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it is better to wait to get married

5 Reasons It Is Better To Wait To Get Married

it is better to wait to get married

 

As wedding season approaches, it strikes me that considering the reasons why not to rush into marriage is timely.  I distinctly remember being a college student in the 1970s and feeling pressured to tie the knot while many of my friends were racing to the altar with record speed. I didn’t feel that I had much of a choice.  Hopefully, we are free of the stigma attached to being single in the 21st century and can openly refute the notion that marriage is the solution to personal unhappiness or loneliness.

It appears that ambiguity in romantic relationships is on the increase in the past decade and options range from friends with benefits to indecision about permanent commitment.  According to Scott Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, “Ambiguity is now the norm as opposed to clarity.” Author Jessica Massa, who interviewed hundreds of singles and couples for her book, “The Gaggle: How to Find Love in the Post-Dating World” informs us that many couples claim exclusivity but won’t call it a relationship.

Multiple factors have merged together to create a generation of ambiguity. However, one of the most compelling reasons is cultural since the first generation of children to grow up witnessing mass divorce are now young adults making their own decisions about love and commitment. It makes sense that people in their 20’s and 30’s might hedge their bets and see relationships as risky if they watched their parents’ marriage fail or even relatives and friends’ parents’ marriage collapse.

It Is Better To Wait To Get Married

Richard Settersten, Ph.D. and Barbara E. Ray, authors of Not Quite Adults  speculate that many people harbor misconceptions about a recent trend to delay marriage, believing that young adults are afraid of commitment and are abandoning marriage.  They write, “Marriage is on hold for this generation, but it is delayed, not abandoned. The majority of young people eventually marry. They are just getting their ducks in a row before they do.”

For instance, Kayla is an attractive, athletic, twenty-seven-year-old that is attending graduate school to become a nurse practitioner. She’s happily single and has made a decision to stay unmarried amidst the pressure to be part of a couple. She puts it like this: “I just haven’t met the right guy yet and won’t settle until I do.” She pauses and says, “I’m fine being alone and don’t need a partner to feel good about who I am.”

A groundbreaking study by Stephanie S. Spielman demonstrates that fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships and staying with a partner who is wrong for you. The first step in facing your fear of being alone is shrugging off any stigma attached to being single. In her Huffington Post article How to Be Alone (And Not Be Unhappy) Poorna Bell writes, “There is a problem, a serious cultural problem, about solitude. Being alone in our present society raises an important question about identity and well-being.” Bell posits that there is a contradiction in US culture since we value individualism and autonomy, yet we both fear and dread being alone.

Growing up, you probably weren’t given good examples of how to be alone.

Everything you see in the media promotes how to find the right partner, and make it work. There’s nothing wrong with seeking love because it’s beautiful and can bring about some of the most treasured moments in our lives. But very few people know how to be alone and do it well. They aren’t happy to be alone. They fear it and seek love wherever they go. Too often the pleasure they find with falling in love is the sweet release of no longer being by themselves in the world.

Often single women may be especially reluctant to acknowledge the challenges of being alone for fear of being seen as desperate or needy. According to author Sara Eckel, many of the stereotypes we have about single women are misleading. She writes, “The single life isn’t a prison sentence nor is it a cocktail party. It is simply a life – a life with responsibilities and rewards, good days and bad ones, successes, and failures. In her article “Stop Telling Women They Are Fabulous,” she reminds us that we need new norms for understanding single women in our culture because in times past they were seen as lonely spinsters, quietly languishing in their studio apartments.

Maria Shriver, author of The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, is attempting to educate young women about the value of being independent while seeking equal partnerships. She says, “I’m trying to teach my daughters that they have to think of themselves as providers and not being provided for. I want to talk to them about being smart about relationships and about money and their futures. I’m trying to teach them not to look at boys as the enemy but to look at them as somebody who will be a partner in whatever they do.”

According to author Whitney Caudill, “Feeling loneliness or fear from time to time as a single person is normal. In fact, it is normal for everyone.” The key is to recognize this and realize that these are just feelings. Staying in a relationship that is going nowhere to avoid loneliness rarely produces good results.

Here are 5 reasons why it is better to wait to get married:

  • You are in a relationship that brings you down or you are often dissatisfied with it.  Ask yourself: Does your significant other inspire you to do your best? Perhaps he or she is overly critical or too focused on his or her needs to be supportive of you.
  • You feel you have to change yourself – your values, goals, or dreams for your partner to accept you. Since your partner is unwilling to compromise – you morph into someone else to accommodate their needs and subsequently lose vital parts of your identity.
  • You want to take your time to pick a partner who shares similar values and interests – this will enhance your chances of staying together.
  • You have a healthy respect for commitment and just haven’t met someone you want to make a permanent commitment with. Avoiding marriage before your late 20’s and dating a partner for at least two years will reduce your risk of divorce.
  • You’re content being single and don’t have a compelling reason to tie the knot.

In closing, there are real pressures and judgments in our culture associated with being single that can weigh heavily on people. Congratulate yourself on your decision to withstand the social pressures and expectations to be part of a couple or race down the altar. Embrace some of the pleasures of being single. When you remind yourself about what you like about yourself and what you are good at, your need for other’s approval will fade away and you’ll feel more self-confident in your lifestyle choice.

Follow Terry on Facebook, Twitter, and movingpastdivorce.com

More From Terry

5 Ways To Stop Settling For Less Than You Deserve In A Relationship

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The post 5 Reasons It Is Better To Wait To Get Married appeared first on Divorced Moms.



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Why You Should Be Glad You Married A Narcissist

Why You Should Be Glad You Married A Narcissist

All of our experiences teach us something. There are lessons to learn from even the darkest moments of our lives. Marrying a narcissist is one of those times that can teach you a bunch of lessons to use for future relationships so you don’t make the same mistakes again.

The post Why You Should Be Glad You Married A Narcissist appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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before you get married again

7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again

before you get married again

 

In my work as a divorce coach, I’ve had a front row seat to all kinds of situations. Situations from easy to navigate divorce, amicable separations to crazy and antagonistic splits between couples. The tips below are based on, not only personal experience with divorce but, the knowledge that comes from years of working in the divorce industry.

I hope these tips help you before you say “I do” again and keep you from ever saying, “I don’t anymore” again.

7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again

1. Talk About Money Early in Your New Relationship

Woman Money After Divorce.jpg

It is important that you and a potential future life partner have similar financial goals and habits. Even if the relationship is new, if you believe there is the possibility of it turning into something serious, how he deals with his finances is something you need to know.

If you find he is less than careful with his money, it could help you decide whether or not he is someone you want to consider becoming more involved with. And, don’t make the mistake of believing that you can change someone who has spent their life running up credit card debt or being less than responsible financially.

2. Make Sure You’ve Had Enough Alone Time

 Woman Home Alone.jpg

Even if you are confident about the way you feel, rushing into marriage is not a good idea. Sometimes people meet each other, and within three or four months, they say, “Oh this person is the one for me.” In my opinion, if you don’t know a person at least a year, you don’t know them well enough to marry them.

How long is long enough between marriages? That answer will be unique to you and your situation but, as a standard, I recommend waiting at least a year before believing you know exactly who your new love is and before jumping into a new marriage.

3. What Impact Will Marriage Have On Your Children?

 Happy Children3.jpg

Nothing torpedoes a second or third marriage like conflicts over the kids. His, hers, and yours together. Be realistic! Seriously realistic! The relationship you have with each other’s children will play a HUGE role in whether or not a marriage will last.

Spend time with each other in the company of your children. Make sure the children are familiar with each other. Allow yourself time to assess any problem areas and come up with a game plan on how to deal with those before marriage.

Children who are happy about a parent’s choice in a new mate before the marriage or, more than likely, going to be happy with the situation after the marriage. Be compassionate if your children struggle with your new love. All that means is, they need more time whether you do or not.

4. Consider What You Want to Do Differently This Time Around

Woman Thinking Legs Crossed.jpg

You don’t want to take into a new marriage dysfunctional relationship skills that helped kill your last marriage. Consider things like, how did I communicate? What could I have done differently in my last marriage? How much energy did I put into nurturing our love? Was I more of a giver or taker? What makes me happy in a relationship?

These are questions that will help you identify areas you need to work on and what you need to change to make sure the next marriage doesn’t end in divorce also.

I recommend any person considering remarriage take an introspective look into why their first marriage failed and even consider therapy to make sure those old wounds have truly healed and aren’t being taken into a new marriage.

5. Discuss The Tough Questions with Your New Love

Couple Talking Outside.jpg

Don’t avoid talking about how you will create a successful marriage in the midst of challenges that come along with second and third marriages. Children, ex-spouses, ex-in-laws will all play a role in your new marriage.

Ask each other questions like, “What will be the rules for both of our children in our new home? What kind of relationship will each of us have with our exes? Is your spouse going to be spending time alone with his/her ex to discuss the children and how do you feel about that? How will we deal with conflict with our exes if or when it arises?”

No one likes baggage but, if you’ve been married before, like it or not, you will bring baggage into a new marriage. You both need to have a clear understanding of how that baggage will be dealt with.

6. Make Sure You Are Remarrying for The Right Reasons

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Women marry for a myriad of reasons. They want financial security, they want a father for their children, they are afraid to be alone, they feel pressure from friends and family. All horrible reasons to remarry, reasons that will only lead to another divorce.

If a marriage doesn’t have a strong foundation or love and respect, it will be an exercise in futility. Hold off marrying again until you’ve fallen in LOVE regardless of how lonely you are, how much pain you are in financially and how much pressure you feel from friends and family.

7. Do You Need to Protect Yourself with a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial Agreement.jpg

Finally, the most important decision before you remarry is deciding if a prenuptial is right for you. When remarrying you should consider having a prenuptial agreement if you have substantial assets or children to protect and/or want to avoid some of the financial problems that could occur if your marriage ends.

Prenuptial agreements are important and can spell out what assets and liabilities each partner is bringing into the marriage and determine how the assets brought into the marriage, and those acquired during the marriage, will be divided should there be a divorce.

The post 7 Things You Should Consider Before You Get Married Again appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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divorced but still feel married

Divorced But Still, Feel Married? Here’s How To Cut The Cord

divorced but still feel married

Are you divorced but feel like the only thing that has changed is your address? Living in two separate households only to find that distance doesn’t always equal freedom?

Have you just survived the worst time of your life by the skin of your teeth, yet it still feels like you are in the trenches?

Divorced But Still Feel Married?

I thought divorce papers were my ticket to freedom.  I would sign the papers and somehow it would magically dissolve everything… cut all ties.  Boy was I in for a rude awakening!  Little did I know that a piece of paper didn’t guarantee that I would be divorced energetically.

Let me explain what I mean by being physically divorced, but energetically still married.  

Marriage is defined by a union of two people…a partnership, which can be dissolved at any time on paper.  Whenever we bond with someone, as in marriage, we physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, as well as energetically connect to that person. 

We are energetic beings that create many kinds of attachments.  Although we can physically divorce our partner, that does not mean that we energetically detach from them after the divorce is finalized.

This explains how you can physically be miles apart, yet still, feel like nothing has changed. They still have the same power over you just like they did while you were married.  

One text has the power to bring you right back to the darkest days of your life.  One phone call reminds you why you filed for divorce in the first place. Your thoughts about them have the power to paralyze your entire body keeping you stuck and unable to move forward.

What you have yet to realize is that you are still CHAINED, still TETHERED to what has rendered you powerless.

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine your intestines being tied into tiny little knots, and all the food you’ve ingested is unable to make its way down into your stomach.  This would stop you from eliminating waste, and your body would quickly build up toxins and make you sick.

This is what it looks like to be stuck energetically to something that no longer serves you. In essence, you have been tied in energetic knots. Unable to move and grow, and evolve into the next phase of your life.

So, how do you shake this??!!

How can you cut this energy cord after a separation once and for all?!

The first step is knowing your truth. 

Put the fight down!  Put down the need to prove or defend yourself to anyone.  See your ex as a mirror.  What are they triggering inside of you that you believe about yourself? 

Do you believe that you are unworthy of love, that you are a bad person, that you deserved to be punished? Do you have guilt or shame attached to your divorce? If you cannot put the limiting story down you will keep letting your triggers own you. 

This is when you need to work on reprogramming those beliefs of yours because if you didn’t believe them their words would have no power over you.

Subconsciously we believe these ugly little lies.  Most of the time we are completely unaware of it.  Unaware of the inner chatter that has the power to bring us to our knees.

The second step is owning your story and walking away from the victim mindset. 

You are not a victim of your divorce! I don’t care who wanted the divorce and who didn’t want the divorce.  So many people feel the need to cast blame after divorce.  They feel the need to make one party the victim and the other party the culprit. 

The truth is if you label yourself as “The Victim,” you will disarm yourself of all your power.  Is that what you really want…a constant pity party?

Put the story down!

Your marriage is over…the end! No need to rally the troops to fight a battle only to keep the energetic cords alive.  Do you want to win or do you want to be happy?

The third step is doing the work to figure out what brought you to the unconscious relationship in the first place. 

Let me tell you that the answer to this will not be outside yourself.  Ask the questions that you didn’t have the courage or awareness to ask yourself prior to the relationship. 

It’s shocking to think that I never asked myself these questions until my mid-thirties, and I know I’m not alone in this! They are the most basic and fundamental questions:

WHO AM I? HOW DID I GET HERE? WHAT AM I INTERESTED IN? WHO WAS I BEFORE I WAS WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE NEEDED ME TO BE?  

Let me tell you how powerful the universe is. The minute I asked the right questions I got the answers loud and clear…like the very next day! But this doesn’t happen without surrender, without letting go of how you think things should be and accepting what is. 

Accepting what is takes work. It takes courage. It takes owning your part and wearing it like a badge of honor, not as an anchor.

I am guessing you don’t know how to do the “work” otherwise you would have done it already. So, let me give you a taste of what doing the work meant for me…

Once I was ready to put down the sword and really step into my power, well this was where the journey began. I realized I needed support.

The box I created for myself didn’t have the necessary tools I needed to get out.  I sought after counselors and coaches. I found mentors virtually because they were far and few between in my circle. I read books, I went to women’s retreats, I created new friendships that supported my journey, I listened to podcasts.

I did anything and everything to empower myself, and even when I didn’t feel powerful I let this virtual family that I created hold me up until I could do it alone. And I did it all with grace and compassion for myself.  I wasn’t in a race to some imaginary finish line. There is no finish line!

The fourth step just might be the most difficult step of all…FORGIVENESS. 

I’m not going to lie, my ego will still try and pull one over me at times. I still get triggered and it brings me to a place of righteousness.  When that happens, I forgive myself for being human and having a human experience. 

I have realized that most of these feelings come from generations of women before me. Generations of women living in lack, in fear, in comparison, in the need to defend or prove themselves.

The truth is nobody has the power to make you feel this way unless YOU give it to them. So, in forgiving my ex I was forgiving myself.

The Hawaiian’s have a beautiful prayer of forgiveness and healing relationships called ho’oponopono, which goes like this…

 I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  Thank you. I love you.  

 I know, the thought of saying this might make you cringe, but this prayer really is about setting yourself free.  This is what is going to allow you to cut the energetic cord, the cord that still binds you.

The fifth and final step is to actually cut the energetic cord.  

Physical relationships create the strongest of energetic cords.  At one point you bonded with this person in the most intimate of ways, and divorce papers won’t wash that away.  Why is it necessary to cut these cords?

So that you can break the attachment that causes you to still react to this person, and step into a place of self-love. It’s a great way to disarm them and empower you.

In intimate relationships, cords are typically attached from the heart center.  Begin with closing your eyes and putting one hand over your heart, or wherever you feel the attachment stems from.

You can visualize your ex standing in front of you with an energy cord that attaches you two together.  Set the intention of not allowing any more energy exchanged with this person.  

You then move your hand up and down as if your cutting a rope with an axe.  Visualize yourself cutting the energy cord once and for all.

This is what worked for me in order to sever the chords that attached us.  It is a process that takes lots of intention.  

You will see for yourself that the power they once had over you will disappear, and you will have new-found freedom you never thought possible.

The post Divorced But Still, Feel Married? Here’s How To Cut The Cord appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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is your boyfriend still married

Is Your Boyfriend Still Married? That Might Be a Deal Breaker!

is your boyfriend still married

 

Dear Christina,

I’ve recently met someone and we’ve fallen pretty hard for each other. Ben and I have so much in common, it’s crazy! We’re both in our 40s. We both have two kids in middle school: a girl and a boy. We’re both engineers. And we both love mountain biking. There’s one big difference, though. I’m divorced and he’s…well…not yet divorced. 

You see, I separated from my ex two years ago, and our divorce was final about eight months later.  Ben also separated from his wife two years ago (yet another thing we have in common), but neither he nor his wife filed.  Ever since she left him, he’s paid for his household expenses, she’s paid for hers, and they co-parent their kids without any drama. So, for all intents and purposes, it’s like they’re divorced, they just haven’t done the paperwork. 

My best friend can’t get past this technicality. She says dating him is wrong because he’s still a married man.  Plus, she’s totally hung up on the fact that he said he was divorced on OKCupid.  She thinks he was being untruthful.  I think he was just being practical. 

Do you think it’s wrong to date him?

Signed,
Head Over Heels in Love

 

Dear In Love,

I realize this happens all the time, but I think misrepresenting one’s marital status on a dating site raises legitimate questions about a person’s veracity. But at this point, that’s water under the bridge. The bigger issue here is not that Ben said he was divorced on OKCupid, it’s that he is in fact still married.

For reasons more pragmatic than principled, I am opposed to people dating before they are divorced. Simply put, dating has a zero percent chance of making a divorce go smoother, and a bazillion percent chance of making it more contentious. Even I can do that math.

I get that Ben has been separated for a couple of years and that it was his wife’s decision to move out.  And you might think that means his divorce will be smooth, simple, and unemotional.  But there’s nothing like a not-yet-ex finding someone new to make the person who wanted the divorce in the first place have second thoughts about splitting up.  And when that happens, it’s anything but smooth, simple, and unemotional.

Even if that doesn’t happen, a divorce, no matter how civil, is nobody’s idea of a good time. Sure, they’ve been living separately; but the devil is in the details, and no one has sorted through those yet. Is the house going to be sold?  How will they divide the proceeds?  What about the retirement accounts?  Will anyone pay child support?  Who’s picking up the tab for the kids’ braces?  Hammering out all of this can get messy.

Ben will be preoccupied with the twists and turns of his divorce at times – and that’s understandable. You will have opinions about how things are or are not getting resolved at times – and that’s also understandable.  As a result, your fun, new relationship with Ben will get bumped and bruised in the process of Ben’s divorce.  That’s wear and tear on your relationship that would never have happened if Ben had wrapped up his divorce before you two started dating.

So, yes, in a perfect world, people would conclude their previous relationships, paperwork and all, before entering into new ones.  But you’re not living in a perfect world; you’re living in Ben’s world. Since it’s not likely that the two of you will take a hiatus while Ben gets his divorce done, let’s develop a practical plan to get you through this.

Up until this point, Ben’s been content to let his ex-wife call the shots regarding their separation. She left him. She didn’t file. He sat on the sidelines waiting to see what she would do next. Some people (especially men) take this approach because they are holding out hope for reconciliation. Other people (especially men) think it will result in a kinder, gentler divorce.

But now that you two are involved, Ben needs to demonstrate respect for both you and your new relationship by taking the reigns on his divorce. Ben should talk to a divorce lawyer and figure out what constitutes a reasonable time frame for getting his divorce done. Then, he should commit to doing what he can to get things squared away within that time period.

And you should commit to staying out of his divorce drama. Don’t expect him to report to you on how things are progressing. Don’t weigh in with your opinions about property settlements, custody matters, and other details. Remember, if this had been done in the proper order, you wouldn’t have been around for any of those discussions, anyway. His divorce is his project, not yours.

The best way to protect your new relationship from any fallout from his divorce is by staying out of it.

If Ben’s divorce is not final within the time period that he commits to getting it done, you will then need to identify what the hold-up is. Were there unexpected complications? Is Ben dragging his feet? Or is his wife still calling the shots? Once you figure that out, you’ll know whether to stick around a little longer or cut your losses.

Best,
Christina

________________________________

Christina Pesoli is the author of Break Free from the Divortex: Power Through Your Divorce and Launch Your New Life.

This blog post first appeared on DivorceMag.com

The post Is Your Boyfriend Still Married? That Might Be a Deal Breaker! appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Can You be Happily Divorced When Your Friends are All Married?

Can You be Happily Divorced When Your Friends are All Married?

Your happiness and contentment is not dependent on your friend’s relationship status.

The post Can You be Happily Divorced When Your Friends are All Married? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Putative Marriage: Married 25 Years and Left with No Spousal Support?

Putative Marriage: Married 25 Years and Left with No Spousal Support?

What would you do? You’re legally married or, think you are but find out a previous marriage is still legal.

The post Putative Marriage: Married 25 Years and Left with No Spousal Support? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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