10 Ways to Marry the Wrong Person
This article is taken from our sister site: Get The Ring. Enjoy!
It's a well-known fact that the divorce rate is over 50% and climbing. But that doesn't mean you have to fall into the wrong half of the percentile. As the old saying goes, "forewarned is forearmed." With the following information at your fingertips, you will gain the necessary tools to help you find and keep the one who was meant for you.
Although there may be any number of mistakes that people make when they decide to get married, there are ten extremely common ones. If you can internalize these 10 items, then you will be well on your way toward a happy and rewarding relationship.
They expect the person to change after marriage.
Repeat the following sentence to yourself at least three times before you go out on a date:
Never marry potential.
Never marry potential.
Never marry potential.
If you don't feel that you can be happy with the person as they are now, then don't get married. One marriage counselor went so far as to phrase it like this: "You can expect people to change after they're married…for the worse!"
Ask yourself honestly: Can I live with this person's character, personal appearance, level of spirituality (or lack thereof), communication skills, or any other personal habits or idiosyncrasies that I see as we are dating? If you can't and it's something so important to you that you feel it has to change, then don't let the relationship go any further.
They focus on chemistry, not on character.
People pick the wrong person because they're in love. Before you start protesting, stop and think for a minute. Take a good, hard look at yourself, as well as those you know who are currently part of the "dating scene." All too often, when people say, "I'm in love" what they really mean, whether consciously or not, is that "I'm in lust." They make the fatal mistake of focusing more on chemistry than on character.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that chemistry is unimportant. But it definitely takes a back seat to character, for a number of reasons.
First of all, the rule is that "chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning." Even if you are seriously attracted to this person, the relationship will have no future if you don't genuinely like them and appreciate them for who they are inside.
Secondly, physical profiles change, especially with age. If the relationship is only skin-deep (literally), then it will peter out if and when the person's external appearance undergoes significant (or even insignificant) changes. Therefore, even if attraction is there, you owe it to yourself and to the person you're dating to carefully check out their character.
Easier said than done, you're thinking. Well, truth to tell, it's really not that hard.
Here are four character traits you should definitely be on the lookout for:
Is this person willing to subdue their own personal wants, desires, dreams and especially their ego, in order to do what's right and not just what's comfortable?
Is this person someone who wants to enhance other people's lives?
Are they interested in causing other people pleasure?
How do they behave towards people whom they aren't obligated to be nice to? (The waitress? Other drivers on the road? Etc.)
Are they charitable and generous with their money?
Do they greet others with a smile?
Are they willing to go out of their way to help people?
Is this person dependable?
Can I rely on them to follow through?
Will they do things that they said they would do?
Many people make the mistake of thinking that happiness is determined by external factors. Not so. True happiness is an internal character trait that can be worked on and cultivated. Ask yourself:
Is this person happy with whom they are?
Do they like themselves?
Do they enjoy life?
Are they emotionally stable?
Some other questions that will help you soul-search in order to discover if you are concentrating on chemistry or character are:
Do I admire this person?
Do I want to be more like them?
Do I want this person to bring up my children?
Would I want my child to turn out like him/her?
Think about it.
They do not understand the emotional needs of the other person.
Although Western society has gone to great pains to show that men and women are not that different, the truth remains that they are, especially in the emotional arena. Since women have a greater tendency to be emotionally attuned to others, more often than not it's the man who just doesn't seem to get it.
Men, do yourselves a favor and memorize this next line.
A woman's greatest need is to be loved by her husband
and to feel that she is the most important person in his life.
What this means for husbands is that they need to give their wives quality attention on a regular basis. Surprisingly enough, this fact of life is reflected in ancient Jewish tradition. In Judaism, the man bears the onus of understanding and fulfilling his wife's emotional needs.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Jewish tradition's approach to physical intimacy. Judaism obligates the husband to meet his wife's needs, and intimacy is always on her terms. Men are inclined to be goal-oriented in general, and especially in this area; as a wise woman once pointed out, "Men have two speeds: on and off." Women, on the other hand, are by and large experience-oriented. They have any number of "speeds" which are determined by the degree to which their experiences with their husbands are positive. When a man succeeds in altering his perspective and becoming more experience-oriented, he will discover those elements that make his wife very happy. When a husband sets his own needs aside and focuses on giving his wife as much pleasure as possible, amazing things happen, and he finds that his needs are being met to a greater degree than ever before.
They don't share common life purpose and priorities.
There are three basic areas in which people connect:
1. Chemistry and compatibility
2. Common interests
3. Common life goals
Shared interests and goals provide a couple with a deeper level of connection. Make sure that you access it. There are only two ways to grow after marriage: together or apart. To make sure that you grow together, you have to figure out what you're living for while you're single. Then, you'll be able to find someone who has come to the same goals as you. Here are some possible questions to get you started:
- Which hobbies or activities does this person enjoy?
Can I relate to them?
Do they interest me now?
If not, might they interest me later as I get to know this person?
- How does this person spend his/her discretionary time?
How do I?
- What are the things that add meaning to my life?
Does this person have similar priorities and goals?
Although our society doesn't put any real emphasis on thinking about the purpose of life, the fact remains that the true definition of a "soul mate" is a "goal mate." When two people ultimately share the same life purpose, they will share the same priorities, values and goals – and that is the foundation of a strong and happy marriage.
They get intimately involved before they are intellectually committed.
The reason this is such a big problem is that physical involvement prevents people from fully and honestly exploring the important issues. It causes such a degree of emotional attachment that it clouds people's minds. And clouded minds are not conducive to good decision-making.
This might sound a bit radical today, but it's true; a couple does not need to take a "test drive" in order to find out if they are sexually compatible. If both people do their homework well and verify that they are intellectually and emotionally compatible, then the sexual compatibility will take care of itself. Of all the studies done on divorce, sexual incompatibility is never cited as a main factor. If anything, it is merely a symptom of differences that run much deeper.
They don't have a deep emotional connection to the person.
The first question to ask yourself when trying to evaluate your level of emotional connection is, "Do I respect and admire this person?"
Beware: This does not mean, "Does this person impress me?" A Mercedes or a Harley can impress you. You should not – and hopefully, do not – respect a person because they own a Mercedes or a Harley. Qualities generate respect, not possessions; qualities like creativity, loyalty, dependability, kindness, perseverance, patience, etc.
Another good question to ask yourself is, "Do I trust this person?" Along with this question comes, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel safe? Can I emotionally rely on him/her?"
They choose someone with whom they don't feel emotionally safe.
Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person, or am I on my guard? Do I feel free to be and express myself with this person?
Does this person cause me to feel positively or negatively about myself?
Try to think of good friends you may have who generate positive feelings similar to these. The person you marry should make you feel the same way – or better!
If you are afraid of this person in any way, then get out of the relationship. If you hesitate to express yourself and you monitor what you say because you're afraid of how the other person will view it, then that's a clear sign of an unhealthy relationship.
Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person.
Another aspect of feeing unsafe is the feeling that the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Beware of someone who is constantly trying to change you and to impose his/her opinions on you. On the other hand, don't be paranoid about this. It is relatively easy to tell the difference between "controlling" and "making suggestions," even if the one controlling is smart enough to phrase their words as suggestions.
The formula goes like this:
A suggestion is made for your benefit. A control statement is made for their benefit.
They don't discuss essential and important issues before getting married.
Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way to evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise. You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you?
Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with this person. If you can't be vulnerable, then you can't be intimate. The two go hand in hand.
They think that marriage will solve their problems.
Although it's definitely true that being single for too long is no fun, there are many singles who are unhappy for many reasons that have nothing to do with their personal status. However, because the issue that is most on their minds is getting married, they find it relatively easy – whether consciously or subconsciously – to blame their unhappiness on the fact that they are single. What ends up happening is that they convince themselves that marriage will solve all their problems. This is a fatal mistake. If you are unhappy and single, and your unhappiness is a result of problems and issues other than the fact that you are single, then chances are that you will be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and/or emotional problems. If anything, the give and take required in a relationship will only intensify them.
If you are not happy with yourself or with your life (or both), then take control of the situation and fix it now while you are still single. You'll feel a whole lot better, and your future spouse will be eternally grateful.
They pick someone who is not emotionally healthy.
People tend to pick the wrong person because they or the one whom they are dating is involved in a triangle. We're used to seeing love triangles on soap operas all the time. But these are not the only kinds of triangles. "Triangulation" means that a person is emotionally dependent on something or someone else while trying to develop another relationship at the same time. The classic example of triangulation is a person who is still emotionally dependent on his or her parents. But things like work, drugs, Internet addiction, hobbies, sports or money can also be sources of triangles. Triangles are very dangerous to a relationship, because they ensure that no matter how much the person involved in a triangle wants to connect with his or her spouse, the triangulated person or thing will always vie for equal attention.
Make sure that both you and your partner are triangle-free. Remember: A person caught in a triangle can never be fully emotionally available to you – and if you are involved in a triangle, then you will never be able to be fully emotionally available to your partner. You will not be their number one priority, and they will not be yours. And that's no basis for a marriage.
Learn more: Get The Ring