Ten Ways to Marry the Wrong Person

Blind love is not the way to choose a spouse. Here are practical tools for keeping your eyes wide open.

by Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A.

With the divorce rate over 50 percent, too many are apparently making a serious mistake in deciding who to spend the rest of their life with. To avoid becoming a “statistic,” try to internalize these 10 insights.

#1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change after you’re married.

The classic mistake. Never marry potential. The golden rule is, if you can’t be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don’t get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it, “You actually can expect people to change after their married… for the worst!”

So when it comes to the other person’s spirituality, character, personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure you can live with these as they are now.

#2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than on character.

Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keeps it burning. Beware of the “I’m in love” syndrome. “I’m in love” often means, “I’m in lust.” Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked out this person’s character?

Here are four character traits to definitely check for:

Humility: Does this person believe that “doing the right thing” is more important than personal comfort?

Do I want to be more like this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?

Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn’t have to be nice to? Does s/he do volunteer work? Give charity?

Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what s/he says s/he’s going to do?

Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he enjoy life? Is s/he emotionally stable?

Ask yourself: Do I want to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?

#3. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn’t understand what a woman needs most.

Men and women have unique emotional needs, and more often than not, it is the man who just doesn’t “get it.” Jewish tradition places the onus on the man to understand the emotional needs of a woman and to satisfy them.

The unique need of a woman is to be loved — to feel that she is the most important person in her husband’s life. The husband needs to give her consistent, quality attention.

This is most apparent in Judaism’s approach to intimacy. The Torah obligates the husband to meet the intimate needs of his wife. Intimacy is always on the woman’s terms. Men are goal-oriented, especially when it comes this area. As a wise woman once pointed out, “Men have two speeds: on and off.” Women are experience-oriented. When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented, he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing things happen.

#4. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common life goals and priorities.

There are three basic ways we connect with another person:

  1. chemistry and compatibility
  2. share common interests
  3. share common life goal

Make sure you share the deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide. After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart. To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you’re “living for,” while you’re single — and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion as you.

This is the true definition of a “soul mate.” A soul mate is a goal mate — two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life’s purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.

#5. You choose the wrong person because you get intimately involved too quickly.

Intimacy before the commitment of marriage can be a big problem because it often precludes a fully honest exploration of important issues. Physical involvement tends to cloud one’s mind. And a clouded mind is not inclined to make good decisions.

It is not necessary to take a “test drive” in order to find out if a couple is physically compatible. If you do your homework and make sure you are intellectually and emotionally compatible, you don’t have to worry about it. Of all the studies done on divorce, incompatibility in the intimate arena is almost never cited as a main reason why people divorce.

#6. You pick the wrong person because you do not have a deeper emotional connection with this person.

To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional connection or not, ask: “Do I respect and admire this person?”

This does not mean, “Am I impressed by this person?” We are impressed by a Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. You should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty, determination, etc.

Also ask: “Do I trust this person?” This also means, “Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on him/her?

#7. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom you don’t feel emotionally safe.

Ask yourself the following questions: Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person? Can I fully be myself and express myself with this person? Does this person make me feel good about myself? Do you have a really close friend who does make you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way!

Are you afraid of this person in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you’re afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there’s a problem with the relationship.

Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you.

Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don’t feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you. There’s a big difference between “controlling” and “making suggestions.” A suggestion is made for your benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit.

#8. You pick the wrong person because you don’t put everything on the table.

Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way to evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise. You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you?

Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with this person. If you can’t be vulnerable, then you can’t be intimate. The two go hand in hand.

#9. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness.

If you are unhappy and single, you’ll probably be unhappy and married, too.

If you are unhappy and single, you’ll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them.

If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You’ll feel better, and your future spouse will thank you.

#10. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a triangle.

To be “triangulated” means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop another relationship. A person who hasn’t separated from his or her parents is the classic example of triangulation. People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money.

Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in the triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You will not be their number one priority. And that’s no basis for a marriage.

http://www.aish.com/d/w/48955756.html

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6 Habits to Keep Your Marriage Happy, Hot and Healthy

This morning my honey and I decided to go on a walk/jog around our complex. It was a beautiful out and we were happy to get in some exercise together. We did a lot of jogging and by the end we were both feeling the burn.

While we were out, we ran into four of our older neighbors who were also walking around the complex. The four of them were smiling at us and greeted us with pleasant good mornings. One of the ladies said something that puzzled us. She said, “it’s just so nice to see you two doing things together.” We thanked her and kept walking. We started talking and asking ourselves, why wouldn’t we be doing things together? The sad thing is, many married couples don’t spend a lot of free time together. People these days don’t get to see many couples that want to be around each other and enjoy each other. The tone in the older lady’s voice gave us the impression that she didn’t see couples like us often. I believe that it’s vitally important that couples make each other and their marriage a priority.

It’s a good idea to get into good habits so that your marriage can be happy, hot and healthy!! If more people’s marriages were happy, hot and healthy, they would want to spend the majority of their time together and you wouldn’t be able to pull them apart! Let’s all strive to make our marriages better! Here is an article that I found entitled 6 Habits of Happily Married Couples.

HABIT #1 – GIVE EACH OTHER PLEASURE

Happily married couples are committed to the goal of giving each other pleasure. You must stay focused on the ultimate goal — which is to give each other pleasure and not cause pain. It sounds simple enough, but can be very hard in practice.

For just one day, try to maintain a consciousness with everything you do, by asking yourself, “Is what I’m about to do or say going to cause my spouse pain or pleasure?”

To monitor how you’re doing, each of you should make two lists: One for all the things your spouse does to cause you pain, and another which identifies what you would like your spouse to do to give you pleasure. Swap lists, and now you know exactly what to do and what not to do. No more mind reading!

HABIT #2 – CREATE MUTUALLY SATISFYING LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP RITUALS

Rituals are habits that build and strengthen a relationship. One couple had the following “greeting ritual” at night when the husband came home:

He would first greet the dog and hug the kids. Then he would go into his bedroom, change his clothes, and watch the news, followed by a visit to the bathroom. Finally he would wander into the kitchen and mutter something to his wife, for example, “Let’s eat fast so we can get to the PTA meeting!”

One might say that such a ritual was not exactly increasing their love for each other.

How are your greeting and goodbye rituals?

So after watching how their dog greeted them every time they came home, this couple decided to come up with a new ritual. Elated dogs jump all over their masters and lick them. So they decided to greet each other like dogs. They started jumping up and down and hugging each other. They really got into it. They had fun and the kids got a kick out it, too.

Our actions affect the way we feel. How are your greeting and good-bye rituals?

Here are some rituals you and your spouse should consider working on:

* Daily e-mailing each other with a compliment.

* Daily phone call. (especially important for husbands to do)

* Anniversaries deserve special attention. Plan to do something both of you really enjoy, rather than feeling stuck two days before your anniversary arrives and then running out to get some flowers.

* Before you turn in for the night, try saying two compliments to each other. This means coming up with something new each night!

* It is essential to have a “date night” at least every other week.

HABIT #3 – CREATE A SAFE PLACE TO DISCUSS ISSUES OPENLY AND HONESTLY

Abusive relationships are ones in which you are afraid to express feelings and opinions. Happily married couples create a sense of safety that allows each person to feel comfortable expressing his/her feelings, problems, and dissatisfactions. This sense of safety is the foundation upon which a couple negotiates things that are bothering them.

It’s common for each person to come into a relationship with certain expectations about how things will be. But without the ability to communicate and negotiate, these issues become sources for power struggles that almost always damage the relationship.

HABIT #4 – USE GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO RESOLVE HOT ISSUES

The technique that every couple must learn is called the “listener-speaker technique.” The problem with the way most couples argue is that they try to find solutions before fully giving each other the chance to say what they need to say. The speaker-listener technique ensures that before you can engage in solution talk, each person feels they have been fully heard.

Only after each person has been fully heard, do you proceed to problem solving.

Here’s how it works: One person holds an object in their hand which symbolizes that he or she has the floor. While one person has the floor, the other person can only listen by repeating back or paraphrasing what the other person said. The listener can stop the speaker if s/he is saying too much for the listener to repeat back.

When couples use this technique, it automatically ensures that each person will be able to say everything s/he needs to say without interruption, rebuttals, criticism or attack. Only after each person has been fully “heard,” do you then proceed to problem solving.

HABIT #5 – CONSTANTLY TURN TOWARD EACH OTHER, RATHER THAN AWAY

When you pass your spouse sitting at her desk doing some work, do you stop and rub her shoulders, give her a kiss on the cheek, and whisper something nice in her ear — or do you just walk on by? This is the meaning of “turning toward” as opposed to “turning away.”

Happily married couples have ways to constantly be emotionally close to each other.

Marriage research shows that happily married couples do a lot of turning toward each other whenever they get the chance. They look for ways to be physically and emotionally close to each other. Turning toward each other means making each other your number one priority.

Another important aspect of turning toward each other is doing things together that you both enjoy. Taking walks together, drinking coffee together after dinner, learning Torah together, and listening to music together, are all examples of how couples turn toward each other.

A powerful way to turn toward each other is to show the ultimate respect — by standing when your spouse enters the room. Sounds old-fashioned? It is. But it’s a powerful way to turn toward your spouse, make him/her feel very special.

Couples who “turn away” from each other don’t develop closeness. It’s a basic principle stated in the Talmud, “A good deed begets another good deed. A bad deed begets another bad deed.”

HABIT #6 – INFUSE YOUR LIVES WITH SHARED MEANING

I often ask singles the following question: “After you’re married, what do you plan to do for the next 40 years?” And I usually follow-up by saying, “And besides having fun, what else will you do with each other?”

The ultimate in meaning is to share a common philosophy of life purpose.

Human beings need meaning like we need water. Happily married couples enrich their relationship by sharing meaningful experiences with each other. The ultimate in meaning is to share a common philosophy of life and life purpose. This is why couples who observe Shabbat together, and learn Torah together, have great sources of meaning built into their lives.

Some other specific ways of infusing your relationship with meaning are visiting the sick together, making a shiva call together, or preparing a meal together for a mother who just gave birth.

When couples share truly meaningful experiences, they bond on a deeper level.

These six habits may seem small, but when practiced intentionally and consistently, they will form the backbone of a deeply fulfilling marriage.

http://www.aish.com/f/m/48937667.html

I put the word HOT in the title because if you and your spouse are communicating appropriately, working out issues the right way, spending time together, being respectful and loving and cultivating your friendship, your marriage WILL BE HOT, PASSIONATE AND STEAMING!!

Thank you Lord for every married person that reads this post. Bless them and their mate. Help them to walk according to your word and trust you in every area of their lives and marriage. Thank you Lord in advance for all their needs being met. In Jesus name, AMEN!

Question: Which habits stuck out to you? Were there any that you didn’t agree with? Forward this post to others that you think may need to read it. Lets help produce happy, hot and healthy relationships.