"I'm having doubts about marrying but I feel it's too late now... the invitations have already been sent out."
"We have been engaged for a month and I really like her... but her spending habits disturb me a lot."
"He's a really great guy in all respects but I don't like that he checks my phone sometimes."
"We both are committed to each other, but our families do not get along at all!"
Have you experienced something similar?
Our ideas about marriage are shaped by what we see in the media, and in our parents' or others' marriages. For many, marriage can mean lack of independence, adjustment, sacrifice and change. It naturally follows then, that we all end up feeling varying amounts of nervousness. However, if we have nagging doubts about ourselves, our partner or the relationship - a point that makes us uncomfortable - it is something to be addressed!
Here are some of the warning signs a prospective bride or groom may notice:
• When partners disagree on major future plans or life decisions E.g.: pertaining to finances, children, roles, etc.
• When the two families do not get along with each other. It might be workable if the conflicts are minor or one-off, but serious, persistent issues should be addressed.
• When something a partner does, or some habits of the partner make(s) the other uncomfortable. E.g. excessive suspicion, anger or dominance.
• When the couple fights often, has broken up multiple times, but the underlying issue has not been resolved.
Often when we have these doubts, we do not pause and think about it. Why? Perhaps we feel embarrassed to bring issues up now that families have agreed and preparations are being made for the wedding. Or maybe we hope that it will go away in time. However, if these worries are not addressed now, they might grow into bigger, more complicated issues in the future.
Having these doubts does not necessarily mean that the wedding should be called off; but neither does it mean that we should keep silent and carry on. Marriage is a lifelong commitment and we owe it to ourselves to enter with our eyes and hearts open. It can be burdensome to carry these doubts within yourself.
If similar warning bells ring loudly in your head, and you feel it is a real concern, do not suppress it. Reflect on the fear; talk it out with someone - a trusted family member, friend or a counsellor. Talking about it might give you a fresh perspective on the situation. Do not take any decision under pressure - remember it is a decision for life!
If you are facing something similar and want further assistance, do feel free to contact our counsellors.