In marriage, what do you think “forever” means?
• Till death do us part
• Until the divorce is final
• Until someone more interesting comes along
• Even after we are dead and buried
The choices are too numerous to list. Are you aware that most people don’t have a concept of “forever”? To many people it is just a figure of speech and really has no meaning. In the marriage ceremony we are supposed to be joined together until “death do us part”. That sounds like forever; doesn’t it? Are you aware that the Mormon religion considers spouses married even after death? In this religion, the couple is supposed to be man and wife even in Heaven. This could be interesting if it is true. Can you imagine a person like Elizabeth Taylor arriving in Heaven only to find her numerous husbands all lined up to greet her? So, who would she really be married to?
People marry and divorce today without any concept of staying together. I think this concept has been absent in the minds of most newly married couples for at least the past twenty years. Divorces have escalated tremendously and married couples end their new state sometimes after only a few hours. What was even the point? Why do people get married in the first place?
In my opinion, people today get married for all the wrong reasons. They rarely know enough about each other to know if they are compatible or not. They don’t know each other’s families, religion, or politics. They make remarks like “I’m not marrying his/her family” but that isn’t true. When you marry you ARE marrying the family. You are becoming a part of that family and he/she of yours. Unless you are going to live a very long way away from them, you will be expected to interact with them and enjoy it. That is the number one reason for getting to know someone’s family before you get married.
• Politics
• Job
• Leisure time
• Want kids?
• Finances
• Debts
• Property
• Pre-nuptial?
• Education
• Friends
• Nationality
• Military service
• Medical history
All of these things are very important in your life. All of these things are something you need to have discussed over and over again with a person prior to marriage.

Couple One: Amy and Mike. They met in a local bar one Friday night after work and continued meeting for a month. Then started going out with each other every other Saturday night. Within two months they started spending every other Saturday night at Amy’s apartment. Mike always leaves very early on Sunday morning. Mike has a nice little sports car but when they go out Amy usually drives her car. Amy can contact Mike by email but has been told not to call him because his phone is provided by his employer and he does not allow personal use. When Mike calls Amy the caller ID always shows up private. The couple seems to get along very well to anyone who should encounter them. Mike rings Amy’s doorbell by 6:00P.M.every Saturday. They discuss which restaurant to go to or where to order delivery. They often visit the bar where they met but they never arrive there together; they meet there and leave together later. Mike seems to be Amy’s dream man. He is good in bed and treats her like a gentleman when they are out in public. He likes their table to be in an intimate area of the restaurants where they eat because he wants to spend all of his time just with her. He rarely talks about his work but Amy has the impression that it is a high pressure profession. Their bi-monthly night together is spent quietly and ends early on Sunday morning when he leaves. Amy’s girlfriends ask her why they have never met Mike. Amy’s family asks her why they have never met Mike. When they ask Amy questions about Mike, she often finds she does not know the answer. She covers by saying he is a very private man who doesn’t like to talk about himself. WHOA, what man doesn’t like to talk about himself? What do you think is wrong with this picture?
• Nothing; everything is fine. They are just getting to know each other.
• Mike is married
• Mike has another girlfriend
• Although Mike is sexually attracted to Amy,that's all
. Mike is gay/bisexual
• Mike still lives with his parents
• Mike is afraid Amy will be interested in him for his money if she finds out he is rich

All of these answers are possible but answer one is not very probable. Chances are, according to statistics that one of the answers 2, 3, 4 are correct. Mike is not treating Amy as if she is someone who will share his life. Amy is probably afraid to ask questions.

Couple Two: Daryl and Melissa
Daryl and Melissa met through friends who set them up at a dinner party. They enjoyed each other’s company and Daryl asked Melissa for a follow-up date a week later. They went to a movie and to get a burger. Daryl kissed Melissa at her door and she did not invite him in. A week or two later they went out again. They followed up that date with Sunday brunch with his parents. She was surprised to discover that his parents went to the same church as her parents. This was followed up by a dinner party for the two of them and their respective parents. They learned they had the same political beliefs and voted for the same type of people. They both enjoyed certain sports and followed the same teams. Daryl was a contractor and built houses. Melissa worked as a designer for a furniture company. They both came from small families and neither one liked small children much but thought adopting an older child or children would be good. They continued to see each other and discover their similarities. In eight months, Daryl asked Melissa to marry him and they married by the following summer. Does this seem like the right way to go about deciding if you and your chosen one are suited for each other?

There are a lot of things that you need to know about a person before you get married to each other. How will you live together if you don’t know whether or not you agree or disagree on things?

If you meet someone that “feels” like the right person, make a list of things that you need to know about him/her. Don’t feel as if you are intruding. People who are going to marry should not keep secrets from each other. You need to meet each other’s families. You need to get to know them. People do marry each other’s families. Married couples do not live in a vacuum. You need to know about each other’s professions and where each other fit into the ladder of success of that profession and where he/she is going. You need to know if you both have the same feeling about having children. If you have children will one of you quit work to stay home with that child? What are his/her finances like? Are there savings; investments; property? Will there be a prenuptial? What about religion? What about politics; friends? What about education? Are there outstanding debts that have to be paid off? Does he/she have a criminal record? These are just the basics of what you need to know before you marry someone. There are lots of other things that you should know but they are on the periphery. Has he/she traveled abroad? What does he/she like to do for leisure? What about dietary needs/ preferences; medical problems/family history? All of these things are important.

Just because you were attracted to a person in a friendly atmosphere in a bar after a social drink or two does not mean that you are “perfect for each other”. The French call love-at-first-sight “Un coupe de foudre” (lightning strike). Lightning strikes can addle the brain. Never make a “forever” decision on superficial things. Get to know the person and find out if you actually like each other before you decide that you love each other enough to get married. Find out if his/her friends like you and if you fit into their group. If you are the reason he/she loses lifelong friends, it will not be a good marriage. Find out if his/her family likes you. If you isolate a person from his/her family, it will not be a good marriage.

Don’t take things on “faith”. Faith has a big place in religion but has no place in learning all about someone. You have a right to know things about the person you are going to marry prior to marriage. Once married, you can be held financially responsible for his/her debts. You will need to know his/her family medical history before you decide whether or not to have children. He/she will need to know all about you. Religion can be a big problem if one of you has a religion that requires you to raise the children that way.

All of these hurdles need to be overcome prior to marriage. It is the smart way to do things. Being careful does not make you “love” anyone any less. Take my word for it. It’s better than finding out later and having to go through a divorce.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Vereen is a freelance writer,copyeditor and editor who has 25+ years experience. She has written thousands of SEO articles,magazine and ezine articles, blogs and web content. She has ghosted self-help courses and books for people who don't know how to get it all down on paper. She has acted as a Life Coach to help people organize their lives and get their work done on time. She delivers professional work in a timely manner. Hire her as a ghost through Visit her website at or