I always wanted to get married. When I was a child I would look through wedding magazines my mom brought home from her job (she worked in a hotel). I would flip through those magazines imagining what my dress would look like, what colors I would choose, and how many bridesmaids I would have. I also pictured marrying this great guy and having four kids.
Yes, marriage has been a part of my plan for years.
Now, more than two decades later, I find myself married to a wonderful man and we have two healthy, beautiful kids. We’ve been blessed and I don’t take it for granted. I come from generations of unmarried women so I had no clue what I was doing when I took this plunge. Six years later, we are still happy together, and we’ve done pretty well. We are figuring things out along the way.
I find that a common question people have is, How do I know if the person I am dating is the one? or Should I even marry this person—or anyone, really?. They are tough questions because the answer is really a combination of life experiences, personal values, observations, and your gut.
How do you know if you married the right person or if marriage was the right choice for you?
It’s really a matter of open communication and honesty. In a relationship, people are often concerned about hurting the other person, but sometimes that protective approach just ends up causing everyone involved more pain. To really assess if your union is going to work, you have to be willing to talk candidly about how you feel. Without that honesty, you will never be able to determine what’s really going on in your marriage and with you on a personal level.
If you feel like your marriage is in a bad place, does it mean you married the wrong person or that marriage isn’t for you?
Not necessarily. You can be with the right person, but you both are doing the wrong things. You can be with the right person, while holding on to some ugly pain from your past. You can be with the right person, while keeping all of your emotions bottled up. You can be with the right person, but giving very little of yourself to them because vulnerability scares the mess out of you. You can even be with the right person, but you aren’t ready to receive the blessing because of your own “stuff” that you haven’t worked through.
Is it possible that you married wrong or that marriage is the wrong choice for you right now?
Sure it is. But to know that for sure, you have to be so honest with yourself that it hurts. You have to ask yourself where the doubt is coming from. Does your spouse mistreat you? Are they disrespectful? Do you rarely feel joy when you are with them? Were you ever in love with them? Do you know deep down that you married them for reasons that once made sense but now feel unsettling? The answers to these questions may hurt you, and they may ultimately hurt your spouse, but to get to the root of the problem and determine if your marriage can be saved or if it should be dissolved, you have to ask and answer the right questions.
When I think about why I got married, I have to consider two things. Why did I ever want to get married to anyone and why did I choose to get married to the particular man I made that commitment to. I feel like I made the right decision because the answers to those questions sit well with my soul.
Ultimately, no one can really tell you if you married the right person or not. Only you know the answer to that. And whether you believe it or not, you do know the answer. Don’t ignore that unsettling feeling in your gut. It’s there for a reason. Consider counseling or therapy to help you communicate and address what’s going on. This can help you get your answers and begin to live the life you truly deserve.