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How to Marry the Wrong Person
By Leanne Beattie

So, you’ve bought the diamond and you’re ready to pop the question. Good luck—because you’re going to need it! A marriage today has only a 50-50 chance of success. With statistics like this, it’s obviously very easy to marry the wrong person. Sure you’re in love, but is marrying your girlfriend the right thing to do?

Get Married Without Thinking
Before deciding to tie the knot, it’s absolutely necessary that you figure out what you want to get out of the marriage. Have you taken the time to define what is truly important to you in a relationship? Does this person you want to marry exhibit those traits or are you simply setting yourself up for failure? Figuring out what you really want from a spouse will help you weed out those who are wrong for you and help you recognize the right woman when she comes along.

Maybe you’re afraid that you’re never going to find “The One”, so you’ve simply decided to marry your current girlfriend. She’s okay, but you know she’s not the love of your life. Too bad it’s easier to marry the wrong person than it is to break up and start over. Your fear is going to keep you in a less than ideal relationship when you could be out looking for the girl of your dreams.

If you realize that the woman you’re seeing does not have the qualities or traits you most desire, you owe it to yourself to break it off with her. Don’t kid yourself, thinking that she will change—you know that’s almost impossible. By adulthood, most personality traits are well-set and unlikely to vary. For example, if you’ve decided that you want someone musical and creative in your life, it’s highly unlikely that your corporate, professional girlfriend will turn into that type of person.

Don’t feel bad for your girlfriend when you have to let her go. You are actually doing her a favor and giving her the opportunity to find the best person for her down the line.

It might seem very harsh to start cutting people out of your life, but your priority should be finding the best person for you—not worrying about what other people think. If anything, your friends and family should respect you for staying true to yourself.

Expect Big Changes
Many marriages fail because people expect their mate to change after the ceremony. This never works. Don’t go into a marriage for the “potential” that your partner shows. If you aren’t happy with your girlfriend exactly the way she is, don’t get married. People can change, of course, but unfortunately it’s usually for the worse. Make sure you can live with her whole package—her character, her goals, her habits, her personality—because chances are, it will only go downhill after the wedding. The big question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I like this woman and would I want her in my life, even as a friend?”

Mistake Chemistry for Compatibility
Most people make the mistake of marrying chemistry, instead of compatibility. Beware of thinking that a great sex life means you’re meant for each other. It doesn’t. All it means is that your hormones are compatible, not your minds. Attraction is important, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in a relationship. Several traits are much more important than sexual attraction, such as: trust, responsibility, kindness, and maturity. When you boil it all down, would you want your child to turn out like this person? Would you like to be more like this person? Many couples make the mistake of sleeping together too quickly and then the sex clouds their minds—it blinds them to any flaws or issues that really exist and keeps a couple together long after they should have parted ways.

Have Nothing In Common
To make a marriage work, it’s necessary to have common goals and priorities. When you are both following the same path in life and the same types of things are important to both of you, it’s easy to connect on a deeply emotional level. After marriage, you will either grow closer or drift apart—change is inevitable. But if you share a common ground, you will become closer as you meet your goals together. In reality, your “soul mate” is actually your “goal mate”.

Be Afraid to Speak Your Mind
If you don’t feel 100% emotionally safe and comfortable with your girlfriend, don’t marry her. Your mate should be a friend to you, someone who boosts you up and encourages you to be your best. If you can’t be totally honest and forthright with your partner, it’s a sign that this person is wrong for you. If you are afraid of her in any way or you have to monitor what you say or do around her, there is a problem. Be on the look out for someone who is trying to control you—control is a sign of abuse. There is a big difference between your mate trying to change you against your will and her making a few genuine suggestions—a suggestion is made for your benefit while control benefits your girlfriend in some way.

Marriage is still a big part of today’s society, even with its shaky success rate. Instead of throwing in the towel and swearing off marriage forever, swear off bad marriages instead.

The key to marital success? Knowing yourself and understanding what you want. Yes, mistakes happen and people get married for the wrong reasons all the time. Maybe it’s already happened to you and you don’t want to live through the nightmare of another failed marriage. So take your time and carefully consider the relationship you’re in before making a commitment.

Should you marry your girlfriend? That’s a decision that only you can make. But it’s easier to end a less than ideal relationship now than it is to hire a lawyer to do it for you a few years down the road. The choice is yours. Make it a good one!

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