Marriage — as you’ve no doubt heard — is a big deal. Whether you’re engaged, getting engaged, or just thinking about tying the knot, you may be experiencing significant stress.
What if you marry the wrong person? What if the person isn’t the fabled “one” that so many people talk about?
What if you realized that your values and goals don’t align? What if the passion fades, and you’re left with someone you can’t connect with on a physical or emotional level?
What if things start out all right, but then something begins to change over the years?
What if marriage itself reveals aspects of your respective personalities that you hadn’t noticed before (and don’t particularly like)?
What if the thought of spending your entire life with a single person feels less like a vow and more like a prison sentence?
What if? What if? What if?
First off, take a deep breath.
These are common fears and concerns that many men experience. The good news is that these feelings don’t have to define your journey toward or through marriage.
As with most things in life, a successful marriage is largely determined by having a successful mindset. If you go into marriage thinking it’s riddled with problems and will inevitably fail, there’s a good chance it will.
Conversely, if you approach the relationship with a growth mindset and an unwavering belief that you and your wife can get through anything, you will.
If you’ve been losing sleep over the prospect of marrying the wrong person, I’ll discuss seven unique ways to work through these fears today.
Some of these principles will apply directly to you and your outlook, while others will pertain to how you interact as a couple. Take them together, and you’ll have a solid framework for building a lasting, happy marriage.
1. Dispel The Myth Of “The One”
Everyone loves to get hung up on the idea of “the one.” For example, your parents have probably mentioned this to you at some point in your life. Maybe you broke up with an ex and heard something like this: “Don’t worry, son, you’ll find “the one” soon enough.”
And if not them, you’ve probably heard it from someone else. You’ve heard it from your brother, friends, or coworkers — hell, maybe even from your partner yourself.
How many romance movie scripts were written with this exact premise? Yet, as ubiquitous as the idea of having a singular soulmate is, it’s one of the most damaging things for a marriage.
Why? Because it puts an entirely unreasonable and unrealistic amount of pressure on the marriage itself.
And the truth is, there’s no such thing as “the one.” In fact, there are countless women in the world who you would be compatible with over the long term. You might not know where or how to meet them, but that’s another topic entirely.
The problem is when you put pressure on finding “the one,” you embrace the idea that this woman is perfect — and NO ONE is perfect. You’re not perfect, she’s not perfect, and your marriage won’t be perfect.
But that’s completely all right. Instead of focusing on the idea of the one, focus more on partnering with someone you can work with. Because that’s the secret behind every happy and successful marriage: having two people who can work through the rough patches.
You have to lose the oneitis mindset. Instead of searching for one mythical woman out of billions, understand that you are simply choosing to commit to one specific person.
2. Examine The One Specific Thing That’s Giving You Doubt
Chances are, if you’re worried about marrying the wrong person, something very specific is troubling you. It is your responsibility to both yourself and your partner to confront that issue head-on.
Unfortunately, many men don’t do this. They instead focus on peripheral issues because confronting the thing that makes them most uncomfortable is too unsettling.
Of course, this usually isn’t behavior that’s exclusive to romantic relationships. This avoidance syndrome is probably something that permeates all aspects of your life.
But you must understand one thing: The things that make us most uncomfortable also help us grow stronger.
If you want your relationship to grow strong and go the distance, tackle the elephant room first.
If you’re unsatisfied with your sex life, tackle the issue head-on. Communicate your feelings with your partner, and then take action to bring the spark back.
If you’re craving more profound, meaningful conversations but find you and your partner wasting the evenings watching Netflix and eating popcorn, do something about it. Get out. Change up the scenery. Cut the cord to the television.
Whatever the issue is, address it. Because if you’re considering marriage in the first place, this woman probably checks off a lot of boxes on your list. And if you’re feeling hesitant about something, it’s likely because one or two specific things are lacking.
Become clear on what those things are and then take action.
3. Stop Living In The Past — Put Your Exes Behind You
While this isn’t always the case, many men worry about their marriage prospects because lingering thoughts of an ex-girlfriend plague them.
If you’re constantly comparing your current partner to a woman or women you’ve dated in the past, you need to learn to let go.
There’s a reason your exes are your exes — never forget that. Sure, it might be fun to reminisce about the good old times, but I can almost guarantee you those times weren’t quite as good as you now remember them.
And just like the avoidance syndrome I mentioned above, this is probably something you’re doing in all aspects of your life and isn’t exclusive to your romantic relationships.
Understand that living in the past, second-guessing your decisions, and worrying about your future choices are actually all part of an underlying pattern.
You cannot allow yourself to be burdened by thoughts of what could have been or should have been. This is true in life, and it is especially true when it comes to romantic relationships.
What’s troubling is that many men live with these feelings and either willfully suppress them or aren’t even consciously aware of them. I’ve had several clients who broke up with their exes years ago, hadn’t communicated with these women in years, yet still entertained fantasies about getting back together with them.
And they were fully aware that these fantasies were never going to materialize, but it wasn’t really about that. It was about a lack of self-confidence that plagued their minds and made them second-guess their decisions.
If this sounds like you, confidence coaching may be worth looking into, which can help you strengthen yourself and your relationships.
4. Understand Compatability — And The Different Stages Of It
Take a group of guys in their twenties and pick their brains about compatibility. You’ll probably hear things like shared interests, physical attraction, sexual intimacy, and doing fun things together.
This group is likely to emphasize the importance of a partner who enjoys similar tastes in movies or music, has a sense of humor, and whom they can have adventures with.
However, the narrative changes if you take a group of guys in their thirties. The most important factors are shared values, emotional support, and mutual respect.
They might prioritize a partner who understands their career goals and is ready and willing to discuss future plans. This group will likely prioritize someone willing to navigate life as a team.
And if you take a group of guys in the forties, you’ll see that the priorities change again. Now, it’s more about effective communication and long-term compatibility. Raising children, managing finances, and supporting each other through health issues or family crises take center stage.
And so on, and so on. The point is that a successful marriage largely depends on navigating all these different cycles you and your wife will go through.
How often have you heard these stories of high-school sweethearts who got hitched only to find that their differing maturity levels were their downfall?
Want to take the worry out of your marriage decision? Consider all the phases your marriage must endure to go the distance. If you can see yourself being with this person through thick and thin, it’s a good sign that your relationship is built on solid ground.
5. Ask Yourself What You Really Fear: Marriage Or Divorce
As you’ve no doubt heard, lots of marriages end in divorce. Some figures put it as high as 50%, while some put it at a more conservative 40%.
Either way, there’s no denying that many marriages don’t end well. And chances are, many of you who are reading this article right now have parents who are divorced or separated.
While there are indeed divorced couples who can keep an amicable relationship for the sake of their children, this is generally the exception and not the norm.
And if you witnessed a deteriorating marriage firsthand, you might have developed a distaste for the idea of marriage in general.
There’s no denying the fact that divorce is a messy affair. Between the emotional turmoil, ensuing loneliness, financial difficulties, and the prospect of co-parenting, it’s enough to make anyone think twice before tying the knot.
That said, it’s crucial to differentiate the fear of marriage from the fear of divorce. Despite what you may logically believe, marriage and divorce are not two sides of the same coin.
Reflect on what specifically concerns you about marriage. Is it the fear of repeating your parents’ mistakes, the worry of losing your independence, or the prospect of being shackled by marital responsibility?
The important thing is not to confuse one thing for another. And remember, no matter how many failed marriages you’ve seen in your life or have personally been touched by, that doesn’t mean your marriage will follow suit.
6. Understand Marriage Is What YOU Make Of It
Do you have a particular image of marriage in your head? Does it entail mowing the lawn on Sundays, wasting hours on home renovations, or being bound to a certain routine?
Understand one thing about these stereotypical images of marriage — they are just that: stereotypes.
Whatever you want to make of your married life, it’s in your power to do so. Want to spend Sunday mornings hiking a mountain instead of doing landscaping? You most certainly can.
Or, instead of owning a home at all, you and your wife may want to spend your time traveling the world and experiencing different cultures. Again, this is something you definitely can do.
Marriage doesn’t need to be the end of personal growth or adventure. It can be an opportunity to grow together, learn from each other, and push each other to achieve your goals.
Communicate exactly what you want and expect from your married life. As any successful couple will tell you, the key is getting a clear picture of what you want and how you plan to achieve it.
I’ve met couples who struggled to achieve lasting success until they married. These couples created new patterns, traditions, and routines and used them to fast-track their way to success.
The point is, don’t let preconceived notions or societal stereotypes dictate what your marriage should look like. Your life is not dependent on movies, television shows, or novels. And it is most certainly not reliant on other people’s opinions.
You, your wife, and your collective thoughts, feelings, and energy are what will define your marriage. Nothing else.
What Are Some Warning Signs I Might Be Marrying The Wrong Person?
Of course, in certain circumstances, your worries may be founded. If something doesn’t feel right about your relationship, if you’re being pressured into marriage, or are marrying for socio-economic gains, it could be a sign that trouble is brewing.
Sometimes, the simplest thing to do to ease into the thought of marriage is to ensure your relationship is worthy of marriage in the first place. Here are a few things you should look out for.
Do we argue too much? Here’s a hint: If you even have to ask yourself that question, it’s probably a sign that you’re fighting too often.
It also indicates that you or your partner may resent each other. If you argue over the stress of planning a wedding, that’s one thing, but if you also disagree over banal, day-to-day activities, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong.
Being Polar Opposites
This is not a deal-breaker but something to be mindful of. While couples can have varying interests that contribute to a healthy and fresh relationship, there are certain instances where these differences make them incompatible.
Extreme extroverts and introverts are perfect examples. Normally, it’s not a big deal if one person is more reserved and the other is more outgoing. But in extreme cases, it can slowly deteriorate a relationship.
If you’re a homebody who likes to spend your evenings sitting on the sofa reading a book, and your partner insists on going out five days a week, it might be challenging to find a balance where both partners get what they need.
Wanting To Change Your Partner (Or Having A Partner Who Wants To Change You)
If you’re banking on turning your partner into a different person after you get married, it’s usually a sign of trouble to come. The same can be said if your partner is giving you hints that she’d like to change you.
I’m the first person to say that anyone can change if they want to — but they must want to. You can’t pressure another person into becoming a different person. Unfortunately, many people falsely believe this is the case.
Having Trouble Holding A Meaningful Conversation
Many long-term relationships are born solely from physical attraction. A couple hooks up, and then they continue to hook up and sort of casually find themselves in a situation where they’re dating.
This continues for months and years; before long, the couple decides it’s a good idea to get married. The only problem is that they’ve been together all this time but have not had a serious conversation.
Marriage means being with someone you can talk to about anything and everything. It may be time to reassess things if you don’t have that or fear your communication could improve.
You Don’t Spend Long Periods Together
It’s become commonplace for couples to live together before getting married. If you haven’t crossed this road in your relationship but are considering marriage, it may be something you want to consider (assuming it doesn’t conflict with personal or religious beliefs).
Many couples fail to realize that marriage creates a unique dynamic. It’s not about date nights, vacations, trips, or adventures; it’s about knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.
Embracing Inner Confidence For A Successful Marriage
If you’re struggling with fears and reservations about marrying the wrong person, it may have less to do with your partner and more with your own inner uncertainties.
Often, personal insecurities lead individuals to second-guess their decisions, and when these doubts arise in romantic relationships, they can indicate deeper issues that need addressing.
Insecurities in a relationship can manifest in various ways, from questioning your partner’s commitment to feeling inadequate or unworthy of love. These feelings hinder your ability to fully commit to a relationship and create a self-fulfilling prophecy of relationship failure.
The key to overcoming these fears is not external validation but building your inner confidence.
If you’ve been struggling in this regard, the Knowledge for Men coaching program is the perfect solution. The foundation of any successful marriage (or any relationship, for that matter) is a confident, self-aware individual.
Our program is designed to help you uncover and address the root causes of your insecurities. By working on your self-esteem and self-awareness, you can develop a stronger sense of self, crucial for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
A man who is confident in himself is more likely to build a successful marriage. By investing in your personal growth and confidence now, you’re not just preparing yourself for marriage but setting the stage for a happier, more fulfilling life.
But growth is only possible with hard work and determination. Our program is full of strong, determined men who will stop at nothing to become the best versions of themselves.
Yes, they will challenge you — probably in a way you’ve never been challenged before — but you’ll wind up all that much stronger because of it. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, there’s no better time than now to take the next step.
If you want to learn more about me, my team, and everything we can offer you, click here to watch my new client orientation.
I’ll see you on the inside.