Warning Signs Before Marriage

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Several warning signs before marriage may signal trouble down the road. Before couples decide to say I do, they should take a serious look at character flaws that can mar an otherwise happy union. While there are more, six factors in particular, have the potential to wreak havoc on holy wedlock: dishonesty, jealousy, family ties, substance abuse, financial woes, and a roving eye. Unless couples take heed to these areas and deal with them prior to walking down the aisle, they can expect to encounter trouble. Similarly, when God's Word warns of the consequences of unrighteous living, a failure to heed the warning and make amends can have catastrophic results. "Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul" (Ezekiel 33:4-5).

Dishonesty in any relationship has the potential to kill hopes and dreams and create disillusionment and distrust. A perspective mate who refuses to tell the truth prior to marriage cannot be trusted to tell the truth after the vows. Fiancees who are elusive about where they work, live, or who their parents are might just have something to hide. If after two or three dates, a man or woman is still secretive and not forthcoming about details every future mate should know, then it might be time to call off the engagement. Warning signs before marriage like dishonesty could signal bigamy. Men and women sometimes fail to get legally divorced from a spouse after a lengthy separation. Being told about a former mate the night of the wedding can be devastating to a new bride. It is best to conduct a background check on an intended spouse if there is a reluctance to discuss personal information about family, employment or other important details.

"Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame" (Song of Solomon 8:6). Couples should be alert to warning signs before marriage that indicate a potential mate has a problem with jealousy. If a loved one cannot answer the telephone, talk to members of the opposite sex, or interact with family or friends without coming under scrutiny, then the green-eyed monster of jealousy will no doubt be a constant companion throughout the relationship. Jealousy is actually a sign of insecurity. The mate who is jealous of a spouse is unsure of their ability to keep a good husband or wife. Insecurity gives way to suspicion; and every contact or conversation a prospective mate makes elicits anger, rage or hostility. Men or women who are jealous over their mates can be impossible to live with. The demand for complete devotion can be tiring; and over time, diminish any genuine affection one partner has for the other. In jealous individuals, warning signs before marriage might include unreasonable queries about personal phone calls, opening private mail or emails, snooping through drawers, or demanding spouses to curtail relationships with family and friends.

When it comes to family ties, bonds tied too tightly can end a marriage. Spouses should love their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins and other next of kin. But when warning signs before marriage include a family that is too close for comfort, engaged couples need to delay the nuptials. A domineering mother or father, siblings that cannot seem to keep from meddling, or relatives that want to dictate and divide have no place in marriage. Husbands and wives who allow relatives to interfere in marital affairs should learn how to establish boundaries between public and private life. No one should ever come between a married couple nor should any relative occupy a place in a man or woman's heart or emotions greater than their spouse.

Future spouses who are victims of alcoholism or substance abuse may display warning signs before marriage. Individuals who abuse prescription and street drugs or alcohol may also be dishonest. Long absences, a lack of cash; a haggard or disheveled appearance; or constantly asking for money should put a future spouse on the alert. While love hides a multitude of sins, substance abuse cannot be hidden for very long. Potential mates can offer loved ones help by encouraging them to seek professional help. Churches, religious organizations and social services agencies offer drug rehabilitation programs for every socioeconomic group. It is best to postpone walking down the aisle until a potential mate has undergone drug abuse courses and rehabilitation, and has proven they are free from bondage to alcohol or drugs.

Fiscal unfitness can dismantle a marriage just as quickly as infidelity. Warning signs before marriage like a constant shortage of cash, unemployment, or money mismanagement can destroy a union. Potential mates should sit down and seriously discuss money matters before planning the wedding. Accurately assessing personal liabilities and assets will help future partners determine how successfully they will live: an affordable dwelling, whether a second car can be purchased new or used, or if they can afford to have children. The love of money is the root of all evil, but the lack of money can be the root cause of divorce.

Obvious warning signs before marriage like a roving eye spell a lifetime of trouble. Men or women given to philandering are not suitable mates. If a potential spouse still wants to play the field, cut them loose like a wild stallion and put a hold on the wedding. Marriage takes commitment; and if a future bride or groom lacks commitment before the wedding, it is unlikely to change. Men or women who love flirting with the opposite sex or those who insist on maintaining contact with former close associates are not ready for matrimony.

Signs Of An Unhappy Marriage

The most prevalent signs of an unhappy marriage are a lack of sexual intimacy and a breakdown in communication. One of the first indications of trouble on the home front is a failure to communicate. Husbands and wives holding secret grudges, seething resentment, or smoldering bitterness will find it difficult to carry on a meaningful conversation. Instead of hashing out issues that divide, couples often resort to civil but meaningless dribble about the weather or car pooling the kids. But underneath all that civility may lay a cesspool of anguish, unresolved conflict and confusion. The Bible admonishes men and women to be exercise care in entreating one another:

"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work" (James 3:8-16).

Warning signs of an unhappy marriage, such as a breakdown in communication, just do not happen overnight. If couples do not cultivate good listening habits, slipping into patterns of poor communication may contribute to the deterioration of what once was a mutually satisfying relationship. Prior to marriage, singles are quick to respond to their partner's every word. Captivated by physical attraction and caught up in the whirlwind of romance, single couples cleave to one another with a passionate purpose to please, no matter what the cost. The courtship process is a winner-take-all proposition; and neither partner can afford to make a mistake, lest the mistake be a fatal one which ends the relationship.

The problem with many marriages is that almost from the moment newlyweds leave the altar they forget how to be affectionate and attentive. Several years into the marriage, signs of an unhappy marriage may begin to rear their ugly head. Husbands who used to spend hours on the telephone may no longer yearn to whisper sweet nothings in their wife's ear; and tender talks turn to nagging demands or denigrating innuendos. Some couples in crisis even resort to communicating with each other through the children, saying, "Tell you mother I am going to the store;" or "Tell your father dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes." And the wall of silence continues to rise higher and higher until there is no meaningful conversation and no sharing of ideas or romantic messages. Signs of an unhappy marriage may become even more apparent when the kids move away from home, leaving husbands and wives to deal with an empty nest and the specter of silence.

Strained communication usually leads to estranged relations in the bedroom. A lack of sexual intimacy is one of the foremost signs of an unhappy marriage. As couples stop talking to one another, the desire for intimacy can become less frequent. But the root word for communication is "commune." To commune means to share an exchange of ideas, information or messages, in an intimate or close setting. The bedroom is actually a place to physically consummate the communication of ideas or information closely shared throughout the day! If a husband and wife have engaged in close conversation from morning to evening, sharing sexual intimacy is just a natural consequence. Wives who have been wooed by attentive husbands will have no trouble responding after midnight.

When signs of an unhappy marriage become increasingly noticeable and threaten to destroy a happy home, couples should seek professional or spiritual counsel. Marriage mediation, reconciliation counseling, couples retreats, or weekend workshops are all options for restoring a troubled home front. A neutral party can help husbands and wives begin a dialogue about bothersome issues without taking sides. Sometimes an initial session can uncover hidden emotions of resentment, bitterness or anger. But there is no need for partners to allow a lack of forgiveness or understanding ruin a relationship meant to last a lifetime.

Apparent signs of an unhappy marriage may also have spiritual implications. Often an individual who is incapable of expressing themselves verbally or sexually may need to examine their relationship with God. A seasoned minister can help couples deal with feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, or a lack of emotion that threatens the marital relationship. Many hurting spouses may discover the root cause of conflict can be resolved through spiritual renewal. Becoming a born again believer is relatively simple. First, admit that you are a sinner. Then, verbally confess a personal belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Next, pray and ask God for the forgiveness of sin available to every soul through the sacrificial act of Jesus shedding His blood on Calvary's Cross over 2,000 years ago. Find a good Bible-believing church to strengthen your faith in God.

Eradicating signs of an unhappy marriage can be accomplished if both partners are willing to do some soul-searching to establish positive behavior patterns. Couples may need professional or spiritual help to address emotional issues, but by taking the time to accurately evaluate problems and discuss alternate behaviors, the process of healing and reconciliation can begin. Partners should resolve to forgive one another, to let go of past hurts, and begin to rebuild communication. A weekend marriage retreat may help open a more meaningful dialogue and rekindle the flames dampened through discord. Finally, personal spiritual renewal can empower individuals or couples to discover a new love for God and each other.

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