How Can You See a Future If He Is Not Pre-Honoring the "Vows?"
Marriage is not about hoping a guy will "one day" honor the vows that are spoken, it's about him demonstrating those vows prior to getting married....
Often, as women, we get caught up in the desire of marriage—due to the idea of it. By doing so, we fail to realize when a man is not measuring up to what marriage actually means to us.
We will continue to be in relationships with men who do not demonstrate being an honorary lifetime partner—lacking emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical support—when you really need him. Or, we will justify staying with a man who is unfaithful. Regardless of the Red Flags waving in our face, we will convince ourselves and our friends that he is still marriage material. Really?!
Although marriage can mean different things to different people, there are still some basic guidelines in order for the sustainability of marriage to work. Can you be happily (truly happily) married to a man who is opposite of things that might be important to you?
Is a lasting relationship possible without having the same…
- Core Values—marrying someone who is dishonest in the relationship, lacks integrity, infidelity, etc.
- Faith/Religion—marrying a man who has a completely different spiritual or religious beliefs than you
- Political Views—he is a hardcore republican and you are a democrat, librarian (or vice versa)
- Financial Mentality—he is ok being "comfortable" and lacks drive while you strive for success
- Family Views—your vision of what a family means to you is not the same for him
- View on Children—you want them but he does not (or vice versa), or you have different views on how to raise them
Yes, it is possible to be married to a man who is opposite of some of these qualities, however, can you truly have a marriage that will be able to withstand a lifetime partnership? Compatibility is important for a reason. Why do we think that if there is already infidelity before marriage that a man will "all of a sudden" become monogamous or is even capable of changing his behavior once a ring is placed on his finger? Seriously?!
There are either Red Flags or shining stars to let you know if a guy is future worthy...
A lifetime partnership should not be with someone you choose to settle with because no one is perfect. Although, no one is perfect, that does not mean you should be with a guy who is clearly not compatible with you. Compatibility does not mean that you will agree on everything. It also does not mean that your partner has to be exactly like you—however, in fundamental things, there should be similarities. That is why dating was invented.
Dating is our tool to help us decipher if a guy is our perfect match. Are you dating wisely or missing the point?
As women we tend to forget—due to believing that we "need" to get married in order to feel valued in "society"—that relationships sometimes occur to teach us what we really want (or don’t want).
The point of dating/relationships are not necessarily to be mesmerized by the assumption that every guy we meet is the one we are supposed to marry. Is getting down the aisle so important that we disregard a man’s obvious inconsistencies, Red Flags and possibly our overall happiness? No. Instead, dating is to help us figure out what we truly want and if the man we are getting to know is someone we can honestly see spending the rest of our life with.
What this means is; take time to enjoy the experience. There are men who will reveal their authentic selves within a few weeks, while with most men, this process won't occur until months maybe a year or so into the relationship. Be honest with yourself and make sure that what he reveals is something you can actually live with, not something you can deal with because you are afraid to be alone. Time reveals a lot—don't rush the process.
The more comfortable a guy gets he'll either shine or majorly dull...
I was in a relationship with a guy who proclaimed not only that he loved me, that he also wanted to marry me. Since this was not the first time I've heard those words from a man's mouth, I was not mesmerized. Having a guy tell you he wants to marry you might sound great in theory, however is he truly "groomed" enough for the task?
At first, his actions seem like maybe, just maybe, he would be a great lifetime partner, but as time went by, he clearly was not. At least not for me, and what I was looking for. The longer we dated, the more I realized what we envisioned for marriage were two different things.
I want a partner who I can trust to have open and honest communication with. Someone who is invested in me and our relationship—wanting to grow together to create a strong foundation. Someone I feel protected and supported by. Someone who is truly present and there for me—emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently it was for this guy.
Love is just a word, the true meaning is in his actions...
Many men who after time (and becoming too comfortable) will reveal a very different side of themselves once you get into a relationship with them. Sometimes this "new" version can be an upgrade, however, often that is not the case. Either way, it is ultimately for you to decide if this "new" (and potentially not so amazing) person is truly right for you...before he puts "a ring on it."
Letting go of the fear of being alone is the key to figuring out what you genuinely want...
Releasing the fear will show you that every man who is interested in you, is not necessarily the man you are supposed to marry. Taking the time to really know a guy—through difficult times—his and yours—is extremely important. Unfortunately, there are many men who are great at dating, but not when it comes to being in an exclusive relationship or marriage. Also there are men who are not great in a crisis or giving the support that you fully need. And, sometimes this guy is rolled into one. Is this a guy you would want to have a future with?
The more I spent time with my Ex, the clearer our incompatibility became that he and I were not on the same page when it came to how you treat someone you love.
Vows for marriage might differ—depending on the couple, however often the same expectations are similar...
We are all familiar with the wedding vows, "I, (name), take you (name), to be my lawfully wedded (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."
Although these vows sounds great in theory, why do we settle and continue to be with a guy who cannot honor all (or even the majority) of these vows while we are in a relationship with him?
All relationships get tested the longer you are with someone...
There were moments in our relationship where I saw glimpses of a future with him that honestly looked promising (based on how he treated me the first four months of dating). However, as time went by—and I got to know him better—when I broke down what the "vows" meant to me—he was no longer pre-honoring any of them. Realizing this, made it very clear to me that he was not only incapable of ever honoring them, but also not “the one” for me.
1. "To have and to hold"—to "have" someone means they are giving themselves to you. To "hold" means they are trusting you to protect them—emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
In our relationship he lacked what "to have and to hold meant." When I give my heart, I give it unconditionally. I went out of my way to honor him, his kids, his career and what we had together. He did not. He would express his love but his actions were louder (and opposite) than his words. Our relationship was one-sided, I was always giving way more than I was receiving and therefore never felt emotionally secure with him.
2. "For better or for worse"—choosing to be there for your significant other even when they are not at their best.
If he was going through anything in his life I was always supportive and there for him. Times that I was not at my best, he was not there for me and would place judgement. He would stress, shut down and put emotional walls up. Instead of being supportive, he would immediately internalize and create distance. This guy's motto was, "for better or for better"—only.
3. "For richer, for poorer"—loving your partner and staying together for the abundant times as well as the financial stresses.
He entered a relationship with me "acting" like he had the drive and ambition for success. It was a facade. I was not looking for a partner who was comfortable being comfortable. He said he wanted to be a "successful couple" together, but months into dating I realized he had the talent for success but not the drive or willingness. His excuses and fear overshadows his ability to work towards a successful future. Yikes!
If I am with a man who is rich and then loses everything, I believe you should stand by him. However, if he gives up hope, makes excuses—causing his own financial rut—and does nothing to improve the situation (not seeking or taking zero advice from anyone), why should you be dragged under his mess? Marriage is not about being complacent. It’s about creating a partnership and working hard—together—by putting egos aside.
4. "In sickness and in health"—being there and one hundred percent supporting your significant other when they are ill, hurt or injured, as you would do when they are healthy.
When I became really sick, he was not there for me. He would show up, but would be completely mentally checked out. He was not supportive and hardly did anything to help in my recovery.
He expected me to micro manage him on how to take care of me—rarely voluntarily doing anything for me. He would come to my house as though to help but would just sit there. He never seemed to genuinely care about how I was truly feeling, what I needed and how or what I was going to eat. Instead, he reaped the benefits of others cooking for me and pre-bought groceries I had. And, when I needed him the most, he bailed—never caring if I had any help at all. In the end, his lack of actions made me feel as though he only cared about himself and his needs.
5. "To love and to cherish"—showing that you truly love someone by protecting and valuing their heart.
This guy claimed he loved me, but did not protect my heart. He knew I had abandonment issues (that I have been working on) but would still think it was OK to not communicate and emotionally push me away. He knew that it would upset me when he would shut down, create silence and distance himself when he was upset, but would do it anyway—completely disregarding how his actions affected me emotionally. I realized that He was too self-absorbed to know how to cherish anything.
6. "Until death do us part"—can you see yourself with this person until you take your last breath?
With my Ex, I did not. That was an enormous eye-opener for me.
Ladies, marriage is not something to be taken lightly. If what you want in a lifetime partner is not something he is measuring up to—prior to marriage—why would you convince yourself that he is capable of changing once you say "I do." Life is too short. Know that you are better off finding happiness—within yourself—alone, than to be alone with someone who creates unhappiness for you. Be patient. Enjoy the process and your true love will appear, saying the vows, and truly honoring what they mean (for you) by his actions.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.