My sister wants to get married and have a family. She has been dating a wonderful man for the past year; he is kind, fun, laid-back and it is so clear that he lives for her, in fact, he has told her he wants to marry her. Despite her happiness, she is plagued with doubt. Is he the one? There are a few things that don’t feel “right” to her. Intellectually, he’s not on her level, nor is he as financially successful. His career path is not that promising. These things are not important to everyone, but they are important to her. As much as she loves him, she is tired. She works like a dog. I know she would love to be able to have kids and spend some time staying home with them. But in her current relationship, she couldn’t have that. She knows that if she marries this man, she will have to be the breadwinner. She is not saying she won’t do that, but she is admitting that the sound of that is exhausting.
She is looking to me to tell her if she should marry this guy. How can I know? I don’t want to see her throw away an amazing man who is ready and loves her. But I don’t want her to commit and then, after the wedding dust settles, fall back into the dynamics that annoy her now. The truth of the matter is that I think my sister could find a more suitable life partner. I think her life could be less stressful with someone who could help her shoulder the financial burden.
If I’ve learned anything it’s that no marriage is perfect. You have to have a great foundation and then just keep working and hoping for the best as life brings you challenges. But what constitutes a strong foundation? Comfort, shared goals and values, and a solid attraction to each other. If you have all of that, then it’s enough to take the leap of marriage. But it has to feel easy, especially before the hard stuff comes your way.