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Living

For good and ill go hand in hand in marriage

by Christian Michael

August 05, 2013


Lose the clause, stop the madness. Marriage isn't an either-or part of your life. When you marry, you build a partnership with someone with whom you will endure every great thing life will throw at you, and I guarantee you that it will include richness AND poorness, sickness AND health.

If you're not prepared to live with a man or woman come rain or shine, short of direct abuse or infidelity, then you're not entering the relationship with all hands aboard.

A recent news report reconfirmed the number one marriage killer in the US: Money.

Arguments over money end more marriages than infidelity, abuse, abandonment or anything else. You know what that tells me? The couple didn't really get deep on money before they married. They thought "love," an emotional thing, would see them through.

What's hard is to realize that marriage is every much a business arrangement as a friendship. It's a partnership of lovers, not an F-buddy agreement. If you're going into marriage just because of how someone makes you feel, you're thinking with the wrong head (or heart, as it were).

They can be handsome, pretty, comforting, loving. They can "get" you, but if you can't trust them with money, you can't trust them with the future. We're not talking accountants here. But if you both decide and set on a budget, you both should be able to live by it long term. You both should share ideas on what it will take to raise the family, what you're willing to work toward providing them.

Is it the house with white-picket fence option, two cars, 2.5 kids, a yard down the street from an elementary school? Is that a long-term goal? Would you two rather live light and not have all the A-typical American dream in order to live with less stress, less debt, less burden? Do you both want to travel? Would you two rather be homebodies?

Can you handle them leaving to hang out with their friends on a regular basis?Can you trust her with the credit cards? Can you trust him to come home? What happens when the primary breadwinner loses their job? Can you handle the pressure of living with nothing but the family? Are you both willing to get rid of the financially heavier items to lighten the living load so that you can climb back out of a slump? Are you both willing to sacrifice?

What is most important to you? Country or city?

There are five million questions I could pose here. But if you're only talking about the grand future and you're not asking yourself the hard questions like: "What if I end up dirt poor with this person? Will they hold up their end? Will I hold up mine? What are our base options should all things go south? Am I dedicated to adapting, giving up, sacrificing and otherwise throwing off every other element of my life, no matter how loved or passionate, to ensure my partnership with this person will endure time? Will I keep myself in check so I don't blame them for my problems? Will I commit to the hard decision and actually communicate openly and without reservation when I do have an issue, and then be humble enough to see it through to whatever best outcome is possible?

Can you two work together? Before you marry, volunteer together, work on projects, commit to something long term that requires coordination and communication between the two of you. Find out if you can work together. Not sleep together. Not cuddle together. Not have a good time out on the town together. Not sext together. WORK TOGETHER.

Love as a choice is a definite in a long-term relationship. Will you choose to love, honor and cherish that person. Those are words in a line. These are words that together mean commitment, respect and regard. Will you commit to their well-being? Will you respect who they are and what they bring to your relationship? Will you regard them as better than yourself?

Can you do these things daily?

And while there will be days you'd rather wring her neck or knee him between the legs, can you let the anger pass and return to your initial commitment?

You need to begin imagining the very worst that could happen between you two before you ever promise to make it happen. Could you endure poverty, loss of life, life-long illness, disparity of faith, disagreement ... with this person? Are you two more dedicated to each other than to having a nice house, nice car, great job, easy life, friend network, etc.?

If you aren't, you're marrying someone for the wrong reasons.

THINK! THINK! THINK! Feelings come and go, but your commitment to the marriage is what will make it work.

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