Secret to Marriage: Final – Don’t get Married until you are Ready and Marry the Right Person

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            I know, I know, this seems obvious. But what does it mean to marry the right person? What makes them ‘The One’? Sadly, there is no definite answer. Our world is full of deception, selfishness and broken promises. However, it is also full of hope, dreams and love. Today we focus on the hope, and what to consider in making the biggest decision of your life.

            Growing up, we all have an idealized view, a fairytale view of how people meet, fall in love, and ‘live happily ever after’. If you are not in denial, and watch your own parents and other couples, you soon discover that life and fairytales aren’t the same.

            In real life, marriage is more like a football game played on a field during periodic earthquakes. Even in day to day life, sometimes you are on offence, sometimes defense, and other times when all you can do is punt. Then the earthquake (problem) happens and determines whether you and your spouse are really on the same team at all. If you are, you probably married the right person. If not???

            So how can you maximize your chances? The first and best advice I can give is don’t get married until you are ready. By ready I mean mature, with set goals, set beliefs, and set standards. Only then will you be able to choose the correct person and hold up your end of a marriage.

            One of the biggest mistakes I have seen is people who get married thinking it will solve their problems. One of my favorite sitcom movies is Six Days Seven Nights. In it Harrison Ford says about people who visit the islands to fix their problems, “It’s an island, babe. If you didn’t bring it here, you won’t find it here”. It’s the same in marriage. So enjoy your single experience. Work on you. Pursue interests. Learn, exercise, and try new things. If you are lonely, find activities with others who enjoy those activities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, surround yourself with supportive people and learn how to solve those problems.

            Now that you are the ‘perfect person’, or at least a reasonable work in progress, figure out what you need in a spouse. One reason it was so important to work on yourself first is that now you know what you believe. Don’t compromise those core beliefs for anyone. Don’t get into any long term relationship with the belief that you can significantly change another person. This isn’t a rescue project. If that’s what you want, go to the pound and get a dog or maybe a cat (my preference).

            Next, do your homework on your intended. Meet their family and friends. How does he or she interact with them? What do they say about him or her? Another test is reliability. Can you depend on him/her? Do they do what they say and are they truthful about what they do? Are they stable? Can they take care of themselves? I believe that until a person knows what it takes to be independent they are not ready for marriage.

            Last but not least, are you compatible?  Do you share a basic set of beliefs? My dad was raised Jewish and my mom Catholic. I was raised Catholic and never celebrated Jewish traditions. That was decided before I was born. Have you at least talked about important issues like money, housing, or children? Even before our marriage Crystal and I decided, that if at all possible, Crystal would stay home, and at most work part time when the kids came into the picture. The more and earlier you discuss that kind of issue, the better you will know if you are compatible and your relationship will have a chance to last.

            OK, a lot to think about, I know. The good news is you don’t have to find someone who agrees with you on all of the above issues, just someone who is willing to work out solutions. Finding a person with whom you can work things out is the key to marriage. If they can’t pass that test; it’s better to have loved and lost than to be stuck with them forever.

Conclusion: So in summary, the keys I believe will give you the best chance of a long and “happy” marriage are: do all you can to be ready to hold up your end of the partnership, choose the right spouse, make sure you are synergistic people and work well together, and never stop dating (your spouse). Also, God’s blessings couldn’t hurt. That’s all I got.

Mom and Dad Married 64 years
Category: Suitable Mate

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