The idea that love is all a relationship needs to flourish sure does sound nice, but it’s usually not the case. It takes a lot more than just love to make a marriage last. If The Beatles wrote, “All you need is love … and financial security, a shared interest in having kids, and common religious beliefs,” maybe fewer marriages would end in divorce. But we’ll never know. What we do know is you shouldn’t feel like a total failure if your marriage isn’t working out.
Some people are so blinded by love, they forget to have meaningful discussions about big issues they’ll face down the road. So, if you said “I do” just a bit too soon, some of these points may sound familiar. Here are 13 signs you got married too soon.
1. You thought marriage would fix your problems
Just as having kids won’t fix problems that already exist in your marriage, getting hitched in the first place certainly won’t fix any underlying relationship issues, either. FamilyShare mentions marriage won’t solve problems, such as feeling lonely and being unhappy. If you got married because you thought it’d solve your personal or relationship issues, it won’t be long before you realize it was too soon.
2. You felt pressured
Whether you felt it from family, society, or religion, succumbing to another person or group’s peer pressure is no reason to tie the know. As Thought Catalog says, getting hitched to meet a traditional expectation or because your family expects it aren’t good reasons. Marriage is a huge step, and one that’s certainly meant to happen according to your own timeline, and no one else’s.
3. You got married because it felt like the next step
Just like you can feel pressured to take the plunge from outsiders, you can easily put pressure on yourself, as well. Maybe you think you’ve been dating for long enough, and there’s nowhere really left to go. Of course, this isn’t a sound thought process for a person who really wants to be married. So think, and be totally sure, before you take the leap.
4. You moved in together before you were set on marriage
When two people move in together, they should be on the same exact page of relationship expectations. If they’re not, they risk accidentally slipping into the next phase for the wrong reasons. For instance, once you move in together, it can be easier to simply get married than move out. Experts call this relationship inertia.
Turns out, this theory is a well-recognized one. In fact, a 2009 study found people who lived together before being engaged reported lower marital satisfaction and greater potential for divorce than those who lived together after being engaged or not at all until after they were married.
Perhaps these people would have never gotten married had they not first been living together. Study researcher Dr. Galena Rhoades told The Huffington Post, “It’s not that everyone who moves in with their partner is going to be at risk for poor marital outcomes. What we have found is that it’s really the peoples who live with someone before they have a clear mutual commitment to getting married.” So, if your expectations for the future were on point, your marriage is likely to survive. If not, you may be headed toward divorce.
5. You never lived with your spouse before you got married
On the other hand, there are a lot of folks who believe moving in together before tying the knot is the only way to really know a person before getting married. Shacking up comes with some serious benefits, and it just may propel you into absolute certainty you’re with the person you want to be with forever. Brides says you’ll get a taste of what marriage will really be like — good, bad, and ugly. Additionally, you can see if your living habits are compatible, and how helpful your partner is when it comes to divvying up household chores.
6. You were never really a team
Relationships come with compromise, and sometimes you’re not going to like giving in. But that’s what being on the same team is all about. Undying support for your other half, no matter what. If you’re ready to get engaged, eHarmony says, you will be OK with not getting your way all of the time. “It’s not about winner and losers,” the dating site writes. “It’s not about being a doormat. It’s about using ‘we’ statements and serving someone besides yourself.” If you and your spouse were never truly in it together, there’s no chance you were ready for marriage.
7. You didn’t know who you were before you got married
If you aren’t confident in who you are individually, Bustle says it’s too soon to get engaged. Before you’re ready to commit to another person, it’s imperative you have a clear grasp on your own needs, goals, downfalls, and everything else that will inevitably come into play over the course of a marriage.
8. You never talked about children
Discussing whether or not you want to bring children into this world is a fairly crucial step pre-engagement. For instance, one woman told The Huffington Post she knew she didn’t want to have kids when she became pregnant at 27. Another respondent didn’t want to bring children into this cruel world. And yet others simply knew in their gut they didn’t want kids, and that wasn’t going to change.
9. You never discussed career goals
In today’s world, knowing where you want to go professionally is more important than ever. Luckily, we’re living in a time where men and women alike can succeed in any industry. Gone are the days where one partner went to work, and the other stayed home to raise the kids. In modern relationships, there’s not always one designated breadwinner in the house. For this reason, Romper highly recommends having a conversation about your own career goals, as well as what you expect of your partner.
10. You love the potential of who your partner could be
When two people commit to getting married, it’s to be expected each person loves and accepts one another for who they are at that time. Sure, people may change, but you shouldn’t go into a marriage expecting that to be the case. Elisabeth LaMotte told The Huffington Post you’re not ready to get married if “[y]ou love the potential of who your partner could become, not who they are right now.”
11. You couldn’t see past the wedding
It’s normal to look forward to a wedding. After all, you couldn’t wait to profess your love in front of family and friends. And don’t forget about the party afterward — it’s your time to shine! But perhaps you fell into the category of someone who wanted the wedding so badly everything else fell by the wayside. According to Bustle, if you couldn’t see beyond the wedding, it’s clear you were never ready to get married in the first place.
12. Religious beliefs
Although you may not think much of religion right now, it will definitely come up at some point during your marriage. For instance, The Knot says it may become an issue when the time comes for children. You may not have thought your partner was religious, but as it turns out, it’s important he raise his kids in the church. Well, that can become a pretty significant disagreement. So, heed caution with this one.
It’s a tale as old as time. One spouse thinks they should have joint bank accounts after saying “I do,” while the other had never even heard the words “what’s mine is yours.” Well, this one’s a biggie. Before getting hitched, it’s important you and your partner have this tough, but crucial, discussion. As The Wall Street Journal mentions, every couple’s different when it comes to finances.