TEN WAYS TO MARRY THE WRONG PERSONBy Dov Heller
With the divorce rate over 50%, too many are apparently making a serious
mistake in deciding whom to spend the rest of their life with. To avoid
becoming a "statistic," try to internalize 10 insights.
1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change
after you're married. The classic mistake! NEVER MARRY POTENTIAL!! The
Golden Rule is, if you can't be happy with the person the way he or she
is now, don't get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it,
"You actually can expect people to change after their married...for the
worst!" So when it comes to the other person's spirituality, character,
personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure
you can live with these as they are now. It's as good as it gets!
2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry
than their character. Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character
keeps it burning. Beware of the "I'm in love" syndrome. "I'm in love"
often means, "I'm in lust." Attraction is there, but have you carefully
checked out this person's character? Here are four characteristics to
definitely check for:
· Humility: Does this person believe that "doing the
right thing" is more important than personal comfort?
· Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to
other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't have to
be nice to? Does s/he do volunteer work? Give to charity?
· Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what
s/he says s/he's going to do?
· Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he
enjoy life? s/he emotionally stable? Ask yourself: Do I want to
be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this
person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?
3. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common
life, goal and priorities. There are three basic ways we connect with
(1) Chemistry and compatibility,
(2) Share common interests and
(3)Share a life goal.
Make sure you share a deeper level of connection that sharing life goals
After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart.
To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you're living for while
you are single-and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion
as you. This is the true definition of a soul mate. A soul mate is a goal
mate... two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's
purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.
4. You pick the wrong person because you do not have deeper
emotional connection. To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional
connection or not, ask: "Do I respect and admire this person?" This
does not mean, "Am I impressed by this person?" We are impressed by a
Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. Yes,
you should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty,
determination, etc., but do you actually respect and admire this person
who possesses these qualities? Also ask: "Do I trust this person?" This
also means, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on
5. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom
you don't feel emotionally safe. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person? Can I fully be
myself, and express myself with this person? Does this person make me
feel good about myself? Do you have a really close friend who makes you
feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same
way! (That's why best friends usually fall under this category
perfectly! But that's another story...) Are you afraid of this person
in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say
because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you're
afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there's a problem
with the relationship. Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don't
feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors
are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the lookout out for someone who
is always trying to change you. There is a big difference between
"controlling" and "making suggestions." A suggestion is made for your
benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit.
6. You pick the wrong person because you don't put everything on the
table. 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, you can't be intimate. The two go hand in
7. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to
escape from personal problems and unhappiness. If you are unhappy and
single, you'll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not
fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything,
marriage will exacerbate them. If you are not happy with yourself and
your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single.
You'll feel better and your future spouse will thank you.
8. You choose the wrong person because you get involved sexually too
quickly. This can be a big problem because it often precludes a fully
honest exploration of important issues. Sexual involvement tends to
cloud one's mind. And a clouded mind is not inclined to make good
decisions. It is not necessary to "test drive" in order to find out if
a couple are sexually compatible. If you do your homework and make sure
you are intellectually and emotionally compatible, you don't have to
worry about sexual compatibility. Of all the studies on divorce, sexual
incompatibility is never cited as a main reason why people divorce.
9. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn't understand what
a woman needs most. Men and women have unique emotional needs (Men are
from Mars...Women are from Venus!) and more often than not, it is the
man who just doesn't get it. The unique need of a woman is to be loved,
to feel that she is the most important person in her husband's life.
The husband needs to give her consistent, quality attention. Sexual
intimacy is always on the woman's terms. Men are goal oriented
especially when it comes to this area. As a wise woman once pointed
out, "Men have two speeds: on and off." Women are experience oriented.
When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented,
he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets
about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing
things will happen.
10. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a
triangle. To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent
on someone or something else while trying to develop a relationship.
But of course, being "triangulated" with God is the best triangulation
you could have with your partner! A person who hasn't separated from
his or her parents is a classic example of triangulation. People can
also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs,
Internet, hobbies, sports or money. Be careful that you and your
partner are free of triangles. The person caught in a triangle cannot
be fully emotionally available to you. You'll not be their number one
priority. And that's not basis for a marriage. Ability is what you're
capable of doing.
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