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 Annesofea • 20 years ago • 3,044 viewed

For anyone contemplating marriage, here are six straightforward recommendations that will increase the chance of living happily ever after.
1. A Sunday school teacher once gave me some advice that I never forgot. He said, "Don't marry the person you think you can live with. Marry the one you can't live without."
There's great truth in this advice. Marriage can be difficult even when two people are passionately in love with one another, but it is murder when they don't even have that foundation to build on.

2. Don't marry someone who has characteristics that you feel are intolerable.
You may plan to change him or her in the future, but that probably won't happen. Behavior runs in deep channels that were cut during early childhood, and it is very difficult to alter them. In order to change a deeply ingrained pattern, you have to build a sturdy dam, dig another canal and reroute the river in new direction. That effort is rarely successful over the long haul. Therefore, if you can't live with a characteristic that shows up during courtship, it may plague you for the rest of your life.
3. Do not marry impulsively!
I can think of no better way to mess up your life than to leap into this critical decision without careful thought. Remember, the dating relationship is designed to conceal information, not reveal it. Both partners put on their best faces for the one they seek to attract. They guard secrets that might be a turn-off. Therefore, many newlyweds get a big surprise during the first year of married life. I suggest that you take at least a year to get beyond the fa�ade and into the inner character of the person.
4. Do not move in with a person before marriage.
To do so is a bad idea because it undermines a relationship and often leads to divorce. Studies show that couples who live together before marriage have a 50 percent greater chance of divorce than those who don't do - based on 50 years of data. Those who cohabit also have less satisfying and more unstable marriages. Why? The researchers found that those who had lived together later regretted having "violated their moral standards," and "felt a loss of personal freedom to exit out the back door." Furthermore, and in keeping with the theme of marital bonding, they have "stolen" a level of intimacy that is not warranted at that point, nor has it been validated by the degree of commitment to one another.
5. Don't get married too young.
"Too young" is not an age number, but the maturity needed to make a marriage work. Making it as a family requires some characteristics that come with maturity, such as selflessness, stability and self-control. It's best to wait for their arrival.
6. Finally, the ultimate secret of lifelong love is this: Simply put, the stability of marriage is a by-product of an iron-willed determination to make it work.
If you choose to marry, enter into that covenant with the resolve to remain committed to each other for life. Never threaten to leave your mate during angry moments. Don't allow yourself to consider even the possibility of divorce. Calling it quits must not become an option for those who want to go the distance.

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