5 Signs You & Your Partner Won't Last In Marriage, So Think Hard Before Saying “I Do”

Deciding to get married to someone is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make, but, despite the fact that it's a super intense, life-altering decision, there can also be a tendency to want to rush down the aisle even when there are signs you and your partner won’t last in marriage. Maybe it's about getting caught up in the romance, or the desire for security, or maybe it's all those sweet wedding gifts. I mean, I don't care how unromantic you are — when you see folks walking around Target with that wedding registration scanner, you start hearing those wedding bells ringing. And listen, I want that bad*ss Ninja blender just as much as you do, but it's no reason to rush into a legally binding marriage.

So, if you're in a relationship that seems like it’s on the marriage track, it’s time to really stop and think if your relationship can realistically go the distance, or if there are any indications that there are fundamental problems between you. To help spot the deal breakers, I reached out relationship expert and host of the Dates & Mates Podcast, Damona Hoffman, to break down exactly what the signs are that mean you should be saying, "I don't." Here's what she had to say.

You have different values.

Over the years, we all grow and change, and you need a partner who can weather those changes with you. Our fundamental values, however, rarely change, and if you have a partner whose values are antithetical to yours, then the foundation of the relationship already has cracks. As Hoffman explains, “If you find that you and your partner are at odds about key values in life (religion, politics, family) and you can't speak about these issues or compromise before you're married, things are likely to get more complicated after you tie the knot.”

2. You don’t fight fairly.

It doesn't matter how well you get along with your partner — you are probably going to fight sometimes. So, Hoffman says if you are going to make it long term in a marriage, you have to be able to fight fairly. “Partners who don't fight fair have a hard time staying in a marriage," she says. "Every couple is going to argue, but you have to be able to listen to your partner's side without getting enraged or walking away to be able to solve the bigger problems that will arise when you're married.”

3. There is a lack of respect or kindness.

The biggest relationship killers are disdain, cruelty, or a lack of respect for your partner. These are the kind of things that tend to fester and grow until the relationship is irreconcilable. So, if you or your partner are insulting to one another, don’t say yes to the dress. “One of the most injurious things you can do to a partner is to insult them,” says Hoffman, adding, “Even if the put-downs are delivered in jest, those little cuts can turn into big wounds the longer you are together, and they are indicative of a lack of respect.”

4. You disagree about money.

Have you and your partner talked a lot about your finances? How do those conversations usually go? If they get heated or you just can’t seem to be on the same page, it’s not going to get any easier after you say your vows. Hoffman warns that “a major factor in couples breaking up is money.” So you need to get on the same page about your finances before you decide to tie the knot. Hoffman also cautions, “If you and your partner have different spending habits before marriage, you have to come to an understanding about how finances will be handled or your relationship will be a rocky one.”

You aren’t on the same page about children.

Agreeing on when and if to have children may not seem like a big deal right now, but trust and believe me when I say it will be down the line. You need to know not only if someone feels strongly about starting a family or not, but also if they are flexible if one or both of you changes your mind. It happens, and if there isn't compatibility here, Hoffman says it can be devastating to the marriage.

“The biggest factor that has ended relationships for my dating coaching clients in the past is a difference of opinion on children," she explains, adding, “When one partner wants kids and the other does not or is on the fence, you can sustain a romance for a while, but once you're married and committing to this person for life, differing views on the family you are building together (or choosing not to build) are often irreconcilable.”

Most issues couples face can be worked through over time with lots and lots of healthy communication, but if you and boo aren't seeing eye-to-eye on any of these, it's time to seriously reevaluate if this is a partnership you want to take to the next, legally binding level.

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