Warning: This Article is for Those who are Having Second Thoughts soon After the Wedding and are Not Pregnant and Don’t Have Children

If you’re wondering what you just did by getting married to this almost total stranger you are, unfortunately, not alone. Way too many people jump the gun and get married without really getting to know the person they are marrying. On the other hand you may have just married someone who you have known long enough and well enough to be pretty sure of what to expect. But because statistically it is highly unlikely you really knew your new spouse I would rather be very candid with you and help you save yourself from ongoing suffering.

Telling it like it is.

If you are reading this there is a good chance you are already on shaky ground. If you are, let’s not overreact or give up hope. Let’s look at the possibilities… If you have not gotten pregnant yet my first advice is - don’t! ... Not until you know for sure they are the one.

Children are too vulnerable to just consider them a part of your family that will need to be dealt with. When you have children you must recognize divorce is unbelievably traumatic (ignore the foolish people or marriage counselors who say children do fine after divorce - they don’t). Making your marriage a happy one is your only viable option (unless your spouse is literally dangerous).

100% of the couples I met with got married without really knowing the person they were marrying. Just about everybody was literally shocked that the partner they were marrying had flaws greater than little minor flaws we come across in day to day life. As you begin to see more serious flaws reveal themselves it is very important to determine how deep they are and what kind of impact they’ll have on you and your family. Obviously it would have been better to search for, and even test for flaws while you were courting. But you didn’t, so now is a better time to do it than after you get pregnant. Don’t expect perfection from your partner. But don’t accept those flaws that will create nothing but heartache in the years to come. When you find the big ones get advice from someone you trust about the seriousness of the flaws. Whatever you do, don’t even imagine your person will change. Even if they can, it would take tremendous effort on their part, much more than most people are willing to make. So you need to decide if the flaws you discover are irritants or devastators.

Irritating verses devastating flaws

Compulsive gambling, drug use, victim of alcohol, violent (hits people), sexual weirdness (subjectivity is fine in this area), laziness, extremely critical, disloyal, extremely cynical, unyielding, dishonest (will deceive you or others), treacherous and other traits that ‘can’ undermine your future family will most likely undermine your future family. People rarely change after they get married no matter how strong their intention. If your new spouse is suffering in one of these areas with an uncontrolled flaw it is best not to be part of imposing the results of these (and other unmentioned) traits on future children.

Irritating traits are not your spouse’s problem, but yours. It is time to look at your sensitivity to what you view as imperfection and not burden your spouse with your intolerances. You have flaws too, and you want your spouse to ignore and see past them and praise you for all your wonderful qualities. Well, give your spouse the same treatment you expect. Even a great masterpiece has flaws in it. A spouse is obligated through loyalty to only praise and never criticize their eternal lover. Never ever point out your spouse’s flaws to them or anyone else. Your spouse deserves your unmitigated respect and consideration.

If you confirm flaws that are incompatible with a deepening and secure marital life it is better to end your marriage as soon as possible. Everyone will be better off. It is also best to be completely honest and up front during this process (use a mediator that is a business lawyer or businessman). Remember love and passion in marriage will not protect your children from the suffering that comes from devastating flaws.

If you have children and are reading this anyway I must tell you unless your spouse is physically endangering your children it is better to work around almost anything, so your kids will have a complete home life. Divorce is devastating to children for many reasons. There is almost always a way to work around almost any flaw in a way that can actually create more harmony and open the door to more love.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Friedman’s entry into the business of helping couples mend their marriages began with a very rough personal experience with divorce. Paul came out of an early retirement to become a mediator. His belief was that couples could easily work out the details of separation and get on with their lives. He discovered the truth from his clients: they only sought divorce because the help they found to stay together didn't work.

Read more relationship advice at Lessons For a Happy Marriage.com