How to know when it's time to get married


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For FREE tips and advice on how to attract him, capture his heart and commit to you, visit To know more about Dr. Amy Wood, visit her website

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How to know when it's time to get married

  1. 1. How To Know When It’s Time To Get MarriedWhen my best college friend told me just before graduation that she had met “the one,” Ithought she was nuts and told her so. Barely 21 with big ambitions, I couldn’t imaginesettling down at such a young age. I knew I had a lot of growing up, exploring, andexperimenting to do, and the last thing I was thinking about was marriage. My friendmarried at 23 and is still happily married almost 30 years later. I too am happilymarried, but I didn’t tie the knot until I was 42.This personal story illustrates an essential point about marriage readiness. Beingprepared for matrimony has very little to do with how old you are, what stage of lifeyou’re in, or what others think. The right time to get married is when the time is right foryou.The six tips below will help you determine when your time has come:1. You’re ready for marriage when settling down with a life partner sounds like afulfilling adventure, not a trap.Had I met my husband before age 40, I probably wouldn’t have been interested in him –because his stability and predictability would have stifled me. Thankfully, I met mywonderfully reliable husband when I was mature enough to really appreciate him— after I’d sufficiently played the field, lived alone and with roommates, climbed theladder of one career and returned to graduate school to prepare for another, traveledextensively, and worked through my major issues in therapy. Whatever your burningsingle woman dreams and instincts, make sure you accomplish them before you walkdown the aisle – or you will end up restless and resentful.2. You’re not more in love with the idea of marriage than you are with yourpartner.One reason the American divorce rate is so high is that the happily ever after delusion isalive and well – especially in the marketing world where lavish weddings are sold as theticket to perpetual bliss. Before you even think about getting married, imagine
  2. 2. waking up the day after your wedding, after the hoopla is over, and looking soberly atthe imperfect person lying next to you. If the day in and day out routine of living withthat guy and his quirks for the rest of your life – with money troubles, sickness, andother inevitable curve-balls occasionally thrown in – makes you even slightlysqueamish, then you’re not ready for marriage.3. You are absolutely sure you can count on your partner to be a true adult.I once attended the impossibly romantic wedding of a gorgeous, charming twenty-something couple who had met while volunteering in the Peace Corp. and had awhirlwind courtship. The marriage ended on their honeymoon when the husbandphysically abused the wife for disagreeing with him over something trivial. Had the wifenot rushed to the altar in a state of infatuation, she would have seen that this man wasvery immature with a big anger problem and didn’t respect her. The moral of course isthat you don’t really know another person until you see how they respond when thingsget difficult. And the only way to get that kind of insight about a potential husband is toobserve how he experiences life challenges – resolving disputes, addressing conflicts,facing disappointments, and motivating himself to achieve tough goals, for example –before you say “I do.”4. You’re clear where your partner stands on all the big issues.As a marital therapist, I see couples decide to divorce because they can’t find commonground with parenting or finances. Most of these couples tell me that they didn’t knowthey had major differences before they got married because they didn’t think it wasimportant to ask. Well, it is important – in fact, it’s crucial – to determine before you getmarried how you will handle money, discipline your children, deal with conflict, cope ifone of you becomes chronically unemployed or ill, or address infidelity. Discussingsuch pivotal issues before you make a legal commitment will help you determinewhether you share enough goals and values to make marriage
  3. 3. 5. You’re not looking at marriage as way to change your partner.It’s tempting to believe what Hollywood movies tell us, that Mr. Wrong can become Mr.Right once he experiences the sedating bliss of married life. It’s easy to get carriedaway with fantasies about the perfect wedding and an idyllic white picket fence future,but a man who cheats, lies, isn’t sure that he loves you, blames everyone but himself forhis problems, or in any other way shows you clearly that he’s a poor marriage risk,probably won’t change no matter how much you hope and wish and cajolehim. Disregarding red flags is a sure way to end up unhappily married.6. You don’t expect marriage to make you feel better about yourself.Marriage is an amazing, affirming journey when both partners already feel whole,capable, and confident as single adults. It’s an incredibly grounding sensation to knowthat your other half is in your corner and always there for you, and that’s what you canexpect to experience if you look at your husband as icing on the cake rather than thecake itself. There is no guarantee that anyone is ever really ready for marriagebecause there is no telling what marriage – or life, for that matter — will bring. But onething is sure: if you go into marriage knowing that your happiness is ultimately yourresponsibility, you will be as poised as any newlywed can be for marital success.About the authorThrough speaking, training, consulting, and one-on-one sessions, psychologist AmyWood has helped countless adults from all walks of life and work to articulate andaccomplish their own versions of success. Known for her pragmatic optimism, shebelieves that every human being is a unique and valuable individual with the innerresources necessary to overcome any challenge. Dr. Wood earned her doctorate fromthe Adler School of Professional Psychology, is certified by the College of ExecutiveCoaching, and is based in Portland, Maine.Dr. Wood is the author of Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success andBreathe Easier in a Fast-paced World an award-winning personal improvement bookthat surpasses quick-fix self-help rhetoric with a sustainable program for adapting to
  4. 4. perpetually hectic age. She is a co-founder of sPeak performance, a speakers bureaucomprised of women authors, and is often called on for her expert opinion by mediaranging from local newspapers to Parade Magazine.To learn more about Dr. Wood, visit her websitesat and For more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how to make yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click the link below.