From a psychological perspective, love is mental well-being associated with affective, sexual and spiritual satisfaction.
The history of irrational love, the passion and craze of desire has already been illustrated by great writers like William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. Dramas, soap operas, movies and fairy tales detail how problems disappear once the two lovers are finally together. We know, however, “happily ever after” is only the beginning. The media teaches that the power of love is so strong that by just being together is all you need to experience a long lasting marriage.
Here are some questions that must be answered in the positive BEFORE marriage, or quickly thereafter:
1. Do you know yourself?
It is important to find the right person. But do you consider yourself to be the right person? This includes knowing what you do and do not like, being psychologically healthy, trustworthy, empathetic, altruistic and able to share and care for another person. The qualities you search for apply to you, too. The more you know yourself, the more you’ll know what to look for in another person and the consequences of what you did not expect will be felt less. If you do not know yourself, no relationship will complete you.
2. Do you accept each other for who you really are?
This means you realize no one is perfect. Everyone has faults, limits and certain attributes that may be detestable to you. Marital problems begin as one party tries to change the other. Change is difficult, and no one can force another to change. You are responsible only for the changes made in yourself.
3. While dating and engaged, has your life been tranquil?
This includes getting along with others, knowing how to solve problems, conversing civilly and applying empathy, tolerance and good will. Arguing is normal within any intimate relationship, but you need to be sure that the arguments are constructive, resolve problems and provide solutions to questions. If conflicts are ugly and disrespectful, do not expect it to get better after marriage.
4. Do you like yourself or the feeling that comes when you are with your significant other?
It is imperative that you know, and can be, yourself. There is harmony when you and the one you love connect through similar interests, attitudes and values. Be sure that you feel comfortable in each other’s presence. Similarities strengthen the relationship.
5. Do you feel spiritually comfortable around her?
You do not need to be religious to know that how your spouse feels and acts about the divine will influence your relationship. Someone with an open heart; who is generous, charitable, humble and cultures faith and hope daily is better company than someone who repels correction, believes repentance and forgiveness to be “things of the believers” or mocks other religions.
6. Do you share compatible interests, attitudes and values?
This is fundamental. If both focus on building a life and family together, with similar objectives, the power to overcome marital problems is strengthened. This includes self-esteem levels, physical appearance, education levels, family situations and other abilities used to build a successful relationship.
7. What do you expect from your spouse after marriage?
Today, male and female roles are ill-defined. It is essential, however, that you know exactly what you expect from each other. In a marriage, we are partners, parents, and companions responsible for sustaining a family as lovers, friends and confidants. We help each other, play, clean and collaborate.
8. Do you feel sufficiently sexually attracted to her?
Far from being everything in a marriage, but is an important part where humor, sociability, affection and confidence nurture romanticism and contribute to the chemistry between man and wife. Remember, affection and being together does not mean that you need to have sex all the time, but remember that sex is the only thing you share with each other and noone else.
9. Do you feel comfortable while you are around her family and friends?
It is said that when you marry the individual, you marry the family. If this harmony does not develop, eventually, it will affect your relationship. This includes how your wife feels about the people who are close to you.
10. Are you interested in making him happy?
This means letting him go after his dreams, supporting him and admiring his potential. While a successful marriage includes your happiness, you will still need to do your part, and not always putting yourself first.
11. Do you have a solid friendship?
This means being loyal, honest, trustworthy, which are supports of a long-lasting marriage. Invest in communication. Humans enjoy talking to and being with their good friends. Ponder that.
12. Are your hygiene and habits compatible?
Normally, people do not think of these as requirements for a good marriage, but it is essential to know how to take care of and present yourself, and how to contribute to the cleanliness of places you will live together. This improves the health of the couple and the children to come.
13. Are you willing to accept the responsibility of making the marriage work?
This means you will not give up when problems arise. Personality attributes such as narcissism can pick away at a loving relationship and destroy the family. Ask her to do the same.
Ponder and analyze each question. It is not much. You do not need to be perfect in every requirement to be happy during marriage. However, good intentions, unity and the desire to better yourselves in each of these points are important for a successful marriage. Without good intentions any one of these points will snowball and destroy the relationship. Here are some hidden truths about marriage that may help you make a decision.
Love can conquer all. But a matured love, one that has grown together, that is interesting, strong and unified can do so much more.
Translated and adapted by David Hall from the original article “13 questões que você deve saber as respostas antes de se casar”.