4 Red Flags to Know Before Marriage

Love is not enough to hold a marriage. The time spent during courtship is an opportunity to get to know each other's personalities before marriage. Although every relationship is unique, there are certain indicators that can be the root of problems or poison your marriage in the future.

If you are planning to tie the knot, watch out for these things on your partner.

Living Beyond Their Means

"I was quite overwhelmed by my (former) wife who often demanded to buy branded things. Can you imagine, she used all my bonuses just to buy a new handbag. When I got angry, she said I do not understand 'investment'. The problem was, we did not even have an emergency fund at that time, and we still had credit card debt," says Doni, 45, who is now in his second marriage.

Wearing expensive jewelry, designer shoes, handbags, watches is not a problem if the person can afford it. However, if  your partner seems to be obsessed with luxury goods, it is a sign that he or she is not responsible with money. The last thing you want is to cover for these excessive needs.   

Debt habit

If your partner has developed a habit of borrowing money from other people, it is a warning sign.   

Andre, 30, confides, “My ex-girlfriend used to borrow money from me and other friends, but never returned it. What upset me the most was because she said she needed it to pay her parent’s medical bills, while in fact she used it to support her lifestyle."  

The habit of borrowing money might come from the inability to manage money and have self-control. If your loved one is showing this behavior, it is better to  talk to the person or get some help from a third party, e.g. a financial planner or a mentor, who can suggest a solution. 

No emotional control

It is a warning sign if your partner finds it extremely difficult to control oneself when he or she is angry, sad, scared, or is prone to extreme emotions – the person can be very happy one minute, then suddenly feels sad. 

A partner who cannot control anger, for instance, has a tendency to become rude – verbally or physically – and even become a domestic abuser. 

"I was shocked because (ex-boyfriend) often throw things around him or deliberately speed up the car whenever we had arguments," says Mia.  

According to her, the signs of abusive behaviors were getting stronger because he often got jealous and said degrading remarks or intimidated her with words.   

Other than abusive behaviors, extreme mood swings can be a sign of bipolar disorder – also known as manic-depression.

"Mood disorders is a medical condition that affects mood and what we feels, and it is related to the chemical changes in the brain," says Dr. Lahargo Kembaren, a psychiatrist at Marzoeki Mahdi hospital in Bogor. 

According to him, this disorder can disrupt one's daily functioning, and will, at some point require medical treatment.  

Have different goals in life

Balancing each other is one of the keys to keep a long-lasting marriage. Couples who stay happily married usually have the same goals in life, whether it is a plan to build a business together, retire overseas, or something else.

When a husband or wife cannot keep up with their partner’s pace, there may be communication gaps, a sense of insecurity, or envy.

Rani, a mother of two children, is an accomplished independent woman. She got a scholarship to study overseas and became the breadwinner in her family. Nevertheless, her husband did not provide the support that she needed.     

"(Since dating) I always encourage him to go back to college, but he was never interested. He said it is only a waste of money and time. All I wanted was to make progress together for our better future," she says. 

After knowing that her husband was cheating on her for many years, the 37-year-old decided to file for divorce and raise her children on her own. 

Read also: Things I Wish I’d Heard in My 20s

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