It must be obvious to you from the stories you hear, see and sometimes even personally experience that marriages are breaking all the time. While you people may say that this is due to bigger egos or that people have become more intolerant or that divorce has become easier to obtain, and that there is no stigma attached to being a divorcee and all these factors and more could be true, it is also because people do not approach the whole thing correctly.
When I said this to one of my young friends who was eager to tie the knot with his girlfriend of two years, he was annoyed with me and soon he was intrigued. Therefore, he asked me to make a list of things that I would check before I would commit to marrying someone. I have been married for 18 years and I thought back to what I looked for in a prospective mate, and here is my checklist. You may modify it as per your needs but in general, these points would be applicable to most people who are planning to get married. I have made most of the items on the list in the form of questions.
Do you think your partner has a sense of humor? A sense of humor may not seem like the top priority when you are in the middle of a hot romance but it makes a lot of difference when you are married. In fact, a good and shared sense of humor has been known to prevent many a marriage from breaking up.
What are the kinds of activities you both like doing together? A lot of couples make the mistake of assuming that their dating time will easily be extrapolated and expand when they get married that is to say that the fun and games while dating will carry on the whole day. This is where most couples feel let down, as it never works out that way. Dating time is special time where the girl makes efforts to look good and the guy behaves his best. But when it comes to daily life, the makeup has to come off sometime and nobody can be on their best behavior all the time. That is why you need some common activities that you enjoy doing together to find oneness.
How do you and your partner feel about the other’s parents and siblings? While you two are going to be starting your own family, nobody comes without some baggage from their family and that is why it is important that each of you like and respect the others family. The thing to remember is that nobody is perfect and your partner’s family may also have some problems, it is important that you show some respect and tolerance towards them and expect the same from your partner.
How does your partner feel about money? While you are dating, money may not seem like such a big issue, but once you get married, then money and all that it implies can become a big issue. We agree that money should not dominate everything in your lives, but it is vital to keep things going. A healthy and practical approach towards finances can go a long way to helping a marriage.
Have you talked to your partner about career and children? A certain amount of understanding and agreement is needed between a husband and wife regarding matters like careers and children. Couples often make the mistake of assuming that these things will fall into place and after the wedding they discover that they had entirely different things in mind. Do make it a point to have this talk.
Do you like each other’s friends? Your friends can be a reflection of your personality, your likes and dislikes. The success of a marriage may not lie upon your liking his/her friends or vice versa, so a healthy respect for your partner’s friends will make things easier in the future.
How is the physical chemistry between the two of you? Physical intimacy is also one of the important factors that contribute to a healthy marriage. While many couples do give a lot of importance to this aspect, some tend to overlook it.
Do you trust your partner and does he/she trust you? Mutual trust is probably one of the most important factors that will help you build a healthy and happy marriage. A marriage fraught with tensions because partners cannot trust each other is a formula for disaster, so do ask yourself this question.
Is your partner the first person you think when you need help of any kind? Another important factor is that of dependability. Life is going to be full of ups and downs and it is indeed a comfort when you know you have a partner whom you can call upon when in crisis.
Are you both comfortable in your silence together? They say the way you are together in your silences says volumes about you as a couple. It is important that a couple be comfortable in their silences together and this is something you need to look at.
Do you and your partner share the same belief system? While this may not be absolutely essential but it can make things easier for you to deal with things when you agree on stuff like religion, schooling, etc. Even if you are not of the same mind, discussing these things beforehand can help.
Marriage is a commitment and one needs to approach it with a long-term view instead of making a wrong decision and thinking I want to stop being negative but can’t see anything good about things around me. It is better to approach marriage as one would any good investment.