If you are dating someone and things are looking forward, you may be thinking about marriage. However, too many people make the mistake of jumping head first into an engagement without thinking things through properly. It’s easy to do when you have fallen for someone, but there are some things which you should consider before committing to spending the rest of your life with your partner.

1. Has your partner ever abused you? Abuse comes in many forms, but can be categorized into physical and emotional. While physical abuse is usually obvious to everyone, emotional abuse can be harder to define. If your partner is intentionally making you feel bad about yourself, that is a sure fire sign of emotional abuse. If your partner is supposedly unintentionally making you feel down, but it is happening on a regular basis, this is usually another sign of emotional abuse. While sometimes difficult to recognise, and even harder to accept, emotional abuse is a serious problem. Ask yourself whether you feel as happy as you want to when you are with your partner. If not, then you should put your wedding plans on hold for now and seek help. No one wants to spend the rest of their life being a victim of abuse, and whatever your partner may say, remember, there is no excuse for abuse, you deserve better.

2. Are you sexually compatible? This involves a a lot more than just joining the pieces together. Different people undoubtedly have different attitudes towards sex. One of the great things that makes people individual is there different tastes, and sexual desires falls under this. If you have completely different attitudes to sex you should not necessarily call things off, however, you should devote some time to trying to work things out. However, one sex related reason you may want to call things off is if one partner is ever hurtful during sex, again either physically or emotionally. You will need to search inside your self and decide whether you are comfortable with having similar sex for the rest of your life or whether you would prefer a lover more in tune with your sexual tastes.

3. Has your partner ever betrayed you? Like many aspects of a relationship, betrayal comes in many forms. To begin with has your lover ever cheated on you? If they have and you have taken them back, how can you be sure they won’t do it again? While some people do choose to forgive an unfaithful partner, all most all will never forget. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with them wondering if they could be cheating on you with someone else? Not all betrayals involve cheating. Some people’s partners steal from them. If this has happened to you, you should really question their motives for doing so. If your partner really cares for you then why would they steal from you? Are they likely to do so again? And will you be left wondering?

4. Does your partner have an addiction? While not necessarily a reason to end things, this is a reason to put the wedding on hold, and definitely a reason to seek help. If your partner suffers from an addiction, for example alcohol, drugs, or gambling, can you imagine what effect this could have on your married life? Can you trust them not to misspend or steal money to finance their addiction? What negative impacts may an addiction have on yourself or your children (either future children or present children)? Do not despair, most addicts can be cured, however the process is long an difficult, but if you really love the person, you may want to put your wedding on hold and help them through their problems.

5. Do you have similar attitudes towards children? While this may or may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, the issue of having children will most likely be raised at some point in your marriage. It is important to discuss these issues before taking the plunge. If your partner has a completely different attitude to children than you, you may want to call off the wedding however difficult that may be. As the number of marriages that are second marriages for at least one person in the couple is increasing, their is a greater chance of children from previous relationships being around. This may affect peoples interest in having more children. If your partner wants children but you do not, or vice-versa, you will have to consider whether you are suitable for marriage or not.

While not all of the above reasons scream out “end things right now”, they are all warning signs that unless something is done, you could be heading head first into a marriage you may regret. Remember, calling things off is never easy, but it is often easier than a painful and costly divorce, and much better than spending the rest of your life in a relationship you are unhappy with.