By Carrie Lowrance, Crosswalk.com
Falling in love is one of the greatest feelings in the world. You’ve found this person who you connect with, you have a lot in common, and have a lot of fun together. Weeks turn to months and then years, and you still love spending time together. Then he pops the question, and you are happier than you have ever been - until you’re not.
Many, many years ago, I was engaged and wound up calling off my engagement. I was young and in college and met this great guy. He had a troubled past and lived in a group home, which made things hard for him. However, we got along and enjoyed spending time together. We were together for a year, and then he asked me to marry him. Of course, I said “yes.”
To be honest, looking back, I think I knew it wasn’t a good idea, but I didn’t trust my gut. It turns out my intuition was right. Three months later, he confessed he cheated on me, with a guy no less. I remember storming out of the apartment he lived in with his friend and going home. Everything continued to disintegrate from there. I won’t go into details, but I didn’t handle the situation well. The last thing I did was drop off a garbage bag full of everything he ever gave me and left it at the bottom of his front steps. Then I cut off all contact, pawned the ring he gave me, and never looked back.
Now that I am much, much older, I realize there were many things I missed while in the dating phase. Here are some signs that you need to call off your engagement.
My ex-fiancee would lie to me about many things, big and small. He would lie about small things, like when he needed to be home from a date. (While he was living in the group home, he had to be home by a certain time.) He would also lie about what hours he was working, so if I dropped by to see him, he wouldn’t be there.
Then there were the big lies he told, one so awful about one of his family members that it still haunts me to this day. Of course, there was also the fact that he was cheating on me for I'm not sure how long.
2. Using You
Another thing this guy would do is use me. Back then, I didn’t realize this or think anything of it because I love doing things for people. I was also young and naïve. My point is I would pay for everything. Everything. Even though he worked, he never paid for any dates we went on. He never put gas in my car, and I drove us everywhere.
I spent a good chunk of money on him for our first and only Christmas because I knew he never had a good Christmas. Most of his stuff got stolen (so he said) by his roommates at the group home, and I think it’s because the others were jealous of him.
4. Uncormfortable Parents
I met his dad twice, and we spoke on the phone a few times. We visited him once, and although everything was okay, something about him creeped me out. Looking back, it was almost like he was interested in me. I remember him saying something like how beautiful I was during a phone conversation. Um, no, thank you.
5. Their Parents Don’t Like You
Let me start by saying that there are many situations where parents aren’t fond of the person their son or daughter is marrying. However, most of the time, they figure out how to deal with it tactfully.
My dad’s parents didn’t like my mom at all because she didn’t come from money. They wanted him to marry someone else he had dated before her.
6. Temper Tantrums
Your partner's temper tantrums may indicate immaturity or other hidden issues, and this behavior can lead to serious trouble. This is a sign of immaturity but also may be a sign of other hidden issues. My mom said my dad threw a fit because he had to pay five dollars for their marriage license.
They are hiding darker secrets, some of which can be dealt with and overcome, while others cannot. Things like already being married, lying about having a boyfriend or girlfriend, or not being divorced yet are definitely reasons to call off an engagement.
Other issues, like drugs, alcohol, or other addictions, depend on the situation. Things could work out if the person acknowledges their addiction and commits to seeking help. If not, then this would be a reason to call off an engagement.
9. Poor Communication
Having good communication is important in a relationship. If you have trouble compromising, arguing, or your fiance is overly critical, it may be time to call off your engagement. There is a big difference between someone offering constructive criticism and picking at everything.
10. Financial Incompatibility
This is big. If you and your partner don't have the same financial goals, you are more likely to get divorced even before getting married. Why? Because financial troubles is the most common reason for divorce.
Take some time and discuss your financial habits and how you will handle money. Is one of you the spender and one of you the saver? Is one of you better with finances than the other? Who is the best at budgeting? Keep in mind that just because one of you handles the finances doesn’t mean the other one is off the hook. You should both be on the same page. If your partner isn’t interested in knowing what’s going on financially or is a spender that will soon put you in the poor house, you might want to reconsider getting married.
11. Whether to Have Children
This is another big one. Having children is not for the faint of heart and is a very serious decision and commitment. This is also something that you should not be pressured into. If your partner wants children and you don’t, it’s time to move on.
13. Pressure to Get Engaged
It’s very easy to get caught up in other people’s lives and how you are not progressing at the same rate. If you have friends who are getting engaged and having kids, it may seem that getting engaged is the “in thing to do.”
However, this is not a good enough reason. Take some time and ask yourself if this is what you want. You should never live your life by the timeline of others. Although getting married may seem like a good idea now, you may regret it later. Search your heart and soul to be sure you want to get married. There is no reason to break your partner’s heart later by getting a divorce when this isn’t what you wanted.
15. Something Is Off
If, for any reason, you feel something is off in your relationship or you feel like getting married is not a good idea, listen to your intuition. Many people ignore their feelings and get married, anyway. Then they regret it for the rest of their lives. It is much better to go your separate ways rather than spending money on a wedding and getting divorced later.
Trust Your Intuition
The bottom line is only you know what is right for you. However, rethinking your engagement may be a good idea if any of these things are going on in your relationship. It is much better to listen to your intuition now rather than break your own heart later. Take some time and search your heart and soul, then if you feel it’s the right thing, set yourself free. You’ll be glad that you did.