Marrying for love, financial security and/or companionship does not guarantee long lasting happiness. While legitimate reasons for entering into a marriage, they can blind a person to the signs of a doomed relationship.
Currently, more than 40 million people aged 20-49 are divorced or separated according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Luckily, there are 41 million people who still have time to reduce their odds of becoming a statistic.
Here are three steps to help you eliminate incompatible dates and bring yourself closer to marriage.
1. First, write down 20 things that you strongly believe.
For example, do you strongly believe that:
One person should remain in the home with the children
Household bills should be evenly split or men should carry the major financial burden
A family should practice the same religion
2. Next, write down 10 of your biggest pet peeves.
For example, does it bother you when:
Teeth are picked in public
Toothpaste is left in the sink
Unclean dishes are left in the sink overnight
3. Finally, cross out the items on your lists for which you will compromise.
For example, if cleanliness is an issue for you, would you compromise with the hiring of a maid?
Marriage is supposed to be forever. Very few people enter into a marriage with the intentions of it ending in divorce. But too many people learn late in a relationship that their beliefs and traits are incompatible with the person to whom they have committed. By acting now to write down things that can potentially sabotage a relationship 1, 5 or even 10 years down the line, you put yourself on the path to sustain your relationship or enter into one that is better for your sanity.
Tiffany is the author of "Grading on a Curve: The Marriageability Factor - 99 Traits, Beliefs and Actions to look for in a Mate" (ISBN 1-4116-3996-0). She has recently released a Web site http://www.MarriageabilityFactor.com with tips, articles and resources to help women make wiser decisions in relationships.
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