Jack, the first thing is to make sure you marry the right woman. See all those rules governing wonderful marriages… They don’t work with the wrong partner. Your expectations will be unrealistic if you have the wrong partner. Expected reactions will not tally with desire. And the right partner is first and foremost, someone who genuinely loves you, someone who cares about you. The wrong partner on the other hand is someone who just wants to marry. You’re just a vehicular pod. Love is a great motivator in marriage. It makes many things happen, encourages the taking of initiative.When you’re with the right woman your heart knows. But if you concentrate on wrong or extraneous things, chances are you’ll end up with the wrong woman. Those parameters are different from the parameters of a wife. Focus on wife parameters. Is this person your friend? Does she genuinely care about you? Is she kind to you? Is she affectionately disposed? Does she want to be with you? Is she generous towards you? Is she emotionally bonded with you? Do you have peace about her? Is she willing to invest her life in the relationship? Is it all about what she stands to gain – her programme, or is it about both of you? Is she selfless towards you? Does she care for your welfare? Does she care for you emotionally? Is she interested in your success? Will she give you joy and happiness? Does she want you? Will she be there for you? Can you count on her? These are questions you ought to consider, things that should be at the back of your mind. If you don’t consider these questions before marriage, they have a way of showing up as questions after marriage.
But there are warning signs as well. Is she selfish or self-centered? Is she stingy emotionally? Is she exploitative? Is the relationship one-way? Does she give you gifts as well? Is she controlling? Is she caring? Is she dealing with you at emotional arm’s length, seeking to manipulate you? Is she sincere? Has she defined you in exploitative terms? Is it about what she can get from you? Is she temperamental? Do you fight regularly? Does the fight turn nasty and physical including breaking of stuff? Is it all about her, or about your future together? Is it all about the wedding or about marriage? Does she have time for you? Is she still shopping, on the lookout? Can you trust her? Is she reasonable? You see, these are warning signs before a bad marriage. If you ignore them, they’ll ignore you later. It’s why I told you those wonderful rules about marriage only work with the right partner. It’s when you have an unselfish partner for example that great giving works, or else your love will become an endurance test. If you have a very temperamental partner, that relationship will be more difficult than toothache. If it’s all about the wedding for her, once the wedding takes place the marriage is over. She’ll pursue independent agenda.
As to the issue of age difference…because she’s older than you it can’t work. She’s culturally traditional. She’ll struggle with that age difference because her cultural paradigm is that the man must be older. In that traditional cultural paradigm, respect is determined by age. You’re younger so it won’t work. You have to be wary about her telling you it will work. Her cultural paradigm will determine everything in the marriage. And she’s just saying that because she wants to marry. After marriage the rules will change. She’ll end up oppressing you from your inexperience in these things. That’s what your mum is afraid of. Truth about a relationship is sometimes very difficult to assimilate when we’re anxious to commit. Since every relationship is a potential marriage, it is legitimate to ask oneself, Can I marry this person? To answer that question you have to deal with facts, not suppositions and desires. Facts. Don’t explain things away. Don’t excuse behavior. Deal with the facts in front of you. Facts are sacred in a relationship.
Now, if fully cognizant of the facts you willy-nilly walk into matrimonial darkness, you have to accept moral responsibility. And men sometimes do that incomprehensible thing. They walk into marital furnace eyes wide shut. The critical thing in marriage is the quality of the heart of the person. What’s the quality of her heart? A good heart is open to correction. A good heart works at a marriage, wants it to work. There’s goodness. But if you have a selfish, exploitative and manipulative partner, you already know the quality of the heart. If she’s wrong for you, stop behaving as if she’s the only option you’ll ever have in life. Are you saying if she dies you’ll never marry? Of course you would! So she’s not your only option in life. The problem is, you’re committed to wanting to make the marriage happen. Yet marriage is not something that goes away. It’s not something you do and dispose of like a shaving stick. Once you marry, it’s an ever present reality. That reality is going nowhere. It’s actually your life. Solomon said, a wise man sees trouble ahead and makes a detour. You can’t be committed to future torture in the name of wanting to marry. People do that and it’s not wise.
There’s also the belief that if you ignore all the warning signs everything will be miraculously resolved after marriage. Really? All that attractiveness you wrote about…..it will evaporate in marriage if there’s no character. By that time you’re stuck. The door is locked, the handle broken, the key thrown away. Marital trauma is indescribable. It just cannot be described. Ask those who are going through it. But for the most, marital trauma is preventable, if you’ll let commonsense in. You’re navigating your life course with your choice of girlfriend. That’s the simple truth. And if it’s not going to work, don’t force it to work. These are my two pennies. Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.orgWhen you’re with the right woman, your heart knows. Click To Tweet