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Second Factor in Choosing the right partner for marriage

Mutual Values

Now I have shown you how the very first part of a forever relationship is that you need to get along naturally, just by being yourself.

Now here comes the next point. After being able to get along just by being yourselves, the next thing you need is having mutual values.

Mutual values

Now what does it mean by mutual values? Many people think that having mutual values means having the same views on what is right and wrong. These areas are important for you both to agree on if you are to be together. However, incompatibility in these areas would surface early on during the dating stage so they are the more easily identified issues. The reason is that these factors all form a part of the initial attraction stage, and if there are differences in these areas then dating does not go further and a relationship will not form. Few marriages break up due to the partners disagreeing over ethics or each other’s stance on human or animal rights etc.

The more important areas to cover are those that do not arise or are not addressed early on when people date, but rather come up well into a relationship. In addition, they are of such significance that they can break up a marriage and are major causes of divorce. They are the two most important issues of money and family.

Money, money, money …

Money is said to be the root of all evil, it is also a subject that no one wants to talk about or even think about when you are in love or dating. Well the old adage says that love should conquer all, doesn’t it? After all, if you both love each other enough nothing else would matter then since love will take care of everything, as you are both willing to do everything you can for love.

The truth is money is so important to marital happiness, it is the root of lots of relationship problems.

To ignore the importance of money is to ignore reality. It is a case of not what should be important, but what is important and its just the way it is. Now you are all thinking…this is so materialistic, and ideally shouldn’t be a factor when you love someone and want to marry them. However, what is one of the top causes of divorce and relationship break-ups that keep coming up again and again on every surveys? Its money! Well then if you can eliminate the incompatibility in this area, then you have just prevented a huge chunk of all the potential problems, source of arguments and friction to come.

A lot is made of opposites attracting, but opposites together as far as handling money is concerned never works! If one partner is a spendthrift, and the other is frugal then this is a guaranteed source of explosive problems later on.

It would also be unfair on the more careful person as they are foregoing buying things for themselves by being frugal, while the spender would be spending not only “their half”, but also able to spend the extra amount made available by the more frugal partner. Generally, this an indication that the spender is short-sighted, while the more frugal person is more far-sighted and plans more for the long term. How do you think the more thrifty partner will feel over time? Resentment? I know I would. What about you?

On the other hand, if you are a spender then being with someone so much more thrifty than you would feel suffocating. How long are you going to be able to handle that?

So clearly both partners need to be on the same page about money. If you are both frugal then not only will there be no problems then but you would also admire each other for it.

“Honey, I didn’t think you could manage to get the door replaced for that price. You’re fantastic!”

If both are spenders then there will be no tension, no partner will be yelled at for indulging. You both will understand each other as you both have the same “hobby”. “Honey that Chanel handbag you got me was even better than the last one you bought. You’re fantastic!”

For those still doubting, you can easily see the importance of money as more break-ups happen during recessions and in times of financial stress. When you hear of some high-profile businessman going through financial difficulty, usually his marriage also fails at the same time or soon after.

Why is this? Well quite simple. When people are under any strain, particularly financial strain, this puts pressure on their relations with others especially their spouse. When you are unhappy and stressed then you also tend to be snappy and short with those around you providing fertile ground for arguments to easily happen. A lot of hurtful words can be said and this inevitably leads to arguments, then the love will eventually go away as well. Then before you know it, you break up.

On the other hand when things are going well for you and money is coming in you also tend to always be in a good mood. Agreed? You are happy, and then you would also be cheerful and happy with the people around you, not to mention you also tend to be more generous with them. You may take holidays together and splash out on gifts to your partner. In return your partner would feel loved and appreciated by you and feel happy to be with you. You also tend to overlook certain things that normally irritate you, because things are going well and you are in a good mood so you’ll let it pass. So, the less financial stress = less arguments = more happy relationship.

Oh and one other thing?

No matter how hard one partner may work to bring in money, if the other wastes it then they will get nowhere. If a pocket has a hole in it, no matter how much you pour in, it will never be full.

(Scene of pocket with hole in it and coins being poured in and coming out on the other end)

Family matters

The other important value that you must have in common is regarding family. Again this issue has not been given the importance that it deserves. Like it or not, we are the product not just of our education and life experiences, but also our family environment during our foundation years. These early years affect us as a person, the extent of which would determine the importance we place on maintaining our family links.

A strong family influence usually means family and traditional values would be important to us and we will maintain strong links to them. The nature of the relationships within our own family, also shape our perception of how a family and the roles within it should work. Those with stronger family values might be used to more traditional roles. The man plays the breadwinner and protector role, while the woman plays the nurturer and homemaker role.

In contrast, someone who has weak or no family links, like those who left home when they were young, are from broken homes, or brought up with very liberal values, would view the roles differently.

Take the case of Pamela and Joe. The big reason why their marriage did not work was due to their different perceptions of how a marriage should work. Joe was of a traditional Sicilian background and his mother stayed at home and raised the kids and cooked. His father went out to work and provided for the family. That was what family life meant to him growing up and so that was his idea of how a family worked, and what the roles of a wife and husband were. In contrast, Pamela was from a broken home and spent some of her childhood under foster care. Joe wanted her to quit her job as a banker but she was committed to her career, which was rapidly rising.

The one with strong links would still want family involvement like regular visits, attending family events, and keeping their family regularly updated on their lives. The source of tension would arise when one partner with the stronger family links wants this involvement to a greater degree than the other, who would see it as intrusive and an invasion of their privacy.

When they have the same values then everything is much easier. If both do not have strong family links then they would be in agreement as to how each conducts themselves with their in-laws. Their family would not feature much on their social calendar, and as they wouldn’t be concerned about defined roles within their marriage, they would have no problems with sharing all tasks.

If they both had strong family connections then they would understand each other and no one would berate the other over the amount of time spent with the parents, or the number of family birthdays and events to be attended. Understanding of family interaction and expectations would be a matter of course, as well as agreement over the roles that each partner plays in the relationship.

How each other sees their role within the marriage is often the source of conflict with cross-cultural relationships. One partner (from the conservative culture) may still allow their parents to dominate their lives, while the other partner would not understand why they have to keep seeing their parents all the time.

Your partner may seem great but how they treat their family and parents is also a good indication of how they will treat you later on in two ways. First, if they are devoted to their family, they will be more committed to relationships. When people have strong bonds with their family, they also tend to form strong bonds later on, such as in marriage. It is preferable to have someone who does form a strong marriage bond with you as they are more likely to continue and go through difficulties together with you, and not bail out at the first challenge that comes along. Those with weak family bonds usually don’t form strong bonds with others and so it’s more likely they would move on when they are unhappy or once the going starts getting tough. Second, if they are close to their family, it is also an indication they appreciate things and people more, and are not the type that would push people aside if they didn’t get what they wanted. They would not forget the sacrifices that their parents might have made to provide a good upbringing and future for them, and the bonds they still maintain with their parents show they don’t forget what was done for them and they are grateful for it. This means that your partner would remember all the help and support that you provided during difficult periods.

Liam was a struggling musician when Wendy met him. He had argued with his parents and fell out with them over his career choices, so left home early to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star. Therefore, he was never close to them nor did he maintain relationships with his siblings. He had been doing odd jobs for years to survive while he kept at trying to break through. After he and Wendy got together, she told him that she would work to support them both and allow him to concentrate on his music career. By a stroke of luck one of his records was picked up by a major recording studio and he hit the big time. Wendy was overjoyed for him that he got his dream, and happy for them both that they no longer had to struggle. However, her joy was short lived when he kept going away promoting and touring all the time. Pretty soon news reached her that Liam had been playing around. When Wendy confronted him, he admitted it was the case and said he liked his new life and didn’t really want to be with her anymore.

Liam could still have maintained a relationship with his parents and family but chose not to. He did not form a close bond with Wendy, and did not appreciate the support Wendy gave him while he was struggling. Someone who keeps strong bonds with their own family is likely to also form strong bonds with you, and also appreciate and not forget the things you do for them.

For the next factor you must match with to being the perfect match read here.

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