“Love conquers all.”
But does it … really? It’s a sweet phrase that we like to put on posters and hang in our kitchens and even preach from our pulpits, but the problem is it’s a phrase that doesn’t ring true.
Love doesn’t conquer all, and we see that evidenced by the disastrous divorce rates both inside and outside of our church.
Today, most men and women go into marriage with high hopes, but slim to none with regard to preparation, and end up struggling through the pain of an unhealthy, dysfunctional, even catastrophic marriage situation.
Marriage is not an easy journey, and when the rubber meets the road, those who go into it ignoring the warning signs will always reap the harsh reality of the seeds they’ve sown.
Notice, it’s not an IF … it’s a WHEN.
But the thing about marriage is, it’s not something we take lightly, though we live in a culture that might think so. Marriage isn’t optional. It’s a binding covenant made between two people and the Lord, in which we’re given the responsibility and privilege of choosing a partner for life. And so it’s up to no one but us to make sure we choose well.
As a professional counselor, I’ve worked with far too many broken individuals and have endured one too many heart-breaking marriage counseling sessions not to graciously ask you to rethink your decision to get married if you and/or your fiance exhibit any one of the following signs:
You’re having major, recurring, obsessive doubts:
When it comes to love, almost every single person will have a doubt at some point in their relationship. It’s normal to have moments of doubt, to get cold feet every once-in-awhile and to feel a little nervous when it comes to thinking through the potential of lifelong marriage. But in a healthy relationship, time will always decrease doubts and fears. As time passes, the level of doubt and fear should not increase, but decrease. As you see your partner’s traits and qualities slowly unfold, the right relationship will move you into peace not panic.
If you’re having constant, recurring, obsessive doubts it’s a signal that either something is wrong in the relationship, or something is wrong within your self. Maybe it’s your personal past or baggage holding you back and causing you fear (see point #5), or maybe there’s something going on in the relationship that’s continually causing you to rethink your decision. But either way, recurring, constant doubts are never something you should ignore.
You’re caught in patterns of unhealthy conflict and communication:
I always say that communication is the life-line of a relationship. Your words are a pathway into your soul, and being able to connect on a daily basis is an important part of marriage. If you find yourself in a relationship where communication doesn’t come easy, and where things tend to escalate into unhealthy patterns of unresolved arguments and unhealthy conflict, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if this is really something you want to commit to for the rest of your life.