The engagement period in your relationship is one of the most exciting times in your life–and one of the longest waits you’ll ever experience. You’re anticipating a beautiful wedding, a romantic honeymoon, and seeing all the dreams you’ve created together finally come to life.
You feel like you’ve finally found “the one”…until a pastor, family member, friend, or counselor speaks out against your relationship. You’re thrown for a loop! What’s going on?
It’s very upsetting to hear someone you respect say that you shouldn’t get married yet. Most likely, your first response was emotional. But if you’re facing this situation right now, we encourage you to step back for a moment and look objectively at your relationship as you move forward.
1. Consider the Source and Motivation
If your pastor or counselor has taken a stance against the two of you getting married, they’ve done so for serious reasons. Most of the time, church leaders and counselors don’t approach these issues flippantly. Chances are, they see their fair share of couples coming to their offices for counseling every year.
Because your counselor most likely has extensive experience working with engaged couples, it’s important to ask yourselves if there’s something about your relationship you need to examine. And it’s worth taking a pause for long enough to find out.
Here are a few questions to consider as you sort things out:
- Are both of you mature, healthy individuals?
- Are you (and your intended) really ready for marriage?
- Is your relationship mature, or has it been stormy?
- Are there any signs of abuse in your relationship?
If you’ve cleared these questions and can’t reconcile them with your counselor’s feedback, you can always consult someone else. Which brings us to…
2. Talk to Family & Friends
If you’ve asked yourself the above questions and still feel like your counselor may have missed the mark, you and your fiance might want to consult trusted family members or friends. Share your counselor’s feedback, and see what they have to say about your relationship.
You may find that your family and/or friends have a different perspective on your relationship, or you may get similar answers. If their feedback aligns with your counselor’s and they think you should wait to get married–or they aren’t in support of your relationship at all–it’s important to proceed with caution.
3. Take an Objective Assessment Together
Sometimes, it can help to work with a collection of objective data to inform yourselves on how to proceed in your relationship. An assessment like SYMBIS is a great way to gather this data. You’ll go over your results together with a facilitator in your area, but you’ll have the added reassurance of knowing that your test results came entirely from the two of you
It’s scary and upsetting when you’re in love and planning to marry the person you want to spend the rest of your life with…only to be told you shouldn’t get married yet (or at all, as the case may be). When you’re in love, you’re blind; when someone tells you that you shouldn’t get married, you feel defiant and even more devoted to your intended. Every situation is different, but remember, the most likely scenario is that the person who provided this feedback cares deeply about you, and wants the best for your life and marriage.
We encourage you to take a deep breath, slow down, and explore this feedback as you move forward. As much as you may want to throw all caution to the wind and defy the advice you’ve received, it’s important to take heed. Make sure all the red flags are resolved before moving forward. We haven’t met a couple yet who wasn’t thankful for that extra time to truly prepare for a successful and healthy marriage.
Did a counselor or pastor tell you that you shouldn’t marry the person you were engaged to? What happened? Did you resolve the issues and move on to a happy marriage? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments section.