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Ron L. Deal

If you repeatedly witness the following from a dating partner with children, consider them significant red flags that should not be dismissed.

  • Always on the Defense. If they are closed to your observations about their children and easily defensive about their kids or their parenting, you will find yourself powerless in your own home.
  • Ignoring the Parental Unity Rules. If they refused to share parenting power with a previous spouse or won’t let you participate (especially when planning to marry), beware, beware, beware!
  • Cowering to an Ex-Spouse. Someone who constantly seeks peace with an ex-spouse at all costs will not stand up for you when the time comes.

Witnessing these patterns before marriage gives you a chance to address them. Consider it a gift from God to help you determine whether you should move forward with the relationship.

Again, do not minimize these patterns. If you see them now, don’t expect them to disappear after the wedding. We suggest you seriously consider delaying your decision to marry until you see significant changes.

Recommendation: Take the Couple Checkup (dating version) to give you specific feedback on the quality of your relationship.