In the years that my wife Ashley have been working with married couples and researching the factors that make a marriage work, we’ve discovered that one of the best ways to have a strong marriage is to make the right decisions BEFORE you say “I do.” Recently, I wrote a article that went viral on the 7 signs you should NOT marry him which started a lot of conversations about what to look for in a potential husband.
As a follow up that popular post, I’m addressing the things you should be looking for (and the “warning signs” that indicate serious issues) when looking for a potential wife. If you are single, dating or engaged, please consider both of these lists carefully before committing to marriage.
If you have children, please raise your sons and daughters to embody these values and avoid these common mistakes so that they can someday have a strong marriage and a healthy life.
If you are dating a woman who is doing any of the seven things on this list, I would strongly caution you against pursuing marriage unless she’s willing to change these dangerous behaviors and attitudes. No matter how much “chemistry” you have together, no matter how sweet she can be and no matter how attracted to her you may be, if you ignore these warning signs, you’re probably destined for a miserable marriage.
1. She flirts with guys (other than you) to get attention or favors.
Flirtation can seem harmless and fun, but if you’re in a committed relationship with a woman and she continues to flirt with other guys, it’s a huge warning sign. It’s revealing a flaw in her character, and you need to take notice. Talk about it and express your concerns. If she’s receptive, that’s a positive sign. If she defiantly takes your concerns as you trying to be controlling, then it’s probably time to break up.
2. She dresses provocatively and/or uses her sexuality to get attention from men.
This is an extension of the first item on the list about flirting, but this takes it to a new level. If a woman doesn’t value modesty, and instead, allows herself to be objectified by men for the purposes of attention, praise or preferential treatment, do NOT marry her. She’s not acting like a potential wife; she’s acting like somebody’s potential mistress.
3. She does not live within her financial means and/or expects other people to finance her preferred lifestyle.
If she’s is always running up credit card debt or always expecting other people to pick up the bill while showing little or no personal responsibility, then you should not marry her. I’m not saying chivalry should be dead and a man shouldn’t pay for a lady when you’re out on dates. I’m talking about a lifestyle and a mindset that is reckless, selfish and materialistic. Financial stress is one of the main causes of divorce and if she has not interest in managing resources responsibly when you’re dating, you’re in a for a world of financial stress after you’re married.
4. She doesn’t support your dreams.
This was one on the guys’ list too. If you are dating or engaged to some who doesn’t support and celebrate your dreams and goals, don’t marry them! They’re showing a lot of selfishness while also showing a disregard for you. Marry someone who is your biggest encourager; not your biggest critic. Marry someone who will make you dream ever bigger dreams; not someone who undermines your dreams.
5. She tries to isolate you from the people who care about you.
Any dating relationship (and marriage) will have important times of exclusivity where the two of you are together more often than you are with everyone else, BUT if she is always trying to pull you away from your family, friends and loved ones, it’s revealing something dangerous. If she doesn’t value the people who value you, then she’s trying to create a future with you where those loved ones won’t be part of the picture.
6. She loves drama.
If you are with someone who loves “drama” then RUN! Seriously. If she’s always gossiping or venting about something on social media or by hyper emotional to get her way, she’s not ready for marriage. Don’t try to justify it and don’t assume she will outgrow it. Just break up. Trust me.
7. She seems much more interested in having a great WEDDING than in having a great MARRIAGE.
It’s fine to dream about a wonderful wedding, BUT if she is obsessed with the idea of a perfect wedding and she seems to be giving little thought to the marriage that will follow, then she’s looking for a one-day experience; NOT a lifetime commitment.
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Don't give up on your marriage. It is worth the effort and investment. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, or even failing, there is hope. There is healing.