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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 11:32 AM   #21
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

First, you have to be aware that you are grown-up or not. If you don't feel like you are a responsible adult yet, I'd say it was too early.

Quote:
You also need to be willing to break it off if you can't agree on the important things before getting married like kids, money, where you're going to live, who is going to work and when, etc. Try and settle those things later and you will be unhappy.
This is important. If you find someone you want to get serious with, start talking about these subjects. Ask them to go first.

Also, remember that you will be marrying the family, too. This is not necessarily a show-stopper, but something to think about. You two should agree on your relationship to her family and to yours. Our familys have been great friends and we are 30+ years out. It helps.

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 11:35 AM   #22
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxter
While I am normally skeptical of "pop psychology" books, there is a book called "Are you the one for me?" by Barbara De Angelis that was suggested to me by a counselor. It talks about the different ways people make the wrong choices, why they make those choices, and how to know if you and your significant other are right for each other and entering into the marriage for the right reasons. It sounds obvious, and maybe it is to most, but I found it enlightening.
A lady friend gave me a couple of Barbara De Angelis' books. I had read a couple written by guys previously. Her books boilded down to explaining why women do things and telling guys to suck it up and live with it. To be fair, I then realized the guy-written books (Men are From Mars... in particular) explained why men do things and told women to suck it up and live with it.

No wonder I liked the guy-written book better, but I'm not sure it will ultimately help me.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 11:39 AM   #23
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Jarhead*, love your sense of humor. I'm not sure I'd want my wife reading over my shoulder on this board.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 12:42 PM   #24
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
First, you have to be aware that you are grown-up or not. If you don't feel like you are a responsible adult yet, I'd say it was too early.
Ruh-roh... now they tell us...
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 01:05 PM   #25
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Plus, you never have to "ask permission" to play golf............
Or to do anything else!!! I love it that way!!
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 02:46 PM   #26
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

in most change during life we become more of who we are rather than some of who we never were. over time some personality traits are highlighted while others downplayed. the more you know yourself, the more self-aware you are early on, the less you will change later. most of life is an unfurling. so the more open you are to begin with, the better you sail through life.

you can come close in a compromise which most of life is, and it is likely rare but nothing beats the combination of love & lust in a mutually enjoyable, respectful & fun relationship. find that and you will not fear change for you will have love forever.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 03:06 PM   #27
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Disclaimer: After 23 years of marriage and 9 years as a divorcee, I'm not a great fan of marriage - - so please bear that in mind. Plus, I realize that most people will not agree with my opinions! That's all that these are - - no "ultimate truths", just opinions. YMMV

Unless you are sure that you want to have kids and young enough to do so, I'd suggest thinking long and hard about whether or not you want to marry at all. If kids are desired, then marriage is something you will probably want to do for them, so ignore the rest of this post.

Marriage and emotional commitment are not synonymous. You can have one without the other.

I believe that marriage is a financial arrangement. Think about it - - have you EVER heard someone say, "I really made out in my divorce, and I've never had so much to spend!" The truth is that marriage is a financial arrangement that blows up during divorce, and so often both sides make out poorly in a divorce. Divorce is sheer financial catastrophe, and can really mess up your life. It can take years to get your credit back and get back on sound financial footing. Is that risk worth taking? (no, probably not)

If you don't divorce, often one partner (unknowingly and without meaning any harm) takes advantage of the other in a financial sense - - for example, the guy who spends his wife's entire salary on his flying lessons, or the wife who spends money on decorating or little ceramic thingies or the mall faster than her husband can bring it in. If you are the frugal one in the household, guess what? You might just be working and saving while your spouse is busy spending faster than you can make it. And since people change during their lives, the balance of financial power in your marriage may shift back and forth, too.

I am so happily divorced. Although initially my credit was ruined, by now I am amazed at how much money I have compared with what I had in married life. My present companion (boyfriend?) is a widower, also in his fifties. We have been together six years and have more emotional commitment than my ex and I had (especially after the first year or two of marriage). We have no plans to marry or to live together and we love it that way.

Instead of slaving over a hot stove, I get taken out to dinner. Instead of dirty laundry, I get thoughtful little gifts. And he doesn't exactly miss his list of "honey-do's", either (I hire people to do that sort of thing, or do them myself). I wish someone had told me not only to think about WHO I was marrying, but if marriage was necessarily something I want to do.

I don't see any reason to seek state sanction of our love and commitment.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 04:04 PM   #28
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

When you decide that you are willing to work harder at making your girl happy than you are at making yourself happy - go for it. At 42 - and with 21 year of marriage under my belt - I believe our success (so far) revolves around this concept. Still a long way to go and I pray every day that I don't screw it up!
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 05:12 PM   #29
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
Disclaimer: ..............I realize that most people will not agree with my opinions! That's all that these are - - no "ultimate truths", just opinions. YMMV................................
...........I don't see any reason to seek state sanction of our love and commitment.
Want2retire,

I, for one, agree whole heartedly with your entire post! Very well said! Thanks! 8)
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 06:03 PM   #30
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Originally Posted by Goonie
Or to do anything else!!! I love it that way!!
And if you simply don't want to talk for a day or two; no problem.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 06:07 PM   #31
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

What she said.

I can't imagine getting married or even living with someone again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
Disclaimer: After 23 years of marriage and 9 years as a divorcee, I'm not a great fan of marriage - - so please bear that in mind. Plus, I realize that most people will not agree with my opinions! That's all that these are - - no "ultimate truths", just opinions. YMMV

Unless you are sure that you want to have kids and young enough to do so, I'd suggest thinking long and hard about whether or not you want to marry at all. If kids are desired, then marriage is something you will probably want to do for them, so ignore the rest of this post.

Marriage and emotional commitment are not synonymous. You can have one without the other.

I believe that marriage is a financial arrangement. Think about it - - have you EVER heard someone say, "I really made out in my divorce, and I've never had so much to spend!" The truth is that marriage is a financial arrangement that blows up during divorce, and so often both sides make out poorly in a divorce. Divorce is sheer financial catastrophe, and can really mess up your life. It can take years to get your credit back and get back on sound financial footing. Is that risk worth taking? (no, probably not)

If you don't divorce, often one partner (unknowingly and without meaning any harm) takes advantage of the other in a financial sense - - for example, the guy who spends his wife's entire salary on his flying lessons, or the wife who spends money on decorating or little ceramic thingies or the mall faster than her husband can bring it in. If you are the frugal one in the household, guess what? You might just be working and saving while your spouse is busy spending faster than you can make it. And since people change during their lives, the balance of financial power in your marriage may shift back and forth, too.

I am so happily divorced. Although initially my credit was ruined, by now I am amazed at how much money I have compared with what I had in married life. My present companion (boyfriend?) is a widower, also in his fifties. We have been together six years and have more emotional commitment than my ex and I had (especially after the first year or two of marriage). We have no plans to marry or to live together and we love it that way.

Instead of slaving over a hot stove, I get taken out to dinner. Instead of dirty laundry, I get thoughtful little gifts. And he doesn't exactly miss his list of "honey-do's", either (I hire people to do that sort of thing, or do them myself). I wish someone had told me not only to think about WHO I was marrying, but if marriage was necessarily something I want to do.

I don't see any reason to seek state sanction of our love and commitment.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 06:43 PM   #32
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

DH says "Don't do it, run like your hair's on fire"

LOL...obviously a sense of humor and having fun in a relationship is very important!

I would recommend taking your time, with a long pre-engagement and engagement. Both DH and I are from divorced families as well, and we were both very gunshy about marriage. We have now been married 12 years, and we both agree that they have been the best years of our lives. We look forward to many more. Have we changed? Yes. Each of us for the better. The one mainstay for us is neither of us can imagine purposefully hurting each other. We have very few arguments and even when we do, we are very careful not to say things that hurt each other.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 06:58 PM   #33
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

I was going to post some of my wisdom on this thread, and then I thought, "What am I thinking? I'm divorced!"

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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #34
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

I wholeheartedly agree with some of the posters who said to sit down with the person you are considering marrying and discuss these subjects (as a minimum): 1) whether you want kids, and if so, how many and when; 2) management of finances and long-term financial goals; 3) where you want to live, at least for the foreseeable future. I know that people change through their lives, but general agreement on these three things is pretty fundamental to the success of any marriage, IMO. I speak from experience, because even though my first wife and I did discuss these things prior to marriage (in retrospect, maybe not as much as we should have, but we did discuss them), some major differences in a couple of these items surfaced not too many years later, and these are things that are not easily reconciled. My second marriage has been much more successful, probably because we had both been divorced once already, and were both very wary of getting married again unless our long-term goals meshed very well.
This is real life stuff, though, as someone said, and there are no guarantees
with any of it, but at least make sure you discuss these things in some depth prior to taking the plunge. I can relate to the posters who were burned by marriage and had no desire to get involved with it again (I was there for 5-6 years after my first marriage ended), but on the other hand, if you find the right person, it's all worth it.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-14-2007, 07:27 PM   #35
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

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Originally Posted by SecondCor521
I was going to post some of my wisdom on this thread, and then I thought, "What am I thinking? I'm divorced!"
Actually, we (at least I) learn just as much from failures as from sucesses.

I have some wisdom of my own too, but can't put them down eloquently. Just kidding, mines are so fuzzy, I can't barely see them most of times.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 02:51 AM   #36
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

My 2 cents:
- Talk about your mid and long term goals. If these do not match or are at least neutral to each other - go away.
- Never assume that you would be able to change the partner after wedding or that he/she would change by herself. Rather talk about the issues in time and take the decision to accept it or to go away.

- Never forget that "love" is a verb. It can be done in hundreds of little ways every day - from helping with a task or making a compliment to contribute to a common goal. And it must be done on a daily basis to make a marriage successfull.

- Being married is not a goal that is achieved on the wedding day. It is an ongoing process and needs as much attention after the big day than before.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 08:15 AM   #37
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Never marry someone who does not have the same financial goals as you no matter how much you love them !
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 09:32 AM   #38
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

That long, but not too long, courtship (2-5 years) is a great indicator of how you'll get along through the seasons of life. A sense of humor and similar goals (personal and financial) are huge. If you don't want kids and she does, but she thinks she will "talk you into it" or vice versa, it is a recipe for disaster.

My street cred: we are the longest-married couple in our group of friends (at 13 years, plus the 4 we dated) and the 7 year fallout has already begun with some of them. Why do we think we are happy together? No kids. Lots of laughs. Same goals. We met when I was 18, if you can believe it. He's 8 years older, though.

Again, that sense of humor and grace under pressure is HUGE! Don't dismiss your friends if they don't like her--they may know something you can't see. If I had a nickel for every ill-advised coupling I tried to warn against, I'd already be FIREd.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 09:38 AM   #39
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
A lady friend gave me a couple of Barbara De Angelis' books. I had read a couple written by guys previously. Her books boilded down to explaining why women do things and telling guys to suck it up and live with it. To be fair, I then realized the guy-written books (Men are From Mars... in particular) explained why men do things and told women to suck it up and live with it.

No wonder I liked the guy-written book better, but I'm not sure it will ultimately help me.
That's funny, I did not get that impression from her book and I usually pick up on gender bias pretty quickly. It was clearly written for a female audience, but I just switched the pronouns in my head and it seemed just as relevant.

Or maybe that says something about me or DW?

There is a lot of good advice in this thread, BTW.
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)
Old 01-15-2007, 11:19 AM   #40
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Re: How do you decide whom to marry? (Re: if you had only known...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
Actually, we (at least I) learn just as much from failures as from sucesses.

I have some wisdom of my own too, but can't put them down eloquently. Just kidding, mines are so fuzzy, I can't barely see them most of times.
My ideas aren't much different that what everyone else has said:

* Make a list of everything that is fundamentally important to you in life and don't marry anyone that doesn't match up on all of them. My list, in no particular order: fidelity, kids, religion, finances, in-laws. Yours might include sports, travel, sex, or whatever.
* Wait until you're 35 so you'll know what is important to you in life so you can do the above. Unless you know you want kids, then marry 2(kids+1) years earlier than that.
* Only marry someone who you trust and respect.
* Marrying someone you're friends with first is a good idea.
* Don't marry someone because you need them to complete you in any way.
* Don't marry someone just because you're physically involved, and avoid getting physically involved with someone before you make the decision to marry them -- hormones can cloud your judgment. I know people will disagree with this, so the "JMHO" disclaimer applies.

I broke most of the rules above and I would say that each breach contributed in some way to my marriage not surviving. We were married for 15.5 years; we lasted that long because there were a lot of ways in which we were good together and because we were both stubbornly sticking it out, which is obviously less than ideal.

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