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!