Love appears to be present everywhere. We are constantly reminded that it’s the best thing in the world and that all you need is love in songs, movies, TV shows, books, and publications. We are told by the media that in relationships, love is sufficient, but the question today is, Is it enough for a health marriage?

Please understand that while loving someone or caring strongly for them is good, it may sometimescomplicate relationships. Numerous individuals contact us and share their stories of harmful habits or relationship dissatisfaction while maintaining their love for their relationships. It is extremely easy to feel affection for someone even while they are mistreating you.

Understanding that love is but one aspect of a larger whole is crucial. A strong, healthy relationship also needs a few other essential components.

The path to a successful marriage is paved with love. You can play the game and stay in it, and it can help keep you moving. But in order to succeed at the game, love is insufficient. If you want to achieve your goals, love is insufficient. For a happy marriage, love is insufficient.

Our emotional and life abilities are put to the test in marriage. It is not surprising that so many relationships, even those built on love, are a constant struggle and frequently end in divorce because the majority of us were never taught many of these skills.

The points below are a collection of numerous, interconnected life and emotional abilities that are essential for a happy marriage. Consider which of these I’m good at as you read through the points. What one of them needs work? Which of them is challenging or practically impossible for me? Is there anything on this list that I feel is missing?

Allow me to suggest to you four broad areas to take a good look at before getting married:

1) Does she or he treat you right?

You can tell if someone isn’t treating you right if they ignore you when you’re talking, flirt with other people, go out with other people, forget to invite you to social or family events, aren’t polite, always find fault, want things done their way, don’t ask for your opinion, blame, criticize, or act in other ways that you can easily imagine.

Just now, I was chatting with a mother about her daughter’s recent engagement. The father of the bride’s daughter demanded that she pay for the entire wedding, but the groom just wanted to use the priciest venue and caterer. I was taken aback. I assumed men weren’t as interested in it. No, she said; this was the one. My main query was, “And how does your daughter feel about it? This mother said, “She doesn’t agree with him. She is a thrifty person. She has a good income but wants to save more than he does.

Again, I was taken aback. How did this couple manage to progress so far without resolving this? Does this young man not wish to win her favor? According to the mother, her daughter believes she should make concessions in order to keep her spouse pleased. That’s nice, I suppose. I concur in theory. But what exactly is he giving to the cause? A two-way street is compromise. If one person constantly yields, eventually that person will get bitter.

Marriage is all about giving. That’s first base. It’s not about you; it’s about the other person. No chance of a home run if you can’t get to first base.

Marriage is a place where work gets done, aside from love, like laundry, grocery shopping, and kid care. It takes a sense of teamwork to transform what may otherwise feel like drudgery into something agreeable, perhaps even enjoyable. You need to determine how well you will work together in terms of finances, parenting, housekeeping, and errands before the engagement ring is offered. The most important aspect of a marriage may be this.

2) Do you like his or her family?

You have been wed to your spouse’s family. Is the family polite, kind, friendly, open, welcoming, and supporting, or is it judgmental, unloving, unreliable, and cruel?

The only two options, if the worst happens, are for your partner to sever all ties with the family or for you to leave the relationship. There is no other option. The clear split is in terms of money, society, psychology, and possibly geography. To be able to do it, your partner must possess great strength. The issue with overbearing parents whose child will never find a spouse who is suitable for them is that they have brainwashed their offspring into believing that they are the ones who actually know best.

It’s a smart move. When a parent’s adult child is convinced that their parents are acting in their best interests, the child won’t question their motivations. The kid won’t be able to get away.

Unusual dating practices were used by someone I know. I advised him to acquire a sense of the situation by talking to the spouse of his girlfriend’s sister in order to learn more about that household. He’s a good person to ask: an outsider-insider; after all, that guy will eventually become his brother-in-law.

Even if a family appears to be nice and accommodating, they may still be unwilling to let go of their child. They have the ability to suddenly change the subject. How do you prepare for such?

The solution is: Pay attention to the iceberg’s tip. Or, to put it another way, never, ever say, “Oh, it only occurred once.” No! Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Everything you see is a component of a larger design. So be aware if your girlfriend’s parents cancel a date, speak poorly of your career, your reputation, or your behavior (as long as all of these are sterling), or otherwise complicate your relationship in any way.

Here’s something that genuinely occurred to Tinashe. Wendy’s parents decided to take her along on their trip. Wendy, who is 26 years old, is not required to attend with her parents worse she is engaged. However, they claimed that having her with them for a week would be a wonderful opportunity for bonding because they were traveling to a resort and because it would be the last week before her wedding. This just so happened to overlap Tinashe’s two weeks of vacation, and he had been looking forward to spending it with Wendy. At least he’d have the second week, he reasoned. Then Wendy texted him from the outing to let him know they were extending their stay by another week.

Do you see the iceberg? When it comes to your partner’s family, your partner had better have your back.

3) Do you have a lot in common?

Although studies has shown that opposites do attract, the ideal basis for a successful marriage is to have religion, work ethic, family values, and other major issues more or less on the same page.

Make a list of what’s important to you and then tag a weight on each item from 1 to 10. Then compare with your partner.

4) Are you married for 30 years or are you just dating?

If you’re already married, the rules are quite different. I’ve written a lot about how to save a troubled marriage. I’ve talked about finding healing, rekindling your spiritual connection, rekindling your passion, and rebuilding your relationship with your own spouse—even if there has been verbal abuse.

This is so because you two have built a shared life together and perhaps even have kids. There is some sort of relationship that needs to be respected in the 5, 10, 20, or 30 years or more that have passed between them. According to statistics, the person who files for divorce frequently becomes more depressed over time than the one who receives the papers.

However, while you are merely dating, regardless of how long the relationship lasts (a year or two), you do not have the same shared life. You have simply lost a small amount of time, nothing more. You may have put your heart into something, but as time passes, you’ll realize that it was a drop in the ocean compared to ending a long-term marriage through divorce.

Therefore, I’ll restate my guidelines: When leading a shared life, be understanding and give people the benefit of the doubt. If these four things are missing when it comes to a new relationship, use the tip-of-the-iceberg rule and turn away.


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