So now you've found someone. You enjoy each other's company. You like the same things. The chemistry feels right. But there's one more step to take before you make that final commitment. Now is the time to sit down very seriously with your potential mate and discuss the important questions.
Marriages succeed in the long run not because of the chemistry of the people or the personalities, but because of shared values, shared vision and a sense of unity. It's the values, vision and unity that will see you through the ups and downs of life – because every life has its challenges and, as husband and wife, you must face those challenges together.
Now is the time to be very open, honest and real with each other and with yourself. A spouse is someone with whom you will build a home, a future and possibly raise children. Be very thorough in examining and understanding each other's attitudes and behaviors about the following subjects. It isn't important that you agree on everything, but rather that you have the ability to communicate and work out any differences. If the communication is strong, and the willingness to compromise with each other is present, then you have the basis for a strong marriage.
If, however, your potential spouse is unclear in his or her answers or does not want to discuss these issues, take that seriously, as well. Marriage, in one sense, is like a business. Each partner has something they are going to invest. Each partner expects a return. And both people have to roll up their sleeves to do the work. Understand ahead of time the investments, the expected return, how much each partner is willing to work and what the risks are. If your potential mate does not want to invest much, expects an unrealistic return or is not willing to work, communicate or compromise – you may consider walking away from the match.
Take the time to discuss these subjects thoroughly. Understanding each other ahead of time will help you make the best decision in the long run.
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