CHOOSE WISELY for marriage

Why are divorce rates so high in America? Why did over 50% of kids I taught in many Swedish classrooms have parents that were divorced?

People don't CHOOSE WISELY.

The Gswede words "CHOOSE WISELY" are an all important yet often neglected term in regards to getting married or picking a life partner. It is the most important decision one can make yet many don't do it and therefore endure as Henry David Thoreau said " lives of quiet desperation".

4 basic steps:

A) Know what you want

-- Many people don't know or even think about this. Knowing what you want comes from experiences (i.e. quality dating, productive friendships) and seriously thinking about what you like and the qualities that will make you happy.
-- If you lack experiences, it is hard to know what you want and if you never contemplate what is good/bad for you, how can you know what you want?

B) Learn from success and failure

--Make sure you talk with those you respect that have had success in marriage. Is it very smart to learn and have some idea about what marriage entails beforehand. Question them with your curiosity!
-- Having witnessed bad and/or dysfunctional relationships in and outside my family during my youth was actually good for me. I learned from always paying attention to the world around me. It showed me what I did not want to have in a relationship.

C) Don't waste time

-- We often miss golden opportunities because of a never ending bad relationship or baggage from childhood or a any number of life complications. If someone is not right for you and you know it, don't waste time/years with that person. Why? Because you will probably miss the right person.
--If you are not happy or whole inside, make the effort to improve yourself or get help with the problem so you can avoid wasting time. Unhappy people rarely find good relationships.
--Part of not wasting time is being available to meet a potential spouse at events, through friends or at various venues. It won't happen sitting at home, feeling sorry for yourself or being associated with the wrong crowd.

D) Choose Wisely - Easy to say, Hard to do.

--One thing that shouldn't get in the way is the EMOTION of the situation. Feeling the Emotion that you should get married doesn't mean that you MUST get married.
-- Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate - Is it what you want? Will the relationship endure? Is your reasoning all EMOTION minus the logical and practical? Have you evaluated the relationship thoroughly? Do you trust the person? Will they be a good mother/father? Do you like their family? Just a few of the many questions to ask yourself.

If one still cannot decide, doing a simple plus (positives) & minus (negatives) list of getting married should shine some light on the situation. We did that with a good friend many years ago and the MINUS ratio was MUCH higher than the plus. That list clearly showed the marriage drama he was about to enter. Our friend got married anyway because of his emotional attachment. As you might suspect, that relationship ended after a few years.

Unfortunately, many don't even evaluate and hastily choose what they idealize, a person that ONLY makes them feel good or someone that is convenient to be with. When folks don't CHOOSE WISELY, they often suffer immensely.

A successful friend (and good man) didn't choose wisely when he met and married a woman that was not someone he was really interested in or anything like the women he had dated before. He now has a child and is a shade above miserable although he puts on a good face. Sad thing is, he knew better and always chose wisely in the past. A weak moment may cost him a lifetime of pain.

Don't be like him.

Even when you do CHOOSE WISELY, success is not guaranteed. It is a hard road because marriage, kids and the elements of life are not easy. By making a proper choice, it is much easier to handle the roadblocks and setbacks that life will give us all.

Thankfully, I have several friends/mentors who chose wisely and have quality spouses. I have learned from all of them before and during marriage! Life is not always easy in their world and sometimes very difficult but they are able to endure because they chose a good partner.

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen said "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance". There is an element of truth to that. If you don't CHOOSE WISELY, what do you think your chances are?

It is the biggest choice in your life.

Make it a WISE one!

Happy Gswede Sunday.
Enjoying a splendid March Sunday!

Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?

President Reagan crushed Jimmy Carter with that question in the 1980 Presidential debate. It is a question that everyone should ask themselves at least every 4 years.

Here are some you might want to consider.

Is your marriage and/or relationship better?

If you don't have the above and want one, do you seek the right opportunities?

Is your health better? Do you exercise more or less?

Are your finances better? Do you have a budget?

Is your family unit more cohesive?

Are you in the job you desire?

Have you improved or evolved as a person? Do you care about improving as a person?

Do you see your true friends more or less? Do you stay in touch with friends or important contacts if only by email?

Are your BENEFITS in life increasing or decreasing? Do you know that everything in life should have a BENEFIT?

Has your giving or volunteering been consistent or enhanced? Do you give at all?

Do you have more or less contact with your parents/siblings/family?

Do you spend more or less time with your children?

Have you made more Irresponsible mistakes or Responsible mistakes?

Are you less patient or more patient?

More Positive or less positive?

Is your world international or local? Have you been outside of your country?

Do you worry more and do less? Or worry less and do more?

Do you have goals? Are they written or paper?

Life should be about progressing and improving in the aforementioned areas but sadly far too many people don't examine their life at all. No one can be great in all these areas but these are key areas to look at, work on and monitor for success and happiness.

The first one is crucial. Without a good marriage/relationship (one that is consistently worked on and grows), life will be at best plain and at worst miserable.

If you have a bad relationship or marriage that you know will never blossom, don't be afraid to make changes. Why suffer? If you have a bad situation, Take the emotion out of it if only for a moment and things should start to be clear.

If you have something good, work hard to sustain it and make it better. Never take it for granted. Many people seem to think that good marriages/relationships are easy but that couldn't be further from the truth. It takes hard work.

If you are looking for a partner in life, make sure you a) know what you want, b) seek all opportunities to get it, and the most important is c) choose wisely, meaning to make sure the choice is proper, what you desire and not based totally on emotion.

Is your life better off now than it was 4 years ago?

If not, what is your plan?

Happy Gswede Sunday!


The scene in front of me on a lovely Sunday walk in Stockholm

Gswede Sunday - Coming March 23!

Some say that Gswede is all you need!

Indeed, that may be true but you must decide for yourself. For the past year, I have been sending a "Gswede Sunday" message via sms on my mobile phone to a select group of friends.

The topics have been diverse where one week I may talk about:

Responsible vs Irresponsible mistakes in life..... OR
Tiger Woods.....OR
Children neglecting Parents when they become ill......OR
Why giving is so important.....OR
Choosing wisely in marriage

My subjects are endless but always worthwhile. Since my close friends seem to enjoy my thoughts, I have decided to open it up to the world.

It is what I like to call Gswedism!

We all (especially our youth) need POSITIVE inspiration in life (i.e. guidance, wisdom, teaching, mentoring, volunteering). There are many ways to get it and it comes in many forms but quite often people lead very plain or unfulfilled lives due to having insufficient inspiration or not enough.

On what should be a day of rest, watch out for Gswede Sunday!

Your first dose,
( "Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?") comes in 7 days.

Happy Gswede Sunday!