Ep 33: Should We Get Married? (SHORT Episode)
“We’re supposed to get married but now I’m not sure … We have a great relationship, we function well together, but our communication could be deeper and the fire isn’t burning so much anymore. So How do we balance doubt with commitment? How can we know if and when it’s the right choice to commit or marry someone despite our doubts?
Our listener asked this question before she’s gotten married. But we get similar questions from couples who’ve been married for 5, 10, or 25 years.
We’ve saved many marriages from divorce, and sometimes, we even save marriages before they happen.
When you’re looking at tying the knot, it can be really heart-wrenching to have these doubts, because of course you want to make the right decision and no one wants to go into a marriage that might not work out. We respect that!
As relationship coaches we never tell anyone that they should or shouldn’t get married, or divorce for that matter. There are definitely relationship coaches and counselors who do dispense such advise, but we feel it’s much too important a decision for us to make it on your behalf. It’s a decision that has to be sourced from inside you. We instead use or coaching and expertise to empower you to make that choice. Besides, if someone else makes the choice for you, it’s likely you’ll still have doubts. So let’s see if I can offer some tips that will help you get more clear about this.
When you ask this question, I’m going to assume you genuinely love each other. I figure if you didn’t we wouldn’t even have this conversation, you would have just left the relationship already.
In this situation, there are things you can do together with your partner, and there are things you can do by yourself. Let’s start with what you can do with your partner.
When one person has doubts about a relationship, in this whether to get married, it often looks as if it’s only that person that has doubts, and the other partner is totally committed and ready to move forward. But that’s deceiving, because in my experience, each person owns a share of the doubt as well as a share of the commitment. It’s just that the doubt gets expressed through one person on behalf of the relationship.
Sit down with your partner and both of you answer these questions: What part of you is fully committed? And what part of you is not sure? Both of you look at where you have doubts. Both of you look at where you are committed. And you’ll very often find that you are much more on the same page than you think. The very act of sharing your doubts openly with each other helps to create connection and clarity. Besides, isn’t that what you’re wanting in a marriage anyways? A place where you can share everything, even the difficult parts? Don’t wait till you’re married, start right now.
If you need help to facilitate a conversation like this, that’s perfectly ok. Reach out to us for coaching, or ask someone else you trust.
And when the issue is – as our listener said – that communication isn’t very deep and the fire isn’t burning as hot as is desired; that can be worked on. That can be remedied. As an example, we just led our Sex Workshop last month. There was a couple there who hadn’t been sexual at all for several years! After the first day of the workshop, they went back to their hotel room and made love and connected at a whole new level.
One of them shared with us, “Thank you for a wonderful workshop. I feel like I am walking on air … Not just because of the sex. but from the breakthrough in our relationship. We had an epiphany about why sex matters to us which is where we were stuck and not communicating. The closeness and intimacy generated in the workshop led us to discussing some things that influenced the dynamic in our relationship overall.”
And communicating at a deep, intimate level can absolutely be learned. Sitting down for a talk like I suggested is one way to communicate at a much deeper level.
Now, for what you might do on your own. First, you could do what I’ve already suggested, simply by yourself. Write down, or at least look at, where you have doubts, and where you are committed.
Secondly, given that you’re reaching for clarity, and I assume, commitment as well, notice that in your very questioning is a good deal of non-commitment. The questions you ask are questions asked by someone who is not committed in themselves. And it’s painful to live with doubts in your mind. It’s like sitting on the proverbial fence; it starts to hurt your butt pretty quick. Except in this case, it’s your head and heart that hurts.
Try to redefine commitment. Instead of committing to someone else, or to the marriage, think of commitment as a declaration that you will be able to handle anything that shows up; that you will make good on anything that comes your way. The doubt in your mind reflects a fear that you won’t be able to handle what might show up in the future. That you’ll regret your choices. What if your commitment was a commitment to yourself that you trust you’ll be able to deal with anything?
Most of all, here’s what I suggest you try on. Commit fully. Step in with both feet and your whole heart. It is in throwing yourself fully into the relationship that you’ll have the best chance of discovering if it’s the right relationship for you. You already said it’s a great relationship, so we know some things are working well. We know you must like and love each other, or you would have probably been out of there a long time ago.
When you’re plagued by doubts, you are not fully engaged in your relationship. You’re not fully engaged with your partner. And that impacts everything. That by itself makes the relationship seem less alive and passionate. Doubts make you less passionate. So jump in with everything you’ve got. You could even postpone the wedding date if you need more time to test this out. There’s no rule for when you should get married.
Give it everything you got. Come do workshops with us to deepen your communication and elevate your passion. Or find another class or coach to figure this out. What you learn will serve you forever. Even if you decide down the road that this relationship is not for you, your new skills will make your next relationship so much better. By you putting yourself in all the way, even if you decide later this relationship is not for you, you’ll know you gave it all you had, that it wasn’t because you didn’t put your heart into it. And that brings its own sense of clarity.
More than likely, though, if you commit yourself, if you do what you need to do to learn deeper skills of communication and how to fire up the passion, you’ll find the love and clarity you’re looking for.