Before You Re-Do Those “I do’s” You Might Want to Ask Some Questions

Hello everyone:

Sometimes it feels so nice to be back in a relationship that you throw caution (and your good sense) to the wind and fall madly in love. Or, at the very least, into very strong like. But you might want to proceed with a whit of the common sense you were born with.

Really, how well do you know this person? He or she might be the kind of person who flatters you, brings you gifts, and spends quality time with you. This person might be completely legitimate. Or not. It’s the “or not” that you need to be concerned about. Let me walk you through some questions you might want to find answers to, before you head down this new marital aisle.

What is this person’s background? Did the person grow up in a dysfunctional home? What kind of relationship did (or does) this individual have with his or her parents? Siblings? Former spouse? Children?

How did his or her parents handle conflict? This is what the prospective spouse is used to and it is his or her fall-back reaction. Were the prospect’s parents screamers or folks who remained perfectly calm during times of disagreement? Were decisions made by one person or two?

Have you ever seen your new potential mate get angry? How does he or she respond when not getting his or her way? Could you live with that for the rest of your life?

If your possible Mr. or Mrs. Right is divorced, what were the reasons for that split? Does your friend accept at least some responsibility for the break up or was blame laid entirely at the feet of the former Right family member? Does your friend badmouth the former spouse and then say, “But you know I would never say anything bad about __________.” But he or she just did.

Have his or her children accepted your role in their parent’s life? If not, you will have a very hard row to hoe, and it could be an issue for the rest of your life. How do you feel about that? True, sometimes these things work out but occasionally they don’t.

Has your potential spouse asked any questions about your life, or has it been an attitude of “your life began the moment you met me” kind of relationship?

Has your future spouse recently invested in a new home, wanting to settle on it before you tie the knot? I am not a lawyer but there’s something called “non-marital property” that allows him or her to keep one hundred percent of the value of the home that he or she bought, even if he or she bought it the day before your wedding. If you split up in the future, he or she gets to keep his or her money. That is planning ahead or it could be a case of hedging his or her bets on whether or not your marriage will last.

Finally, does this person have any really annoying habits? Can you live with those quirks, without complaint, for the rest of your life? If this is an older person, those habits are not going to change.

I’m not telling you not to remarry. That’s not my intent. Instead, I am asking you to think about these hard questions before you tie the knot. Mr. or Mrs. Right might turn out to be Mr. or Mrs. No Way, Jose.

Best,

Dr. Sheri

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