Newlywed Having Second Thoughts

As a newlywed having second thoughts soon after the wedding,
you could either

Newlywed Having Second Thoughts
Having Second Thoughts?

ignore your doubts, hoping things will adjust themselves (which is like waiting for someone to knock on your door announcing you won a million dollars), or you can deeply consider what is happening and do something that is appropriate.

Either way, it is clear by the fact that you are having doubts that you did not do your marriage homework before you got married. Either way, you need to do that homework now, by getting some marriage education.

Is it too late for your marriage? Is it crazy to stay married? We can arrive at this answer pretty simply.

Like you perhaps, far too many people get married without really getting to know the person they are marrying. So, most become a newlywed having second thoughts. Some are surprised by some of the traits they are discovering, and others are unprepared for the reality of sharing tight quarters 24/7.

You may have just married someone who you have not known long enough or well enough, and wonder about the whole idea of being married to them at all.

I will first address the worst case first, because, statistically, it is highly unlikely you knew your new spouse well enough before agreeing to marry them, The worst case is you didn’t just marry the “wrong” person, but you may have married a truly bad person. It happens more often than people like to admit.

The world is filled to the brim with bad people. Just about all of us have some bad in us, but there are some who have so much in them that they create pain and suffering for all they come in contact with. Did you run a deep enough investigation of your new spouse. Maybe now is a good time to do it. It is really dumb to sign up for a lifetime of misery because you do not think you should check into their past. Check for the following universally bad possibilities. In almost all cases, if any of these are present it should be a message to you to end the marriage:

  • Violent – True, most people have “anger issues,” but when frustrations are allowed to turn into violence the habit is hard to break, or control. Get out.
  • Other lover (or too close friend with potential for an affair) – An open marriage is not a marriage. 
  • Pedophile – Inexcusable, un-fixable. Get out now.
  • You are not No. 1 in their life. Fix it, or end the marriage. This is fixable, but very high risk in an early marriage.
  • Compulsive gambling.
  • Drug or alcohol use.
  • Treacherousness.
  • Narcissism.

There are non deal breakers, too. You may or may not be on shaky ground. Do not overreact or give up hope. But hold off on getting pregnant, or your options won’t be as clean. When you have children, divorce is unbelievably traumatic. The first rule for raising children is to have a very happy marriage.

Many flaws you see may be irritating because you are immature, and not ready for marriage. But if you see more serious flaws, it is very important to determine how deep they are and what kind of impact they’ll have on you and your family. Obviously it would have been better to search, and even test, for flaws while you were courting. But now is a better time to do it than after you get pregnant.

Don’t expect perfection from your partner. But don’t accept flaws that will create nothing but heartache in the years to come; there is a difference. When you search for and discover the big issues, get information about their seriousness, without revealing them to anyone. If you must, ask a therapist, but not in context of your personal lives. Don’t get a therapist involved in your marriage unless you are clinging to a dangerous spouse and you need help getting out.

Whatever you do, don’t imagine your spouse will change. Even if they can, it would take tremendous effort on their part, much more than most are willing to make. People rarely change after they get married, no matter how strong their intention. If your new spouse is suffering with an uncontrolled flaw, it is best not to stick around.

On the other hand “Irritating” traits are not your spouse’s problem, but are yours. Look at your sensitivity to what you view as their imperfections, and do not burden your spouse with your intolerances. Learn how to work on them (part of premarriage education). You want your spouse to ignore and see past your flaws and praise you for all your wonderful qualities. Give your spouse the same treatment you expect from them. Even a great masterpiece has flaws in it.

A spouse is obligated through loyalty to only praise and never criticize their eternal lover. Never ever point out your spouse’s flaws to them or anyone else. Your spouse deserves your unmitigated respect and consideration.

If you confirm flaws that are incompatible with a deepening and secure marital life, it is better to end your marriage as soon as possible. Everyone will be better off. It is also best to be completely honest and up front during this process, if possible. Use a mediator, like a business lawyer, rather than a therapist; at this point the marriage is business.

If you have children and are reading this anyway, I must tell you, unless your spouse physically endangers your children, it is better to work around your grievances so your kids will have a complete home life. Divorce devastates children in many ways. There is almost always a way to work around any flaw in order to create more harmony and open the door to more love.

The bottom line recommendation is to go back, study pre marriage education. It is not too late because everything is covered, so you will know what you need to do.

Paul Friedman
Paul Friedman
Founder, The Marriage Foundation
Paul devised an entirely new approach to marriage that empowers individuals to finally understand and cultivate expanding happiness and love in their marriages.

He has written two books, produced several video educational programs, regularly speaks on marriage, and founded The Marriage Foundation as a non-profit organization.

Our mission is to end divorce by spreading Paul's revolutionary marriage system around the world. We have helped thousands of individuals and couples for nearly 20 years and in over 45 countries.

14 thoughts on “Newlywed Having Second Thoughts

  1. Nixter Reply

    Hi.. m just three months into my marriage and I just discovered that my husband is on online dating sites and flirting with other girls. I dont know what to do. Can you please help.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Nixter
      These are not good signs, and it may be a good idea to end your marriage. I know that sounds extreme, but it may be the best solution for you. If he is already disloyal you have to question everything he has ever said to you. IF you just got married, but have been living together, and you have children together, then consider yourselves having been married from when you first moved in, and try to heal your marriage.
      I hope that helps.

  2. Brogan Reply

    Hi, my wife and I just married in december..

    Im 23 and shes 19, im in the army, and stationed in hawaii, shes from iowa and in college. We were all for it, we were engaged for a year and 2 monthes, and had plenty of ups and downs and even a short 1 month break.

    After which she confirmed she wanted us to be thing, and was ready for commitment.

    We went another 3 monthes and finally got married in hawaii, now after she went home the plan was for her to come back in a few monthes when i had gotten a house, and set everything up for us. Everything was going great, until two days ago.

    She has a condition which requires surgery, she said she wanted to do that first, recover and then come out. Okay i thought, i can do that. No problem, a few more monthes is gonna be tough, but certainly can be done.

    Well now that she started thinking about that, she said she wants to finish school, which would be a year and a half.. due to the strain of transfering and her family, which are in a tough situation as it is..

    I love her, and ill stand by her choices, but, what am i supposed to do. A year and a half is a long time. I almost lost her before we married, i dont ever wanna do that again, what am i supposed to do..

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Dear Brogan
      You sound like a very sincere man. And it is not difficult to understand your frustrations. But…you two should not delay in getting the kind of marriage education you will need for the rest of your lives. Both of you should take the premarital course (big discount for military). After you have taken the course you will both have the ability to communicate well enough to get through this. If not, we will help you. But you truly need this first step.
      It is impossible to know what is on her mind.

  3. Travis Reply

    Hi my wife and I have been together for three and a half years. We had a little split up recently for a month, while I was living out of state. She kept telling me that she wanted me back, and that she would marry me the moment she saw me if she could. And that it would make her the happiest woman in the world. Well we started talking after the month, and I moved back thirteen days ago. We got married the morning that I got back. She has been telling me the past couple days, that she regrets getting married to me. I’m not sure if it is just her over thinking the situation or what. She also said that she has met a guy that was trying to get with her when I was gone. And that she wanted to see where that friendship led to while being with me. In the same sentence she said that she wanted to get an annulment, and do things right one day. I’m guessing as I. The wedding ceremony. I’m not sure exactly what to think. My head goes crazy with all of these thoughts. Are these just doubts? She has told me plenty of times that she could never touch anybody else, and that she loves me more than anything etc. What is your outlook on it? It seems to me she is getting stressed out, and letting everything get to her. I truly hope that is what it is. I pray to God that is what it is.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You did not know her well enough, and I’m not sure you could have. Her vacillations and un-grounded communications
      have always been there, but you either missed them because you were not looking, or she hid them from you.
      That being said, I would ask you what it was/is about her that made you want to marry her. I think you did not have a basis for marriage, so your in a human blender. I cannot see what you can do other than respect her wish for a break=up, or why you would want to save the relationship even if you could.

  4. Lora Reply

    It seems like a cycle. I have been married only two months and found my husband on Internet dating sites and sugar daddy sites. I am 36 and was desperate to have children so we got married quickly. He is now asking me to sign a post nump and we are debating divorce. He says the reason he is looking around is because I have treated him badly. He also says I am crazy and wants me to get phycological help. Should I ? I do feel like I am making horrific rash decisions, because I would like a child. My mom says it’s my fault he is looking elsewhere and I have no real support here. I have lost my self esteem and security.

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Typically we get these kind of messages privately, sent to our counselors. But I think it is good for other women to read what is happening to you. It can be summed up that you did not know each other well enough to get married. You didn’t research him, so you discovered his flaws too late.
      I would suggest you move out NOW, and then get our dating course. I’m sorry. But there are too many extreme circumstances for newlyweds; and they are not your issues… and, I would not be so quick to get psychological help, but you may want to read about self-control.

  5. Trish Reply

    I have been married for barely three months, My husband and I lived together for 4 months before getting married. About a week ago, I noticed that he has been on dating sites and is very active with the payment subscription (seems like an investment to me) he flirts, has does video calls with these girls. I found him suspicious sometimes back but i pushed the thought away because he treats me right, shows my love, and gives me enough attention. after getting married we started having all these issues, he never seems to be satisfied with anything I do always complains about everything I say attributing it to me disrespecting him and not valuing him. I also feel the same way. We have tried to talk the issues out and made commitment to each other to respect, value and appreciate each other more, but to no avail, it never worked we always get back to fighting about the same things over and over again. after finding out that he has been on dating sites, I confronted him, not in an angry way, I was really calm about it because I wanted to understand why and what exactly it is. He apologized and blamed it on the issues that we’ve been having by saying ‘he’s only human’ after talking about everything I promised to respect and value him even more, he did the same, he also promised to delete all his dating sites account, and I asked him about it he assured me it had ben deleted, only for me to catch him on the dating sites having flirting and having video calls. I don’t know what to do? should I confront him again? I feel very inadequate and this shouldn’t be so! Now I dont know what to believe

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      You didn’t say how long you knew him before moving in together, and for others reading this, the time we spend in getting to know each other is research and pry time. Now that you are ‘here’ we don’t need to look at that.

      The idea of promises is only good on paper. People behave according to who they are, not who they promise to be.
      Your idea that you confronted him softly, is meaningless. There is no soft confrontation from the point of view of the confronted. They will lie, promise, blame, etc.

      Now, let us create a sort of plan. I will suggest some things, but remember, I do not know you or him, so feel free to use these only as ideas. I won’t be offended.

      If you have known him for less than a year, in my opinion you don’t know each other yet. You absolutely jumped the gun. Now, you know each other, and see that your marriage is failing; because a marriage is supposed to be joy filled, ever increasing love, connection, and security. Your’s is failing on all counts.
      Was he the right choice? Do you admire him? Would you be fine being married to someone who has not been upfront, and has such a short fuse for giving up on you? If he is not the right person you can end the marriage. If you choose that route, do it quickly.

      Are you both really serious about being married to each other? If so, we have a sister organization, Premarital Academy, that offers a newlywed/premarital course that would work for you. If he shows reluctance you MUST move on. Because his reluctance would be a definitive example of his immaturity.

      The “marriage” you have would be considered a certain failure by any marriage expert I have ever known; I think you should know that. But you and he are in charge if who you choose to be. So I would not be the one to insist you will fail. However, if both of you do not take the course; and I mean take it all the way, I would bet everything you would not succeed.

  6. Mercy Reply

    I’ve been married for 9 months but unfortunately I’m presently pregnant…discovered lately my husband has been flirty on online dating sites and I’m so devastated, even before this he has been an unapologetic person since this marriage and mute to issues…I don’t know what to do, been trying to keep peace but it seems he’s graduating to other vices the more. I need help!

    • Paul Friedman Post authorReply

      Do NOT wait another minute!! Sign up for our course! You can easily save and turn your marriage around, but put all thoughts and emotions aside. There is too much at stake.

  7. Shay Reply

    Part 1- Husband and I have had the MOST BEAUTIFUL life together for 8 years dating. We met in high school and have never lived together until marriage. Which we have now been married 9 months … my husband is a flawless, kind, loving, so so sweet individual and our relationship is one you’d look at and think” wow perfect “.. but obviously that’s not how relationships work. Anyways I just found out about 3 months into our marriage we may have had a slight argument or something, he couldn’t remember. But he made a Tinder dating website. I have been broken. He puts no blame on me, he expressed “I don’t know what happened to me and in my mind, but I just was curious and looking for excitement I guess.” Followed by how much he loves me, what a perfect wife I am and he absolutely can’t see himself with anyone else..
    Her is the downfall when we were 19 years old again about 4 years dating at that time! He did something similar got curious and made some dating websites. He says he knew instantly how bad it was and how stupid it was to hurt his wife and what we have. He’s hurt, IM BROKEN and yet I’m terrified.
    Is that a normal feeling and he won’t do it AGAIN? I love this man so dearly and I know he loves me … but the pain I feel is killing me
    Part 2- We discussed before marriage “should we date other people? We met so young … we both agreed this is what we wanted US! And we continued our lives then got engaged 4 years later … now married 9 months and he has had this feeling even deeper obviously because we are MARRIED now…
    He’s such an amazing guy. He sincerely hates his actions and had said he needs therapy and is worried something is wrong with him to do such stupid things when he has his dream wife right in front of him…! What can I do, what can we do?

    Part 2- We discussed before marriage “should we date other people? We met so young … we both agreed this is what we wanted US! And we continued our lives then got engaged 4 years later … now married 9 months and he has had this feeling even deeper obviously because we are MARRIED now…
    He’s such an amazing guy. He sincerely hates his actions and had said he needs therapy and is worried something is wrong with him to do such stupid things when he has his dream wife right in front of him…! What can I do, what can we do?

    Part 3- again, he’s never acted on these sites…. !! Just looked and maybe swiped. But he deleted the app right after knowing it was wrong. But I found out and now I’m just lost .. This man I tell you is special and amazing maybe just needs therapy? Needs help from childhood issues? He haD MANNNNY chances to date, other people, we discussed that all the time and he never wanted that always just said I’m all he wants and he loved me too much to look what else is out there.

  8. Paul Friedman Post authorReply

    I want you to know that your concerns are reasonable and your marriage will definitely fall apart if both of you do not take a crash course in marriage. But if you do your marriage will absolutely thrive, as you have a powerful foundation.
    Because you have been living together for such a short time you can use the premarital courses, and they will help you get beyond the experiences, and help him never resort to them again.
    The key here is that neither of you knows how to please one another. If you did there would only be joy.
    Here is the link to the premarital courses.

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