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“Insightful, practical, heartfully and psychologically sound, The Pathway to Love provides the steppingstones to creating genuine love in your life.  It is a must-read for those who value honesty, authentic commitment to self and other, and appreciate relationship as a vehicle to self-actualization.”

—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation~Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential

 

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You will wonder at times how she knew about you and a particular significant other because she seems to describe you and the relationship to a T. And, when you read the last page you will wish you had read it years and a number of relationships earlier.

Irene Conlan

I have read other books on this topic which spoke to me... This book, which I got in the Kindle version, pulled it all together for me--the biology, personal values, self identity, the human quest for belonging and intimacy. The book... brought to me great understanding. I wish I had ordered the paper version with the workbook. I ended up going back and ordering it.

Paula Markgraf Katz

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Friday
May172013

When Is It Time to Pop the Question and Say Yes?! 

I was thinking the other day about marriage. My marriage—or better stated—my future marriage—or not. I have been living with my significant other for over a year and the question of if and when to take the next step has been on my mind. I have been married before and know what it’s like to have a good marriage, an okay marriage, a bad marriage, and an even worse divorce. Since my divorce, I’ve gone through stages when I’ve been fairly certain that a second marriage was unnecessary, especially since I have raised two children on my own.  I’ve also gone through stages where the idea of being married one more time seemed appealing and desirable (remember, I did have a few good years with my ex-husband and know what a good marriage feels like).

Deciding if and when to get married is a serious matter. And if you are a veteran of one or more marriages that have ended in divorce, the decision weighs more heavily. You know what it takes to divorce—it is not for the faint of heart. And if you have never been married, you are certainly aware of the fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce—and have probably witnessed a friend’s or family member’s ugly divorce at some point in time. 

So I started to think about what would have to be in place in order for me to take that next step. I also started to think about what my significant other would have to have in place before he was ready to take the next step. Then I thought of all of you. After all, you have entrusted me in providing you guidance and wisdom on how to navigate your relationships. The least I can do is share with you what I’ve come to understand about myself and the question of marriage.

Marriage is a wonderful way to live your life with a life partner. It takes your relationship into a deeper level of commitment and provides the opportunity to build more trust, intimacy, and love. Marriage is also a risk. It requires stamina and a willingness to do the work. It is not the answer to your problems or insecurities. It is the beginning of a new quest for deeper understanding and acceptance-and there are many trials and tribulations along the way. 

So I decided to tackle the question of “Do I want to get married?” Please note the “I” in the question is the collective “I” and not my personal “I”—I want to provide some general guidelines that relates to everyone and not solely me, although I believe these are good guidelines for myself as well.

There are several ways to approach the question. And while I will provide some guiding questions for you to ponder as you struggle with your own decision, please know that in the end, there is no perfect formula. I’ve seen some great marriages from two people who married impulsively after knowing each other for two weeks. I’ve also seen some terrible marriages with two people who thought they had all the ingredients for success. And while researchers will tell you what factors are the best predictors for success, in the end, life is more serendipitous. Luck and timing have their role along with you and your partner’s individual qualities, relationship dynamics, and willingness to stretch and grow.

To help you make this life altering decision, I've come up with my top ten questions to ask yourself—and your significant other. I've tried to account for all the different ways people go about assessing if the time is right to take this important next step. Some people simply prefer to follow their heart while others will logically and methodically check off all the boxes, making sure every “i” is doted and every “t” is crossed. Most people fall somewhere in the middle.

Here are ten questions to ask yourself as you explore the pathway towards matrimony. 

  1. Do I feel like my partner and I are able to deal with conflict in a way the leaves us feeling closer once the conflict is resolved?
  2. Do I feel supported even when my partner may not always understand me?
  3. Does my partner have any traits or behaviors that fall under my list of deal breakers?*
  4. Am I willing to love and support and care for my partner when times are tough? Is my partner willing to do the same for me?
  5. Do I expect my partner to satisfy all my needs?*
  6. Do I feel able to fully express myself without fear of any repercussions?
  7. Are my top two needs met in this relationship?**
  8. Are we past phase one? Have we experienced moments of phase three?**
  9. Do I feel my partner encourages me to be my best?
  10. Does our relationship provide the nutrients for me to grow and heal?

One last question (yes, I know this makes it eleven). Imagine your life with this person. Now imagine your life without him or without her. See how you feel deep inside your gut. Okay. You know what to do. So just do it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with if and when to take the plunge, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships. 

Be well,

Julie

*If you answered yes to this question, this is an indicator that you may want to hold off taking any steps toward marriage.

**I am referring to phases one and three outlined and discussed in The Pathway to Love. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend you get your copy today at www.julieorlov.com/products.

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com

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