Many people say they want it, but do they really?
I’m talking about…the big “M” word...Marriage
Between all of the princess movies and fairy tales heard countless times growing up, to the sappy romcoms that fill many people’s watch lists on streaming television, many women (and some men) have it imprinted on their psyche from a young age that marriage is the answer. To be fair, marriage is the ultimate intimate relationship. However, it’s not the end all to be all.
Many of my current clients grew up secretly (and some not so secretly) wanting that wonderful prince to sweep them off of their feet. That’s the main reason they decide to hire a relationship coach. With that being said there are many situations I’ve come across with clients that have allowed me to pinpoint the 7 things that I hear most often that are a signal they probably aren’t ready for marriage and their communication in relationships needs serious work.
1. Communication in relationships is a challenge
- Does shutting down happen often when frustrated?
- Are silence, avoidance and the infamous “cold shoulder” go-to behaviors for handling conflict?
- Is spazzing out a part of how anger is handled?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then chances are a person may not be ready for marriage. The importance of communication in relationships cannot be underestimated. If a client finds themselves struggling with proper and effective communication in relationships, then they need to take the steps to work on it.
No one else can make them a better communicator and it won’t just “happen”. The decision to hire a relationship coach will help a client become aware of any relationship sabotaging patterns that they have.
During their relationship coaching sessions, a client will also work with the coach to come up with effective strategies to address those patterns (Hint: have no fear of being the uncoachable client). Remember, communication is key in any relationship but especially in the context of an intimate relationship where one person is sharing their space, body, food, finances, and ultimately future with another person.
Some books of interest include:
2. Compromise in intimate relationships seems like defeat
First of all, if a client looks at intimate relationships like a chess match, then they are bound to lose. Compromise in relationships is an important part of any adult relationship period, not just in marriage.
It always baffles me how clients are so open to healthy compromise in work, family, and friendships, but as soon as we start discussing compromise in the context of intimate relationships, they shut down!Appropriate compromise in relationships is healthy and necessary. Click To Tweet
I usually have to talk clients off the ledge a bit with this one. I explain that they are an adult with their own thoughts, feelings, and outlooks. In their intimate relationship, they are trying to come to a harmonious conclusion with another adult who has their own thoughts, feelings, and outlooks. Inevitably they’re not going to always agree.
Having hesitation and doubts when it comes to compromise usually comes from past hurts. Often those hurts need to be addressed during coaching sessions so a client can let all of that go. Marriage can truly be an uphill battle for those who struggle or refuse to compromise.
If this resonates on any level, journal it. Next, meditate on what the perfect relationship looks like. Let those feelings out about why compromising in relationships is hard (or scary, etc.). What does the interaction look like in a perfect relationship?
3. Have a belief that the person who makes the most money makes the rules
We have all heard the saying “he (she) who makes the gold, makes the rules”.
This does apply to many areas of life but one area that it should not apply to is in a marriage. Healthy intimate relationships need to be built on mutual love, respect, and trust. In marriages where there is only one partner working or one partner is clearly the breadwinner, this should not be used as a reason for treating the other partner as a lesser contributor to the relationship. Communication in relationships about money, support, and contribution are necessary for success. I definitely recommend that you hire a relationship coach if you have issues around money, intimacy, and communication in relationships.
4. Long term commitment is a new frontier
Not to say that every person has had lots of long-term relationships before marriage, but if a client is over 30 and has not been in a long-term committed intimate relationship, we definitely dig deeper. Learning the importance and the how of communication in relationships will keep you from repeatedly stumbling and failing.
There may be deep-rooted resistance, fear or anxiety around intimate relationships that have not been addressed. Deciding to hire a relationship coach will give a person the time and safe space to explore this further.
5. Lingering intimacy issues from past intimate relationships
(This is similar to 4. above but not exactly.)
We all have issues. That’s just part of what makes us human. However, for the purposes of this blog post, I’m talking about those deep fear of intimacy issues that stem from past negative experiences in intimate relationships. These issues prevent a person from fully connecting (mentally, physically, or emotionally) with another. If there is resonance with this subject, then a person’s issues could run the gambit of manageable enough for a professional coach to assist to severe enough for the assistance of a therapist or counselor to be required.
♦For more insights about dating, also read: Are You A Hot Mess At Dating?!
6. Severe indecision about having children
Now, this is not an absolute dealbreaker, but if a person has serious indecision or opposition with their partner about kids…then marriage may not be for them. The reason is simple. Kids take up a huge chunk of time, money, and emotion. If a person is strictly on the opposing side from their partner on the subject, then having (or not having) kids can cause a serious rift in the relationship. When I coach on this topic, I make sure that the client reaches clarity around their decision.
7. The desire for marriage is wrapped up in what others are doing or expect
Marriage is a serious commitment. So if a person is on edge to get married because of other people’s expectation or experience, that’s a definite red flag. Similar to understanding thoughts and feelings around children, I work with clients so they can gain clarity around why they want to get married. If it comes out during a session that it’s because of what someone else wants or what they see other people doing, we stop and do some deep reflection. Questions I ask include:
- What’s the end goal?
- What’s driving the desire to be married?
- How will that commitment look once it’s entered into?
Here are some books that I think can help give any singleton great perspective:
- I Only Want to Get Married Once: The 10 Essential Questions for Getting It Right the First Time
- So You Think You Want to Get Married
- 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged
- 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married
- Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married
- Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before — and After — You Marry
- I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships
Marriage is the ultimate commitment but communication in relationships of every kind is important. You need to understand that any serious intimate relationship takes the right:
- willingness to do the hard work
on the part of all participants. SO…be honest with yourself. Determine if now is the right time for you to be in an intimate relationship. If the answer is no, fix your s&*t and take the steps you need to take to get in the right place to be in such a relationship. Remember, you don’t have to do this work alone! Hire a relationship coach and the two of you can effectively partner to create some very dynamic changes to assist in your communication in relationships.
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Other posts that might be of interest:
♦ Are You A Hot Mess At Dating?!
♦ Importance of Sex in A Relationship
♦ 5 Tips for Successful Online Dating
♦ Bold First Date Questions That NEED To Be Asked
♦ 7 Reasons Women Are NOT Calling You Back (For Men Only)
♦ Dating Around: Controversial Reasons Why He is NOT Calling You Back! (For Women Only)