Am I Ready For Marriage?

We all anxiously anticipate that time in our lives when we get swept of our feet and find our Prince Charming. But, as the nationwide divorce rate climbs near the 50% mark, it is more important than ever to closely evaluate ourselves and our relationships to understand if we are truly ready to make one of the most important decisions in our lives: the commitment of marriage. It can be so easy to become caught up in the emotional highs of love and the excitement of planning a wedding meet for a princess, but we need to make sure we are making a well-thought-through decision that is based on more than just fantasy and expectations. To make the decision of marriage an educated one, here are the critical aspects of a relationship to closely evaluate to more fully understand if your relationship is on the right track and if you are ready for marriage.

First, do you know who you are and does he know who he is? After marriage is not the time to discover the answers to these questions. You have already made the pinnacle covenant the represents your love and commitment to one another. It would be devastating if either of you discovers after you are married that your true interests and goals in life do not coincide. Marriage is not the time to discover that you were not meant for each other or that your lives are headed in different directions. Before you are married, make sure you understand the direction and purpose of your life, and make sure he knows the direction and purpose of his. If the answers to these questions are the same for the two of you, then the base of you relationship is founded on common ground that will be critical as the two of you work together and support one another in your common life goals and interests.

Second, is your heart and mind one? This means: is your heart telling you this relationship is right, and are your mind/thoughts confirming this, and vice versa? Usually (in my experience I found every time), when a relationship is wrong, emotionally you may feel in love or happy but your mind and thoughts aren't clear or at peace with the relationship. Or, on the flip side, in your mind you are thinking everything seems perfect, he seems perfect, but in your heart you feel that something is missing. These are your instincts telling you what you can't see or explain-that it is wrong. Listen to yourself. If your heart and mind aren't at peace, then the relationship is not right. Don't take a chance if you don't fully understand why you do not feel at peace, just know that you don't-in the end you will be grateful that listened to your instincts.

Lastly, make sure there is no baggage in your life, his life, and in the relationship. You don't want anything to get in the way of a happy, healthy relationship-now and in the future. Yes, marriage is about working together, through the good and the bad, difficulties and hardships. Any previous personal struggles, weaknesses, and temptations on your part or his that could be detrimental to the relationship if it once again became an issue, needs to have been properly dealt with and well in the past. If there is any sign that serious issues and personal problems still need to be resolved, marriage is not the time to try to overcome these concerns if the problems existed beforehand.

Marriage is entrusting your heart and life to another person. We all make mistakes, but make sure your life and your children's (yes, even your future children's) happiness and well-being is not, or could not be at risk. You never know how inappropriate behavior and actions will have a direct or indirect impact on someone - but either way, inappropriate behavior never equaled a positive outcome. Always use good judgment.

Preparing for marriage is such an exciting time. We all look forward to sharing our lives with that special someone. It is important not to force a relationship to a level that you, he, or the relationship is not ready and even meant for. Make sure you both know who you are and share the same ideals, that your heart and mind are one about the relationship, and you are both capable of making each other, and your future growing family, surrounded in a happy and healthy environment. It is important that all these pieces are in place so that there is nothing in the way of a bright future!

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