(Closed) Advice for first-timer-would you have done anything differently?

posted 9 years ago in Encore
Post # 3
358 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I’m really curious to see what people say too!


Post # 4
737 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I wish I would have realized that all the drama was a red flag. It’s not normal to have huge fights weekly or monthly – not just disagreements, but full blown fights. (When he punched holes in things, that should have been a clue…) I wish I could have seen his emotional issues as clearly as I do now in hindsight, but I didn’t have experience with anything like that.

I used to think that if we had gotten into counseling sooner, we could have worked our issues out before it got so bad. (There was cheating, numerous lies, financial issues – it was bad!!) But now, I’m at a point where I’m just glad to be free from all of that. 

The biggest difference in this relationship vs. all my others is that I feel like I can talk to him about anything, and it will be a level headed conversation too. I don’t have to hide any part of myself from him. We have our disagreements, but I wouldn’t say that we fight, and we try to keep everything as drama-free as possible.

Post # 5
1781 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I wish I had never said to myself “It’s too late to call it off, the people are here and everything’s paid for.  I just need to say the words and figure out how to get out of this later”. 

Ok, long term…I’m glad I said the words.  Because it ended up setting a series of events into motion that caused me to meet my fiance.  But if it were any other situation, I’d say listen to your gut feeling.

Post # 6
6592 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Make sure you are on absolutely the same page about kids and divorce.  My ex husband bounced back and forth and I wasted years with him until he finally admitted he never wanted to get married or have kids.  On a side note, this can also fall under the category of don’t force a guy to propose or marry you; even though I didn’t twist his arm, I did push for the engagement and marriage way more than he did.  He also didn’t believe in counseling so when things got tough, he gave up and I was all alone in trying to salvage our marriage.  I worked on it alone, sacrificing my goals for his, for three years before he finally called it quits and asked for a divorce.

Discuss finances.  How do you plan on combining them?  Joint account, separate accounts, etc…  Who’s going to pay the bills? Who’s in charge of the savings?  What kind of debts do you each have?  What kinds of assets?  Agree on how to handle balancing the checkbook, how to and if you are saving for a house or vacation or baby, when is it okay to spend large quantities of savings, how much exactly is a “large quantity”?  We discuss finances and the budget at least once a month, if not every two weeks.

Post # 7
6592 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Know which mountains you are willing to die on and what is worth apologizing for.  Some things are just not worth fighting about and a good apology is always important.

Post # 8
1775 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I have been married before. I’ll be totally honest, all throughout the engagement it felt wrong and I wanted to call it off (I kind of did twice) but I felt like I couldn’t because everyone was coming and I had a dress, etc. So my biggest piece of advice is CALL IT OFF IF YOU THINK IT’S NOT RIGHT! It’s so much easier to cancel a wedding than go through a divorce!

A huge thing for us is that we just got married too young. We didn’t grow up together and we became different people. We got married because we lived together and felt like it was the next natural step. Bad idea.

We had the children conversation but we should have taken it more seriously. He said he hated kids and didn’t want them, whereas I wasn’t sure. I figured we were so young and kids were so far in the future that we would cross that bridge when we came to it. Yeah, didn’t work. It was one of the major things that caused me to leave.

Post # 9
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

i was too young. got marries at 18 so im not sure if my advice really applies. we werent ready for it at all and not compatible. and he wasnt mature enough to show me the real him until it was too late. now im 31 and so much wiser lol

Post # 10
3329 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

My biggest piece of advice is to be braver than me and call it off if you feel it’s not right. Don’t lose yourself in your relationship, keep your own identity. Make sure you want the same things out of life. Pick your battles. Don’t go to bed angry. 

Post # 11
4090 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012



I think I was too young/naive/unware of good marriages to realize that I was marrying a douche.  I see all the signs now.  I took the fact that my parents and his parents were still married – yet I failed to see all the emotional abuse going on on both sides.  He was emotionally abusive to me, and I learned to take crap because I saw all the women in my family do it.  

Some red flags include: we were about to get married, and I wanted to know what his heartfelt reasons were on why I should take his name.  His answer was “Uhhh, becuase you’re a girl and I own you now.”  I thought to myself, “This guy is not even worthy of me taking his name.”  Yet I married him.  He also brought a bag of weed on an AIRPLANE like one month after 9-11 while we were still dating.  I begged him not to, and he called me the Fun Police.  He did not get caught, which was really questionable for TSA!  But he could have ruined our lives so badly if he got caught.  They saw me arrive with him, yet I acted as if I didn’t know him.  I still married him after those things. What was I thinking???

Actually I tried to aim higher than my mom did, but I had a very low bar to start with.

So red flags would be my advice to you.  THings don’t go away with marriage.  Know what your boundaries are.  Know if you cannot live with something.

In my current marriage, I cannot even compare.  I have a healthy, loving, respectful, admiring, passionate, caring marriage – like ones you read in all the marriage books.  I did it right this time! I have a true partner in life to get through everything and anything.

Before I really thought good marriages were rare or just a luck of the draw.  I really did not connect how crucial it was in your ability to pick a good partner.

Post # 12
25 posts
  • Wedding: August 1994

Does anyone wish they had all this great information, knowledge and wisdom before getting married? I agree, do NOT get married if; 1. you are not 100% sure he is the “one”. 2. You are OVER the age of 25 for sure, 25 is the age that the brain is pretty much adult oriented or you FEEL emotionally immature or feel he is emotionally immature.

Post # 13
9 posts
  • Wedding: August 2013

Trust your gut feeling. Don’t force anything that doesn’t feel right. I knew I was in the relationship for the wrong reasons, but I went through with it anyway thinking…it’ll be different later, or things will all the sudden get better after marriage. I was young and had unrealistic expectations. I even called it off once. Be true to yourself and make sure you’re in love with the person he is, and not the one you want him to be.

Post # 13
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

There’s an old saying that you date with both eyes open, then shut one eye after marriage.  Don’t be afraid to investigate the things you’re told while dating.  My ex lied about his education, age, income, credit, and ended up being a cheater and frequent visitor of jail.

After divorce I learned to take control and be assertive while dating. Instead of telling a man what i want, I took more time to ask what they wanted and verified the truth.  If it didn’t match what I desired, I quickly moved on.  My ex actually gave me the advice that when a woman tells everything she hopes for on the first few dates, she gives a man the option to pretend to be what she wants. In counseling he revealed that he said whatever he needed to so I would date and marry him.  Unfortunately, the facade couldn’t last forever. Listening instead of speaking gives you a chance to learn the truth…I also learned how to check public records for property, court cases, and vehicle registrations….You’d be amazed at how many men have their home in their mom’s name, and their car in their “ex girlfriend’s” name. If you have any doubts, verify for yourself….others won’t always tell you what they know if they think it will upset you.

Once you get married, then you have to exercise a higher level of trust and forgiveness to grow together…Just don’t make the mistake I made by treating a BOYfriend like a husband.  It’s okay to put your foot down prior to marriage.

Post # 14
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I never got married, but some advise I received that opened my eyes to a bad relationship was “marry the man you would want you son to grow into”. 

I realized if my kid was anything like him I would be so disappointed. We broke up less than a month later. 

Post # 15
211 posts
Helper bee

Honestly.. I had a feeling all along it wasn’t right. I was 21 when I met him, right out of another relationship and he was this wounded bird that grew up in very bad family. I felt like I needed to take care of HIM. I had to be there for HIM because he had no one else. I ignored horribly scary warning signs that culminated in 5 years of a dangerous scary reality for me. My family and friends were happy and relieved when it ended. I grew up in a wholesome, wonderful family. I just couldn’t beleive I ended up in that place. Part of me wishes I could go back to the day I tried to tell him I didn’t want to get married and remembered how guilty he made me feel, so I did it anyway. I wish I could shake sense into myself and tell myself to LISTEN to my feelings and intuitions.

However I do have to say..the other part of me wouldn’t change a thing. That entire life experience taught me what was important. Values, beliefs, sensitivity, and etc.  It helps me appreciate EVERYDAY the little things my wonderful, amazing, man does for me. It reminds me to NEVER take him (or any act of love) he provides for granted. It taught me that you actually don’t have to live in a yelling, screaming environment. That communication, soft spoken words and truths are essential to successful coupling. It also taught me that I don’t have to always think of others before myself. For most of my life, I put other’s happiness before my own, and always strived for approval. I don’t anymore. I am so happy now.

Several years ago, I never dreamt I would be so happy and fulfilled today. Every day that ticks by closer to my wedding to this amazing and unbeleiveble man feels like an eternity, as I am so ready for the beautiful life we’ve started building together. That would be my last piece of advise. Keep that in mind. Don’t get caught up in the dress, rings, flowers, etc. Remember the purpose and the person by your side. That’s the most amazing thing to me now. I get to spend my life with this amazing person. Cherish that!

Hope this helps 🙂

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by kassieb.

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