3 ways to know if he is marriage material


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3 ways to know if he is marriage material

  1. 1. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.com3 Ways To Know If He Is Marriage MaterialChances are if you are wondering if the man you are with is marriage material, then youare in love. What a beautiful state of being, love is. It can sweep you off your feet,open your eyes to thoughts and feelings you never knew, invite you to experience aworld of possibility that you didn’t know existed before.Now you’ve been in love long enough that you’re thinking of taking it to another level ofcommitment. It is time to think about marriage. Congratulations. It is not every day youmeet someone you’re considering marrying. It takes time to develop the relationship,get to know each other, and have enough love, respect, and faith in the other person toeven consider taking that next step.A List of Desirable & Undesirable TraitsYou’ve probably already done this a few times. For this sake of this exercise, do it onemore time. Make a list of desirable and undesirable traits you find in your partner. Youwant to get a handle on what you value in him as a man, a potential husband, and thefather of your children.If your relationship has gotten this far, I am going to assume that there is plenty of goodstuff happening that is keeping you in the relationship. Only you know the quality of thatwhich moves you in your relationship, and I am not going to doubt you. The green flagsare your department. You know what you love about your man and your relationship.Allowing yourself to see and evaluate the red flags is the focus of this article. After all,building confidence in your next step is very much about embracing that which is good— and mindfully accessing that which is not so good. These red flags are the areas inwhich we are much more likely to close our eyes, not want to see what is right beforeus, because we value our relationship so much. And yet these red flags are critical toexamine when you are deciding whether this is the man for you to marry.There are three ways to know if he is marriage material.1. The first is to allow yourself to know what is in your head and heart, taking intoaccount thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your partner and yourrelationship.2. The second is to reflect on and assess the history of your relationship andexperiences together.
  2. 2. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.com3. The third is to focus on the future, discussing the more intimate details of what lifetogether might look like for the two of you, synchronizing your values and behavior,and discovering any non-negotiables that may exist.As with anything, take the information here as a guide. It is an offering. How it applies— and applying it — will vary according to you, your relationship, and individualcircumstances.Your Head & HeartYou have a lot of information in your own head and heart that will tell you if your man isthe right man for you. Let’s start with your level of comfort and confidence about therelationship and the man you’re thinking of marrying. This may be uncomfortable toread. Stay with it. Allow yourself to see if there are any red flags here that are relevantto your relationship. Remember, there is no right and wrong. You are simply gatheringinformation about how you really feel. Have you been tempted to break up with him, but convinced yourself to stay in therelationship for some reason or another? There are a whole host of reasons whypeople choose to stay in a relationship. You have to decide what this means foryou. Suppose you had a single thought or set of thoughts that you mindfully workedthrough with yourself and your partner some time ago. You decided to stick and out,and you haven’t regretted it for a moment. That’s one thing and may be a mark ofhealthy growth rather than unhealthy commitment.If you wonder if you should break up fairly routinely and recently, then something istelling you that you need more time, space, and growing before you make acommitment to marriage. This is not about whether he is marriage material or whetherhe is marriage material for you. Have you stayed with him because you are scared to break up? Be honest withyourself. A lot about knowing if he is marriage material is knowing — I mean really,truly knowing — that you want to be with him. That you wantto be with him; notbecause you’re afraid of anything else; afraid of being single again, afraid you’ll neverfind a partner, afraid you’ll disappoint your family, afraid of losing your best friend. Can you say, “I love him and want to marry him,” without any squeamishness or self-consciousness. If you can’t, it is time to take a good hard look at what you’re holding
  3. 3. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.comon to. In my work, I find people may hold on to a relationship in order to avoidsomething else, which usually has to do with individual growth. Take the time andget help to figure out what you may be avoiding and what is standing in the way. Istrongly encourage you to do this before you make a commitment to marriage. Do you love him, but you’re just not 100% ready right to get married right now? Fairenough. So what is keeping you from saying so and sticking with it?Your Relationship HistoryYour relationship has a history. It is full of information about whether this man ismarriage material. Allow yourself to take a careful look and make an honestassessment. Is he trustworthy? If you answered anything but “Yes,” then you have an issue totake a look at, probably with the assistance of a therapist. In my experience, lying isone of the hardest habits to break and one of the most damaging to a relationship. Itis not uncommon for someone to say to me, “You know what’s weird? He lies aboutthe small stuff that doesn’t even matter.”If lying or lying by any other name (distorting, omitting, hiding) is in your relationship, behonest with yourself. Is this a behavior you want to live with for the rest of your life? Alasting relationship is built on a foundation of consistent honesty. Anything less isheaded for trouble. Has there been infidelity in your relationship? When there is betrayal, of any kind,there has to be swift, firm, and unequivocal steps on the part of the betrayer to makeamends and to learn about himself so he will know how to address and remediate thesituation so that it never happens again. Anything short of that, you asking him to gethelp, begging him to change, sweeping it under the carpet because ‘it’s so goodwhen it’s good,’ is less than what you deserve from a man who is marriage material.If you have been unfaithful, that, too, is a sign that something is not right in yourrelationship. It is not time to be thinking about getting married. It is time for therapy,stepping back , evaluating what you have in this relationship and what you want. Theperson you marry deserves honesty from you, too.
  4. 4. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.com Have there been any issues of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse? People whoperpetuate abuse on others will only change when they decide that they have aproblem and they want to change. In spite of the abuse, partners of people whoabuse feel sorry for the abuser, feel fear and respect for the abuser, feel extremedoubt in their own abilities or that they can have or deserve better treatment. This isone of those critical times to NOT make excuses for your partner’s behavior. If youare being abused, marriage will NOT make it better. It is time to GET OUT of thatrelationship.If you are in an abusive relationship, I strongly encourage you to seek the help of atherapist immediately to help you through this situation Does your partner (or you) have any addictions? If there is an addiction, a personwho is marriage material will have taken responsibility for their addiction and activelysought treatment for them. Action, persistence, sobriety, and support are critical forthe man who is marriage material. A person who is actively and presentlymanifesting his addiction to anything: porn, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc., is notmarriage material at this time.If your partner says he will never look at porn again, but then does or promises to gethelp, but doesn’t, he is showing you that his behavior choices are out-of-synch with hisstated values. For a man to be marriage material, you should be confident that hisbehavior choices and his stated values match up. When they don’t, he is not yetmarriage material. Do you feel proud or embarrassed by him when you are out in public? Sometimeswe put up with things in private that make us cringe when we’re in public. If you feelself-conscious or embarrassed by him in public situations, have a talk withyourself. What kind of person would you like by your side in public? Who we chooseto have by our side tells something about ourselves. Consider the kind of personyou want to be and how does having him by your side impact who you present asyourself. Is his public self integrated with his private self? Would the people who know yourman publicly believe who he is in private? People who suffer abuse at home often
  5. 5. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.comreflect that their friends would never believe how he is at home. If there is adiscrepancy between his private and public persona, it is important to pay attention. Does being with him bring out the best in you? Do you find yourself being petulant,self-demeaning, critical, overly controlling, competitive, negative, or feeling very lowin self-esteem when you are with your partner? These are signs that yourrelationship could use some support. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t marriage material,but it does mean your relationship is not ready for marriage. It is a good idea to getsome help for your relationship — or for you — before you venture into that decision. Did he rescue you? Or did you rescue him? Falling in love with the person wholoved you through a difficult time in your life is common, but it doesn’t always makefor the foundation of a healthy relationship. Remember that what brought youtogether was an imbalance in functioning, self-esteem, and healthy lifebalance. Sometimes the relationship that begins in imbalance struggles when therescued partner becomes healthy. Again, this doesn’t mean that your man isn’tmarriage material. It just means that it is important to understand the dynamics ofyour relationship. Are you still a good fit when both people are healthy and happy? Do you have shared interests and interests apart from each other? It is a good ideato have shared interests to pursue together and have unique interests you canpursue separately. Your interests will grow and evolve over time, and chances areyou’ll have to adjust, but it is a good starting point. Can you communicate through conflict to a better level of understanding, love, andrespect? This is critical. When you are in conflict, can you communicate to a betterunderstanding with love and respect? If you can’t, it is doesn’t mean he isn’tmarriage material. It does mean, however, that this is an issue to thoroughly addressbefore you commit to marriage. Get help so that you have a healthy solid workingmodel for resolving conflicts. You will need it for a lifetime together.Your Values & Non-NegotiablesIt is important to address life values and non-negotiables in order to determine if yourman is marriage material for you. Critical discussions are ones having to do with howyou want to live your life as a married couple, as a family, and into the future. It alsoinvolves a deep look at your values and the choices you make to reflect yourvalues. There really isn’t any right or wrong here. It is an opportunity for you two to see
  6. 6. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.comhow you think alike, how you think differently, where the critical differences are, and ifthey are negotiable or not.The red flags are the non-negotiables and situations in which the stated value is at oddswith the actual behavior. Again, it does not mean that he is not marriage material. Itdoes mean you have an issue to talk through.Following are some questions to discuss with your partner. What is your perspective on and how would you want to deal with finances, financialdecisions, individual and shared finances, savings, and debt? Who is your model for an ideal husband and father? What do you see your role/responsibility as a husband/father? What do you anticipate will be some problems you have in achieving your model ofhusband/father? How will you get space for yourself? What do you think we’d have to do to keep our marriage healthy through the years? What role do you see spirituality or religion playing in our marriage? What kind of role do you want the in-laws to have in our marriage and family? How do you imagine we’d resolve conflicts that involve in-laws? Do you want children? In what religion, if any, do you want to raise your children? What kind of parenting style do you believe in? What kind of life-style do you want with and without children? What kind of family traditions would you like to have? Where do you want to live? How do you want to handle if one of your jobs require travel? What is your perspective on individual time and individual hobbies? What kind of home/household do you want to have? How do you foresee sharing household chores? If there are past addictions, what are the expectations for a life together? How do you see sex evolving as the relationship evolves?
  7. 7. www.CounselingBreakthrough.com www.DecodingHim.com If there is a conflict in our sex life, how would you want to resolve it? What is your perspective on therapy and getting help for your marriage? What values do you want your lifestyle to reflect about you?As you go through these questions, determine which are important and negotiable andwhich are important and non-negotiable. Through discussion, try to imagine life downthe road and into the future.Embrace this opportunity to get to know yourself and each other better. Marriage is nota small decision. Take the time you need to feel confident that you’re making thedecision that is right for you.About the authorLauren Trecosta, LPC, is the Counselor on the Road who provides accessible andaffordable counseling to couples who want a better relationship. She offers courses, anadvice column, on-line individual and couples counseling, and small group work.To know more about Lauren, visit her website, www.CounselingBreakthrough.com.For more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how tomake yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click thelink below.www.decodinghim.com