- Gender and Relationships
The perfect husband checklist-Is there such a thing?
A Dream Come True-From Paper to Reality
This is 100% true: I have a cousin that had a real checklist for the potential man she would plan to marry one day. Whether it was mental or actually written down, I don't know, but I do know it was real. She could recite it at any time and it was set in stone, she would not accept any substitutions. So, what were they? Well, to start with, his parents could not be divorced. She believed that any child stemming from a divorced parent situation would inevitably bring turmoil to the relationship. Next, you could not have any serious illness/disease that ran in the family. A little insensitive to me, but to her she was thinking about her future children and not wanting to pass along any unfavorable genes to them. Lastly, the type of career he has. She knew she was not settling for a sub par career man. She wanted to be, at the very least, comfortable, if not better. I bet you are wondering how it ended up for her......well, I'll tell you. She married an oral surgeon with his own practice from a great family and he adores her. She lives in a 4000+ square foot house with accompanying cars, takes Alaskan cruises and goes to Disneyworld at least twice a year. They have three great kids and a dog and she stopped working after giving birth to their first. You could say that her life turned out pretty much the way she designed it to. Even as an older teen going into her twenties, she had this pre-planned list and stuck to it. Maybe it's not 100% foolproof, but at the very least, it sets standards and weeds out the potential relationship disasters. Creating your own perfect husband checklist could be the answer to a happier future.
One life to live.........
I can't say this enough to all of the women I know and care about," You only get one life to live, this is it. You are the only one who can decide if you are going to be happy." With that said, wouldn't it be great if you could hand pick your perfect partner. Until you say "I Do" you have the power to do just that. I have often compared my cousins' life to that of other women I know. I see the differences and difficulties they go through and I know they simply fell in love and got married without thinking twice about it. After 10 years or so of being married you could ask any of these women if they would marry their partner again if they could do things all over again and the majority would say no. So, how do we avoid saying our vows with the one we love in that moment versus the one that we will love for a lifetime? Here are some checklist questions to consider..........
The Checklist Questions.............
- Are you both the same religion? Hate to put this one first, but unless both of you(and your families) are not religious at all, then it matters. Think about where will you get married, how to raise your children, where to spend the holidays and how to celebrate them accordingly, will you have to decorate your home with religious artifacts, circumcisions, inability to eat certain foods or even have them in the house, do you attend weekly mass, and the list goes on and on........If you marry outside of your religion, just make sure to talk it all out beforehand. It will save you a lot of arguments.
- Where do each other fall in the sibling line? What I mean is, are you the youngest of 4 and he is too? Stay away! That means that each of you were "the baby" of the family and therefore expect to be taken care of more so than if you were the oldest(who is in charge) or the lost middle children who can always fend for themselves. It sounds ridiculous, but it matters. If you were the youngest, look for the someone who was at least a middle child, if not the oldest. Which leads me to my next rule.....
- Is he an only child? Huh-what to do with that? There are tons of studies out there about only children. Mature?Yes. Set in their ways with a side of selfish? Maybe. Picture a closet with shirts hung so perfectly he admits that he uses a pencil to space each hanger accordingly so one does not touch the other. Loving? Yes. He was always looking for someone to be with so he might just put you up on that pedestal where you belong. This is a case-by-case decision. Just get to know him really well and when you are at his place, check out his closets.
- Education/Job-This is a big one and of course on my cousins' list. Let's face it, you don't want to be married and have a husband that jumps around jobs because he can't find work-even though you love him. Set your standard and consider your future and that of your children's. These days a bachelors degree is like the old high school diploma, it's unusual if you don't have at least that. And that's just the beginning-consider that if he has a masters' in an obscure subject like Mythology then chances are he could have a tough time making a career out of that. So, the education level and field are both checkpoints to consider.
- Cultural differences-Not the same as religious differences. You can both be Catholic but maybe he comes from a traditional German(strict natured and terrible food) family and you come from a warm Italian(in your face & business all the time, but cooks great) family. Consider the way you were each brought up and how you will raise your children. Will his tight ways be open to your loud and free flowing family. Maybe you like to have dinner with them every month or every week, but he only sees his family on the holidays and doesn't want to hang out with the in-laws unless absolutely necessary. That can be the cause of ongoing arguments. Or as great as your cooking is, he prefers his mothers bratwurst. I am not saying that aren't always going to be compromises in any marriage, but just make sure that they aren't so extreme that you totally have to change around what has always made you happy.
- Kids-Does he want any? Does he want 5? What if it turns out you can't have children the old-fashioned way and have to go through fertility treatments together? And what if that doesn't work? Would he be open to the idea of adoption? One of the sweetest women I have ever met told me the saddest story. She married later in life and tried to have a child naturally and could not. It wasn't in the cards for her no matter what she was willing to do. So, she wanted to adopt. Unfortunately, it turned out that her husband was not open to the idea at all, so she she never got to fulfill that wish. She never thought she would have a problem conceiving, so she never talked about the idea of adopting with him. It's an important conversation to have and if he tells you outright that he doesn't want any children, then never assume you can convince him after you marry him, you'll wind up with your heart broken twice.
- What does he consider his part? Whether you chose to have kids or not, knowing how you will divide up the household work is important. Some good questions are: Who will do the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, the food shopping? Does he like to decorate or will he leave it all up to you? What about pets-have them or not, who will take care of them? Who will take care of the finances? Will it be his money or our money? And if you do have kids: Will he help at all? Will he stay with them so can go to the salon or have a girls' night out? What is his opinion on you working or staying home with them. And if you are not sure about how he will turn out, check out his parents. Does his mom do everything while his dad sits in his recliner with a beer?
Without being too over-the-top and eliminating every potential soul mate, the checklist can, at the very least, open up a lot of conversations that we forget to have when we fall in love. Speaking from my own experience of being married 10+ years, I know I fell head over heels and let all of the rules fly right out of the window. As they say, love is grand, but the honeymoon period eventually wears off and you are living out the rest of your life with this person, so as best as you can, try to find someone who meshes well with you, not someone you are constantly trying to change for and remember to keep your happiness at the top of the priority list.