying the knot too soon can jeopardize a marriage.

Love is blind

During the first few months of a new relationship, initial passion and romantic love can keep you from seeing your partner for who he really is and can overshadow flaws and destructive behaviors that will challenge your marriage. All new couples are wise to wait until the infatuation has faded, when it is easier to look objectively at the relationship and the potential for a happy and solid marriage.

Getting married for the wrong reasons

Some people rush into marriage for the wrong reasons. You might want to slow down and ask yourself the following first:

  • Am I lonely and think marriage is the answer?
  • Do I feel pressured to get married by my family, friends or myself?
  • Am I “settling” because “time is running out”?
  • Do I see my partner as someone to fulfill aspects of my emotional or spiritual psyche that I should be fulfilling on my own?
  • Am I getting married to be “taken care of"?
  • Am I getting married to take care of my partner, so I will not have to take care of myself?
  • Am I unhappy with my partner’s degree of self-esteem, maturity, temperament or patience, for example, but think she will change after marriage?

Issue to explore before commitment

Couples considering marriage should explore many serious topics before making a commitment. This is especially important for couples like David and Mary, whose brief relationship has not offered enough time for important issues to arise on their own. Doing so will help couples recognize potential problems and avoid premature compromise. Before getting married, discuss these areas with your loved one:

  • Future plans (hopes and dreams as individuals and as a couple)
  • Family background (how you were raised, troubled family relationships, etc.)
  • Education
  • Life experiences (accomplishments/failures, happy/sad times, etc.)
  • Career (ambitions, work habits, etc.)
  • Values (what you cherish, ideas of right/wrong, stance on hot topics, etc.)
  • Love and commitment (conflict resolution, spending time together, ability to tolerate and encourage relationships outside marriage, capacity for intimacy, feelings on divorce, etc.)
  • Sexuality
  • Children and family (whether to have children, how many, child-rearing philosophies, role of in-laws and family, etc.)
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Finances and household operations (where to live, handling money, division of labor, etc.)

Resource

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
www.aamft.org

By Christine Martin

Summary

  • Slow down and ask yourself important questions.
  • Explore many serious topics as a couple before making a commitment.

David and Mary have been together for three months and are ready to tie the knot. “It was love at first sight,” says David. Mary adds, “The physical attraction is definitely there, but our personalities and views on life click, too.”  “We really are perfect for each other,” David says convincingly.

Like David and Mary, most couples that are “ready” for marriage are confident in their relationship. Though the rate of divorce fluctuates, a significant number of marriages sadly end in divorce. The fact is many couples do not really know each other before exchanging vows. They do not get a chance to work through critical issues that may challenge their relationship. These things take time and cannot be rushed, which is why tying the knot too soon can jeopardize a marriage.

Love is blind

During the first few months of a new relationship, initial passion and romantic love can keep you from seeing your partner for who he really is and can overshadow flaws and destructive behaviors that will challenge your marriage. All new couples are wise to wait until the infatuation has faded, when it is easier to look objectively at the relationship and the potential for a happy and solid marriage.

Getting married for the wrong reasons

Some people rush into marriage for the wrong reasons. You might want to slow down and ask yourself the following first:

  • Am I lonely and think marriage is the answer?
  • Do I feel pressured to get married by my family, friends or myself?
  • Am I “settling” because “time is running out”?
  • Do I see my partner as someone to fulfill aspects of my emotional or spiritual psyche that I should be fulfilling on my own?
  • Am I getting married to be “taken care of"?
  • Am I getting married to take care of my partner, so I will not have to take care of myself?
  • Am I unhappy with my partner’s degree of self-esteem, maturity, temperament or patience, for example, but think she will change after marriage?

Issue to explore before commitment

Couples considering marriage should explore many serious topics before making a commitment. This is especially important for couples like David and Mary, whose brief relationship has not offered enough time for important issues to arise on their own. Doing so will help couples recognize potential problems and avoid premature compromise. Before getting married, discuss these areas with your loved one:

  • Future plans (hopes and dreams as individuals and as a couple)
  • Family background (how you were raised, troubled family relationships, etc.)
  • Education
  • Life experiences (accomplishments/failures, happy/sad times, etc.)
  • Career (ambitions, work habits, etc.)
  • Values (what you cherish, ideas of right/wrong, stance on hot topics, etc.)
  • Love and commitment (conflict resolution, spending time together, ability to tolerate and encourage relationships outside marriage, capacity for intimacy, feelings on divorce, etc.)
  • Sexuality
  • Children and family (whether to have children, how many, child-rearing philosophies, role of in-laws and family, etc.)
  • Religion and spirituality
  • Finances and household operations (where to live, handling money, division of labor, etc.)

Resource

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
www.aamft.org

By Christine Martin

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