So we are all stuck at home, I told two great jokes yesterday. “My wife and I were happy for 20 years then we met” I followed that up with “My son asked me what it’s like to be married so I told him to leave me alone and when he did I asked him why he was ignoring me.” I was the only one who laughed.
However 20+ years later I’d say other than my attempts at humor we have a successful marriage. I’ve found in my travels and research there are 4 essential elements to any successful “coupling”. Hetro,Homo, Bi-Sexual it really doesn’t matter, if you are in a committed relationship and want to gauge the potential for its long term success here are the 4 main factors.
Ideally before you get engaged you have knocked out items 2-4. You would know of the person religion and the scope of importance of it in their lives and yours. You should have met their family, and they have met yours. Issues in this item take time to develop but often red flags appear VERY fast. Siblings, and parents are often sources of judgement that negatively impact partners. Kids, if you haven’t minimally got a sense of how the person feels about kids, ask!
Money is often the hardest one. Many people have debt and are embarrassed. Many people do not have good histories with money and or were never taught how to manage it. Most importantly though is through your adult life your income and debt ratio change a great deal. Not only that but should you have children, its highly likely one partner will be the primary care giver, at least initially.
So as we all sit at home and spend more time with our immediate family we can reflect on some of these issues. Maybe you are living with your partner now, you aren’t engaged but this has revealed to you that this person is the one.
Remember these are all “normal” categories. If there is substance abuse, illness, physical and mental abuse those all override this list. Marriage in the hopes that someone will change is often a precursor to an unsuccessful outcome, don’t do it! Also there is nothing more important than your instincts, you have a natural intuition based on your life experiences trust yourself.