In 2008 an article in the New York Times reported that a 78-year-old priest in New Jersey, Father Pat Connor, was giving young people advice about whom NOT to marry.
His advice for a successful marriage was this: Never marry someone who has no friends, who doesn’t handle money prudently, whose life you can run, is too attached to his/her mother, who doesn’t have a sense of humor, who is a silent type and withdraws, who is an addict, whose family has characteristics you don’t value, who has a different religion from yours, AND who doesn’t possess good moral character.
Whew! No one on the planet would ever get married if the above criteria had to be met!
This description might sound interesting, but it’s just not true. Why believe counselors and self-proclaimed relationship experts who have never been in a long-term relationship themselves?
What’s true is this: You aren’t automatically happy if you marry the “perfect” person. Many couples who are “meant” for each other don’t know how to save a relationship. Why not? Because they don’t have an understanding of relationship dynamics – how they develop, how they force you to grow up, change, and learn about who you are.
The “ideal” mate is not a prescription for a successful relationship. Divorce courts are filled with couples who thought they’d married the man or woman of their dreams. What guarantees success is your capacity to understand love, intimacy, sex, desire, commitment, stress, and connection — and how these concepts play out in your relationship: This is relationship education.
When you read newspapers, magazines and books, do not pay attention to checklists like this one. Everyone wants a sure bet, but it doesn’t exist. If you are clueless about what’s happening in your relationship, your many friends, your lack of addictions, and your good communication skills won’t know how to save your relationship; your relationship education will.
“Relationship education is… ” Read more about how to do a Quick-Write here.When you’ve finished, please email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org In return, I’ll email you a coupon that you can use for a 20% discount on any private class that you’d like to take from me. Valid until December 31, 2013.