Before You Marry (Part 2)

I am writing a few posts for people who are not yet married but who think that someday they might be.  (You can read Part 1 here.)  

I would like to get your response to the following question:

What are some "red flags" that a person ought to pay attention to before choosing to marry?

For example, when one experiences a lot of anger from another person, that can be a "red flag" in a relationship.  Perhaps a person is prone to explode or get violent.  Another "red flag" is the person who has a pattern of dishonesty.  Perhaps he cheats on his taxes, or he lies to his parents, or he doesn’t keep his promises, or you learn that he doesn’t pay his debts.

A number of years ago, our family was on vacation in North Carolina.  One day, we stopped for lunch in Cherokee.  As I recall, we ate a picnic lunch at a local park.  We were at one of the picnic tables as were a number of other vacationers.  At one point during our meal, we heard shouting.  Some guy was going ballistic.  He was screaming at a child — apparently his own.  His wife looked horrified as people throughout the picnic area turned to see what was going on.  I wonder now if she had witnessed this kind of thing before they got married.  Did she see any sign that there would be this kind of anger explosion?

I am suggesting that some behaviors or patterns in relationships may warrant real caution.  In fact, some patterns might be the basis to terminate the relationship altogether. 

What other "red flag" behaviors would you add to this list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Before You Marry (Part 2)

  1. Good questions, Jim! I think during a dating relationship it is easy to be entirely focused on the other person and neglect to see how that person interacts with others. Does he converse easily with others? Does he need to be the center of attention all the time. Has he maintained other relationships outside the dating relationship? Is he respectful or critical? How does he treat his parents? All these things will be a factor after you marry, so better to observe them now. 

  2. I really like your points!! It is so important to know ourselves, but even more important to ask God to chose the partner for us.  As we date we need to have our eyes fully open!  Can we live with someone who shows financial irresponsibility; who handles disagreements in a childish manner; who manipulates; who is controlling;who does not take responsibility for their actions; who cannot apologize; who is totally arrogant? That can be either the male or the female! It goes for both genders! Unfortunately the concoction of hormones that courses our body during the time of dating and falling in love often keeps us blinded! No one is saying that we should look for a perfect mate, but I totally agree that we should take note of red flags!  Some flags ought to be definite stop signs!!

  3. Jim,
    I have been waiting for this topic to return.  Thank you. 
    That woman in the park – It could have been me.  I am sure a lot of people can say that.  I have been there.  However, before marriage I never ever saw that side of him.  We used to watch our friends children before we married.  It never occurred to me he would act that way.  There were other flags like wanting us to live far away from family and not telling his parents the truth.   I blindly ignored those thinking of how much I loved him. 
    Thank you,
    Christine

  4. Don’t marry him if he: puts you down, ridicules you or your ideas, blames you if he loses his temper, tells you he’s just jealous because he loves you so much, forces sexual contact and blames it on alcohol, calls you names, monitors your email or phone calls, destroys your property, tries to convince you that no one else will be there for you but him, monitors your relationships with your friends, is jealous of your family, wants you to only spend time with him, or depends on you for his happiness.
    You can’t save him or change him. Get out of the relationship. Run. It doesn’t get better. It’s better to be alone and free than attached and miserable.

  5. Dianne,I really like your point regarding how that person might interact with others.  Your questions are very good as well.  I also think a person can often tell a lot by observing how that person treats his/her own parents.

  6. Karin,I like your list!  Those are, at the very least, red flag behaviors.  Each one of these could be developed at length.  Thanks very much.

  7. Christine,I’m grateful for your comment.  It is good to hear from someone who has experienced this kind of relationship first-hand.  I appreciate what you said at the end regarding ignoring other red flags because you loved him.  Thanks for your words

  8. Trapped,What a list!  It sounds as if you may have experienced some or all of these behaviors.  Thanks for the warning.  These red flags are not to be ignored.  I also appreciate what you said regarding being alone.  There are some things worse. So glad you wrote.