Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lower your chance of divorce!

Smarter Romance is all about lowering your chance for divorce. Whether you've never married before and you're in a pre-marital relationship now, or, you've been married before, want to be married again, but don't want to make a second appearance in divorce court, you can dramatically decrease your likelihood for divorce. (Right now it's just a little less than 50-50!)

As we all probably know, already married partners have been the focus of most marriage research and interventions. Obviously, if there's a problem with that it may be discovered in an after-the-fact realization that such-and-such a couple shouldn't have married in the first place. Painfully, like so many other people, they've come face-to-face with the old Pennsylvania Dutch adage, "Too soon old; too late smart," or more contemporarily, "Hindsight is always 20-20."

So what do men and women have to do to avoid this kind of situation? Asking this question another way, how can we make more informed--"better"--marriage choices?

In broadest terms, in order to make a more informed choice requires two important considerations. First, it requires courting couples to think differently about their dating and courtship experiences. Second, it requires the addition of some new ingredients to those processes that will uncover a new kind of information.

So, in keeping with my previous promise to pose some important questions, here's the next one.

Question No. 2

How are you preparing yourself (right now, today, this week) to find the "right" partner for you?

Some discussion:
Have you considered what you really need to know about your potential marriage partner? What might give you confidence that the two of you can successfully face the daily challenges of a shared life? Make yourself a simple list of the things you believe would help you make a shared life doable and satisfying.

For example, you might consider how these word prompts trigger thoughts about your list: Shared space, shared time, shared money, in-law relationships (i.e., parental, brothers and sisters, etc), work habits, hobbies, time use after work, religious commitments and fervency, emotional availability (or not), emotional stability (or not), playfulness (or not), sensuality, apparent sexual responsiveness, shared interests, educational goals, career goals and timetable, interest in children (or not), step-children, spending-money habits, personal style, friends old and new, pets/animals (or not), living quarters, where to live, climate and geographic preferences.

If or as you use these prompts, some of them will probably trigger you to think about what your potential partner's preferences or interests or disciplines may be like. Remember, you have little or no control over what those preferences, etc., may ultimately be like. However, you do have control over your own! How well do you really know yourself? So, can you see how it might make great sense to carefully consider how you work--to really get to know yourself well? This knowledge is every bit as important, if not more so, than what's going on for your "him or her" partner. If you don't know yourself (but think you do), you're likely to be hard pressed to figure out if you and your partner really are long-term compatible, or if you've just initially convinced yourself (or yourselves!) that you are. Hmmm. Believe me, it's all too easy to make this mistake.

Next time

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