It’s the holidays, and ’tis the season to tell your honey that you love them and want to marry them. An awful lot of people of the marrying type have seen movies like When Harry Met Sally, where the big proposal takes place on New Year’s Eve, and I’m sure that there are countless other films like that one that I just can’t recall at the moment.
Well, hold that thought. Perhaps before you pop the question (or accept a question that is popped), consider the future, and do it carefully, because the last thing that you want to do in the long run is end up in a situation where you’ll think about divorcing your spouse, because divorce is not fun and you want to avoid forever if possible. Here are some guidelines to help you find your mate, and keep them.
Here your question is this: do they like what you like? Are they a geek? Do they like to write? Is your prospective mate a hard worker, or lazy? Do they like wine, beer, or milk? If you and your prospective spouse are employed professionals, would you hire your spouse, given their personality? Your best bet is that the person that you want is into what you’re into. In the famous words of Chris Rock, whatever they’re into, you’ve got to be into too. If your hobbies, work ethic, and activities jibe, you’ve got a much better chance.
Is your mate a well organized financial person? Are finances important to them? This is interesting, because in many families, one person or the other picks up the other person’s financial slack. In that case, is the person who is the “slacker” willing to make an effort? Is money something you discuss, not scream about? What is your combined debt situation, and is that a deal breaker?
In most of the successful marriages that I know, the man is the one that needs the organizational help the most. Make of that what you will.
Are you in love? Meaning, can you look into the future and envision yourself with this person for the next ten years? Do you trust this person’s opinion and cherish their advice and support? In short, are you committed?
If not, you’ve got trouble. If so, there’s a shot.
If either of you wants children and the other doesn’t, then you’re going to have a problem. If you’re a woman and want kids when he doesn’t, won’t, and isn’t ready, resentment will set in. If you’re a man and you want kids and she doesn’t, you’ve got a similar situation… and she will have a lot of competition from co-workers, acquaintances, and strangers. Neither position is at ALL positive for future of your relationship.
If one or both of you already has children, how does your future spouse treat their existing children or your existing children?
Not a lot of people remember that if you’re marrying someone, you’re marrying their family as well. Not only that, but the way that your prospective partner treats their existing family is a window into how they might treat you down the line. Look at your partner’s relationship with their mother, father, brothers and sisters. Do they have a good relationship? Beyond that, keeping in mind that every family is just a little crazy to begin with by definition, how crazy is your partner’s family? Is it something that you can live with?
On Filling The Gaps
One of the most attractive things relationships in general is the ability to fill the gaps: those things that people aren’t good at, but are activities where their partners excel. Did you want to me a stay at home dad, and your prospective spouse the breadwinner? Do you hate to cook while your spouse loves to cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday?
These are great examples of filling the gaps. If you’re aware of your gaps, vaguely aware of your partners, and are comfortable with those differences and are willing to accept those without trying to change their personality to be like your own, then you have a darn good thing going.
The biggest reason for divorce is not cheating, money, or domestic abuse; it’s MARRIAGE. Therefore it’s reasonable to consider carefully your situation with your significant other before you take the plunge, because divorce is a cause of poverty, suffering, and heartache. Think, if just for a minute.