Choosing someone to marry is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make — and for good reason. You're choosing someone to share your life with. This will be your forever person, so the pressure to choose the best person for you is intimidating, to say the least.
It's no secret that marriage rates are declining for the millennial generation. According to Huffington Post, "In six states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) more than 70 percent of young people [20-34] are single. In 2000, no state had such a large share; Massachusetts and New York had the largest at 57 percent."
There are many reasons why marriage rates are declining, but one of those reasons is that young adults in this generation are scared. They don't want to end up in an unhappy marriage or a nasty divorce, so they might think avoiding marriage altogether is the best option.
Choosing who to marry or if you should marry is a life-changing decision, but I'm here to tell you that you can make a good choice — and ending up in a happy, healthy marriage is worth the risk.
There are so many things to consider when you're looking for a spouse — You can read hundreds of articles all about what types of questions to ask before marriage, how to tell if someone's lying to you or what makes up a good spouse. These articles do touch on good things to keep in mind, but there's one thing you can do to ensure a strong marriage before the wedding day.
If you're looking for a way to know if the person you're dating will make a good spouse, you have to ask the right questions. Dallin Oaks said, "The best way to avoid divorce from an unfaithful, abusive or unsupportive spouse is to avoid marriage to such a person. If you wish to marry well, inquire well."
This truth is so simple, yet it's so hard for people to grasp. We get caught up in his prince-like charm or her bubbly personality, but you have to really take a good look at those personality traits and their character, and determine if those traits will be beneficial or harmful in the long run.
In the same article, Professor Michael A. Goodman adds, "To make wise dating and marriage decisions, we need to develop the ability to differentiate between an individual's outward personality and their deeper, inward character."
He married her because she seemed so pretty and petite; he divorced her because she was so weak and helpless.
She married him because he was fun and romantic; she divorced him because he was irresponsible and lazy.
He married her because she was passionate and affectionate; he divorced her because she was so clingy and possessive.
She married him because he was so intelligent and witty; she divorced him because he was so critical and sarcastic.
This isn't to say being fun, romantic, intelligent and passionate is a bad thing — those are critical qualities in a relationship. But, if those wonderful personality traits bring out different, negative characteristics in the person, you'll find yourself in a sticky situation.
Before you choose to spend a life with someone, it's absolutely crucial to know their character — not just their personality.
Keep in mind that nobody's perfect. Your significant other, whether you're dating, engaged or married, WILL make mistakes. They'll disappoint you. It's going to happen. Marriage takes constant work to cultivate a beautiful, healthy relationship, and it's hard sometimes.
But knowing your spouse's true character will help you get through these hard times, and you'll know how to help each other. Their character is the one thing you need to know about them before you tie the knot.
Marriage is honestly the best thing ever. I'm in a happier marriage than I could have ever imagined, but it's not perfect. We both have certain character traits we're working on, and that's why our marriage works. We're constantly trying to better ourselves for each other.
Don't be afraid of marriage, but get to know your potential future spouse and understand their character before you jump into anything. If you know their true character, you can avoid divorce and an unhappy marriage.