Are you questioning if you are with the person you are supposed to be with? After two failed marriages by the age of 31, I can confidently tell you that there are some very obvious signs when you are in a relationship that isn’t right for you. Whether you are blinded by love, as I once was, or you are constantly questioning the relationship, if you spend time in thought and pay attention to your body and feelings you can avoid getting into an unsuccessful marriage before it starts.
You Don’t Feel Supported
In order for a marriage to last you need to be with someone who likes you for who you are deep-down, allows you to be yourself, and encourages you to pursue your dreams. If you feel like you have to suppress your silly side, change your opinions, choose a different career path, or speak differently to appease your partner, then you are in the wrong relationship!
When I met my first husband I was 17 and he was 23. I was immediately attracted to his sense of humor and he was infatuated by my appearance. I fell for him hard and fast. He was my first love and I was completely blinded by the intensity of my feelings for him. I ignored the fact that he never supported my dreams, that he disliked my sense of humor, and that he was constantly trying to change my personality to suit his own. We married when I was 20 and divorced right after my 26th birthday. For 8 years of my life I wasn’t allowed to pursue the career I actually wanted, I couldn’t enjoy the music or movies I liked, laugh at the things I actually found amusing, or speak my truth. My life revolved around my husband and I was expected to make him happy by being someone I wasn’t.
If you are in a controlling relationship where you aren’t allowed to be yourself, run! I wasn’t able to see how oppressed I was until years after the divorce finalized. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I lived that terrible time of my life so that I could help prevent other people from making the same mistake I had. Even if your partner isn’t controlling, if you don’t feel 100% comfortable being yourself with the person you are with, they are the wrong person.
You Rarely Spend Time With Friends or Family
Another sign that you are in the wrong relationship is that you feel like your partner is distancing you from your friends and family. Does it feel like you are always spending time with your spouse’s friends and family and rarely getting to see your own?
I experienced this in my first marriage as well. My friends and family started making complaints about how they never saw me anymore. Instead of listening to their concerns and thinking about what they were saying, I ignored them. I began losing friends and rarely speaking with my family. I was spending lots of time with my husband and his people and was discouraged from seeing my own.
My Ex was raised as a Christian in a very religious home, whereas I was raised by an atheist and someone who was spiritual but didn’t identify with one particular religion. I became a Christian on my own at the age of 12. The most blaring sign that I should have seen as a red flag was when my ex had said that he was unsure about marrying me because he didn’t want my parents to be the grandparents of his children. I was deeply hurt by this comment, because my parents were very loving people who would have made great grandparents, regardless of their religious beliefs. Instead of contemplating what this would mean for my future or how this would affect my relationship with my family, I overlooked his comment and naively married him.
If your partner doesn’t motivate you to foster your relationships with your friends and family, then they are not the person for you. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed by your family or feel discouraged to spend time with the friends you’ve always had, just because the person you are dating isn’t supportive. Never choose a boyfriend/girlfriend over those who have always been there for you. Chances are that you will need those people when your romantic relationship inevitably ends.
You Always Feel On Edge
If you feel like you are walking on eggshells or another fight is always right around the corner, then you are not with the person you should spend your life with. Fights are a normal part of every healthy relationship, but when fighting becomes a constant in your life you should take that as a warning sign. Communication is the single most important component in a marriage. If you are unable to effectively communicate with your partner, this is not something that will magically change because you have both said, “I Do”. As a matter of fact, once marriage happens and all of the excitement fades, the problems that have always existed in your relationship will become highlighted.
When every disagreement or little inconvenience becomes a fight, this is not constructive. When you feel like you have to analyze everything you say before you say it, in fear of how your spouse will react, this is not creating the foundation for a successful marriage. Love does not thrive in a fearful environment.
I was so in love with my first husband that I ignorantly believed that our daily fights would end once we were married. I thought that love could conquer all and that as we grew together our relationship would strengthen and the fighting would dissipate. The truth was, love can not conquer an incompatible union. It didn’t matter how much I loved my ex or how many marital counseling sessions we endured, two people who are incapable of effectively communicating with each other are never going to be a perfect fit.
Your Gut Is Telling You That Something is Wrong
Shortly after my first divorce finalized I met husband number 2. He was the polar opposite of my first husband. He was obsessively in love with me, encouraged me to be myself, thought I was hilarious and amazing for who I truly was, we rarely fought, and he loved my friends and family. Sounds perfect, right? Well, on paper it was a perfect relationship. He and I shared the same sense of humor and would laugh until we were in tears. He was a blast and really had become my best friend. I married the first time because I was madly in love, so I decided the second time that I should marry my best friend. It seemed the logical choice that if my first marriage failed because of a controlling partner and incompatibility that I would have better success with someone who let me be me and was more friend than love.
Once we entered into a relationship I always felt like something was off, but couldn’t point to a concrete problem. It was just a feeling, not anything I could describe, so I kept pushing my feelings aside and pushed forward in the relationship. As things progressed, my gut screamed, “LISTEN TO ME, THIS ISN’T RIGHT!”, which caused me to break things off with him twice. I dated others during those times, but ended up going back to him because that was where I felt most comfortable. No matter how many times I asked friends for advice or questioned the relationship, I kept going back because I couldn’t give myself a good enough reason to not be with him.
We finally married and I quickly realized that it was a huge mistake. It was like I had a veil over my eyes which had prevented me from seeing things for what they truly were. I was living in an emotional fog, from my first marriage. I thought I was over it, but even though I was over my ex, I wasn’t over what had happened. I was scarred from that experience and wasn’t in a place to date anyone, let alone get married again. I moved too quickly with my second husband and hadn’t listened to what my gut was trying to tell me, I wasn’t in love and although we were compatible on paper and as friends, we were not romantically compatible. Furthermore, my continued apprehension towards the marriage led me to distance myself, causing me to see a scary side of my husband that I had never seen before and of which there was no coming back from. I decided to end that marriage after only one year.
Is your gut trying to tell you something? Are you continuously questioning if you should be with this person? Are you asking your friends for advice over and over? Does everything seem perfect, but you still feel weird about the relationship? Chances are, you are not with your person. If you have to frequently ask yourself if this is the relationship for you, it is NOT. It may be excruciating to hurt the person you are dating when they have done nothing wrong and it may seem insane to leave when you have no other reason other than a gut-instinct, but I speak from experience when I tell you that leaving is exactly what you should be doing. Your gut intuition knows what it is talking about, listen!
Everything is a Struggle
Relationships take a lot of work. It isn’t going to be easy to be married, but if you feel like you struggle more than you enjoy this relationship, then see this as a big sign that you are with the wrong person. When you first start a relationship it should feel carefree and fun, not difficult and stressful. As things progress it is perfectly normal to encounter problems as you figure out who each of you are and learn how to communicate with each other, but if you feel like this relationship is more work than fun, then you are not with the person you are supposed to be with. When you are with the right person things flow well and give you a sense of comfort like you’ve never felt with anyone else before. You shouldn’t be feeling unhappy or like you have to force things or feelings to make your relationship work.
Marriage can be beautiful and last a lifetime, but in order to find this type of relationship you must pay attention to the signs around you and avoid marrying the wrong person. It may take time and many failed relationships along the way, but this is how you realize your true worth and discover the type of person who will fit into your life the best. Listen to your gut, be yourself, and never settle for something that feels less than amazing!