A post for you about marriage…(what little I know anyway)

My bestest friend, here are a few things that we’ve been talking about in my class. I’ll be posting more as I have time, but I hope these few bits of advice help. I love you so much and I know that Jesse does too! I’ll be calling you soon to update you about my new internship (which is turning out to be more like a full time job!), it’s absolutely insane! (in a good way.)

Relational Readiness: If you and your partner are ready for marriage, your relationship will be characterized by longevity, stability and similarity. (and all of these of course have to do with MATURITY.)

*longevity: how long you and your partner have been dating. In short, the longer the better.
*stability: a quality of having consistency, reliability, dependability and steadfastness.
*similarity: this doesn’t have to do with doing everything exactly the same way, but it’s more about uniformity. It has to do with holding common values, beliefs, and attitudes. “Similarities are the glue that holds couples together.”
    –similarities to think about – role expectations for husband and wife. -values: concerning spiritual matters, money, family, politics. desire for children, energy level, dependability, sense of humor, cleanliness, goals, interests, habits, skills, etc.
   -this is because every difference requires time, energy and work to find middle ground, if there is one.

Here are some other questions to help you assess your readiness for marriage. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself while answering these questions.

1. Do you know who you are and like who you are?
2. Would you say you generally have a healthy sense of self-esteem and confidence?
3. Do you feel comfortable talking about your differences in times of conflict (rather than ignoring them)?
4. Are you twenty years of age or older?
5. Are you twenty-four years of age or older?
6. Would people you respect say you are personally mature?
7. Would you say you have a good relationship with your parents?
8. Do you feel comfortable thinking for yourself and making your own decisions?
9. Are you able to make decisions without feeling compelled to please your parents?
10. Are you genuinely prepared to make your marriage relationship a higher priority than your relationship with your parents?
11. Have you resolved painful or troubling issues with your parents that may impact your marriage?
12. Have you identified specific quirks or qualities you may be bringing into your marriage as a result of growing up in your family of origin?
13. Have you dated your partner for a year or more?
14. Have you dated your partner for two years or more?
15. Are you willing to take your time in determining whether your relationship is ready for marriage?
16. Would you characterize your relationship as stable and steadfast?
17. Do you both practice effective compromise and negotiation in your relationship?
18. Can you both resolve conflict between you without losing control?
19. Are you 100 percent committed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to making this relationship work?
20. Do you agree with all of your partner’s important goals and values?
21. Do you and your partner share many similarities (e.g., sense of humor, habits, goals)?
22. Are your differences tiny compared to your similarities?
23. Do you and your partner have similar family backgrounds?
24. Do you rarely feel criticized or corrected by your partner?
25. Do you like this person as he is at this moment, without expecting him to change?

Read on for Scoring
Scoring: Add up the number of yes responses from these items and multiply by four. That will give you a possible score of 100. If you answered honestly and your score is 90 or higher, your answers indicate that you are probably ready for marriage. A score of 80 to 89 indicates that you are on your way, but you would probably be wise to give it more time and careful counsel. A score of 79 or lower indicates that you still have a great deal of work to do either personally or relationally before you are ready for marriage. You are likely to benefit from the help of a good counselor and more time. Whether your score is high or low, this brief assessment should serve simply as a guideline, not as the final answer.

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