When you decide to get married, you will be taking one of the biggest ever decisions of your life. So naturally, you don’t just dive in, do you? Before you choose someone as your spouse, look for a few essential qualities that will ensure you will have a happy marital life.
A major decision. Selecting one person, out of many possible candidates, with whom to spend the rest of your life. Marriage. Gut deep commitment. Not to be taken lightly.
Choose poorly? This could lead to years of protracted pain, emotional suffering, and a long ledger of divorce court-related expenses. The cost of a poor choice is enough to cause some individuals to become anxious and avoid deep relationships altogether.
Choose wisely, and you have a wonderful soulmate. A frequent source of joy, comfort, and inspiration. Sounds good, yes? But here is the rub… picking the right spouse is hard. Really hard.
This is due, in large part, to the following: the qualities that first attract you to someone are, very often, not the qualities that make for a wonderful marriage. “What ho?” you say (channeling a little bit of Bertie Wooster).
Yes, it’s true. A moment’s reflection will convince you. Consider, for example, the qualities that you hear friends gush about when they first fall deeply ‘in like’ with a new romantic interest:
“She was gorgeous, the most beautiful woman at the party.”
“He was just like a little lost puppy. So cute and shy. But then when he had a few drinks his real self-came out and he was the center of attention. No one could ignore him at that point because of his sheer presence… What a dream. I think I can help him come out of his shell.”
“I cannot remember ever meeting a woman so smart, but also such a flirt… I mean she flirted with everyone, but I was the guy she left with at the end of the night!!! Oh yeah, baby, big win. She is so into me.”
“We both love collecting Hummels! He even has a photo collection of every Hansel and Gretel Hummel ever made.”
“Can you believe it? She loves the Raiders… how gnarly is that? We can wear matching Raiders gear all winter and tailgate in our own driveway.”
In the long run, by which I mean over the course of 30 to 50 years, none of these qualities is likely to help you form a deeply stable and rewarding marriage.
Let there be no misunderstanding. Of course, it’s important to feel attracted to your spouse. Likewise, one should share at least some common interests.
But mere attraction, and mutual interests, do not provide the ballast, or stability needed to help a marriage grow year over year. This is important to keep in mind: healthy marriages grow. Unhealthy marriages remain the same. They become stagnate. Or worse, they deteriorate and die.
So what qualities in a mate make for a marriage that will grow? What qualities increase the chances that many years from now you will end up as two well-seasoned citizens, having weathered the storms of life, and can look back upon decades of shared adventures?
Let’s look at the essential characteristics of a spouse that lead to this happy state.
Here Are 9 Essential Qualities For A Spouse
Insecurity breeds suspicion, dependency, and resentment. The insecure spouse is constantly fighting doubt. Yes, I know, we all have moments of self-doubt and areas of insecurity. But here I’m referring to a more general tendency. A broad orientation towards confidence versus insecurity.
If your spouse constantly wrestles with extreme insecurity it will gradually weaken your relationship. You will be called upon for constant reassurance in order to push back against your spouse’s painful self-doubt (I am not referring to the levels of insecurity that most people experience from time to time).