) Do Not Marry Potential:
Oftentimes men consider marrying a woman hoping she never changes while
a woman considers marrying a man she hopes she can change. This is the
wrong approach on both accounts. Don’t assume that you can change a
person after you’re married to them or that they will reach their
potential. There is no guarantee, after all, that those changes will be for the better. In fact, it’s often for the
worse. If you can’t accept someone or imagine living with them as they
are then don’t marry them. These differences can include a number of
things such as ideological or practical differences in religion, habits,
hygiene, communication skills, etc.
2)Choose Character over Chemistry:
While chemistry and attraction are no doubt important, character precedes them both. A famous quote follows,
“Chemistry ignites the fire, but character keeps it burning.” The idea of falling “in love”
should never be the sole reason for marrying someone; it is very easy
to confuse infatuation and lust for love. The most important character
traits to look for include humility, kindness, responsibility, &
happiness. Here’s a breakdown of each trait:
humble person never makes demands of people but rather always does right
by them. They put their values and principles above convenience and
comfort. They are slow to anger, are modest, and avoid materialism.
Kindness: The kind person is the quintessential giver. They seek to
please and minimize the pain of others. To know if a person is a giver,
observe how they treat their family, siblings, and parents. Do they have
gratitude towards their parents for all that they’ve done for them? If
not, then know that they will never appreciate what you do
How do they treat people they don’t have to be kind towards (i.e.
waiters, sales associates, employees, etc)? How do they
spend their money? How do they deal with anger; their own anger
and their reaction to someone else’s anger?
Responsibility: A responsible person has stability in their finances,
relationships, job, and character. You can you rely on this person
and trust what they say.
Happiness: A happy person is content with their portion in life. They
feel good about themselves and good about their life. They focus on what
they have rather than on what they don’t have. They very rarely
3) Do Not Neglect The Emotional Needs of Your Partner:
Both men and women have emotional needs and in order for a partnership
to be successful those needs must be mutually met. The fundamental
emotional need of a woman is to be loved. The fundamental emotional need
of a man is to be respected and appreciated. To make a woman feel loved
give her the three AAAs:
Attention, Affection, &
Appreciation. To make a man feel loved give him the three RRRs: Respect,
Reassurance, & Relief. It is the obligation of each partner to make
sure the other is happy and this extends to intimacy as well. As long
as each partner is fulfilled by the emotional needs of the other, the
intimate relationship will thrive. When a man takes seriously the
emotional needs of his wife
she will feel more encouraged to fulfill his intimate desires.
Likewise, when a woman takes seriously the emotional needs of her
husband he will feel more encouraged to give her the affection, love and
appreciation she wants from him. Working together in this way
encourages both giving and receiving.
4) Avoid Opposing Life Plans:
In marriage you can either grow together or grow apart. Sharing a
common purpose in life will increase the chance that you will grow
You must know what the person is into. In other words, what are they ultimately passionate about? Then ask
“Do I respect this passion?” “Do I respect what they are into?”
The more specifically you define yourself, i.e., your values, your
beliefs, your lifestyle, the better chance you have of finding your life
partner, your soul mate, the one you are most compatible with.
Remember, before you decide who to take along on a trip, you should first figure out your destination.
5) Avoid Pre-Marital intimate/Physical Activity:
Recognize that there is incredible wisdom in why God has ordered us to
refrain from intimacy before marriage; they are to prevent great
harms as well as to keep sacred what is the most blessed part of a relationship between a man and a woman.
Aside from the obvious spiritual consequences, when a relationship gets
physical before its time, important issues like character, life
philosophy, and compatibility go to the wayside. Consequently,
everything is romanticized and it becomes difficult to even remember the
important issues let alone talk about them. Intellectual commitment
must be established before emotional or intimate commitment.
6) Avoid Lack of Emotional Connection:
There are four questions that you must answer YES to:
Do I respect and admire this person? What specifically do I respect and admire about this person?
Do I trust this person? Can I rely on them? Do I trust their judgment?
Do I trust their word? Can I believe what they say?
Do I feel Safe? Do I feel emotionally safe with this person? Can I be
vulnerable? Can I be myself? Can I be open? Can I express myself?
Do I feel calm and at peace with this person?
If the answer is “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.” keep evaluating
until you know for sure and truly understand how you feel. If you
don’t feel safe now, you won’t feel safe when you are married. If you
don’t trust now, this won’t change when you are married!
7) Pay Attention to Your Own Emotional Anxiety:
Choosing someone you don’t feel safe with emotionally is not a good
recipe for a long-lasting and loving marriage. Feeling emotionally safe
is the foundation of a strong and healthy marriage. When you don’t feel
safe, you can’t express your feelings and opinions. Learn how to
identify whether you are in an abusive relationship. If you feel you
always have to monitor what you say, if you are with someone and you
feel you can’t really express yourself
and are always walking on eggshells, then it’s very likely you are in an abusive relationship. Look for the following things:
Controlling behavior: This includes controlling the way you act, the
way you think, the way you dress, the way you wear your hair/hijab
and the way you spend your time. Know the difference between
suggestions and demands. Demands are an expression of control and if the
demands are implied, than you must do it or there will be
consequences. All of these are clear indications of abusive
Anger issues: This is someone who raises their voice on a regular
basis, who is angry, gets angry at you, uses anger against you, uses put
downs, and curses at you, etc. You don’t have to put up with this type
of treatment. Many people who tolerate this behavior usually
from abusive backgrounds. If this is the case with you or someone you
know, get help right away. Deal with those issues before getting married
or before even thinking about getting married.
8.) Beware of Lack of Openness In Your Partner:
Many couples make the mistake of not putting everything on the
table for discussion from the onset. Ask yourself, “What do I need to
know to be absolutely certain I want to marry this person?” “What
bothers me about this person or the relationship?” It’s very important
to identify what’s bothering you, things that concern you,
things you are afraid to bring up for discussion. Then you must have an
honest discussion about them. This is a great way to test the strength
of your relationship. Bringing up issues when there’s conflict is a
great opportunity to really evaluate how well you
negotiate, and work together as a team. When people get into power
struggles and blame each other, it’s an indication they don’t work well
as a team. Also important is being vulnerable
around each other. Ask deep questions of each other and see how your partner responds. How do they handle it?
Are they defensive?
Do they attack? Do they withdraw? Do they get annoyed? Do they
blame you? Do they ignore it? Do they hide or rationalize it? Don’t
just listen to what they say but watch for how they say it!
9) Beware of Avoiding Personal Responsibility:
It’s very important to remember no one else is responsible for your
happiness. Many people make the mistake of thinking someone else
will fulfill them and make their life better and that’s their reason for
getting married. People fail to realize that if they are unhappy as a
single person, they will continue to be miserable when they are
married. If you are currently not happy with yourself, don’t like
yourself, don’t like the direction your life is going now, it’s
important to take responsibility for that now and work on improving
those areas of your life before considering marriage. Don’t bring
these issues into your marriage and hope your partner will fix them.
10) Watch Out For Lack of Emotional Health and Availability In Your Potential Partner:
Many people choose partners that are not emotionally healthy or
available. One huge problem is when a partner is unable to balance
the emotional ties to family members, the marriage ends up having 3 (or
more) people in it rather than two. An example of this would
be if a man is overly dependent on his mother and brings that
relationship into the marriage; this is no doubt a recipe for disaster.
Also important to consider are the following:
Avoid people who are emotionally empty inside. These include
people who don’t like themselves because they lack the ability to be
emotionally available. They are always preoccupied with their
deficiencies, insecurities, and negative thoughts. They are in a
perpetual fight with depression, never feel good, are isolated, are
critical and judgmental; tend to not have any close friends, and
often distrust people or are afraid of them. Another clear indication
about them is they always feel their needs are not getting met; they
have a sense of entitlement and feel angry when they feel people
should take care of them and they don’t. They feel burdened by
other people’s needs and feel resentment towards them. These
people can not be emotionally available to build healthy
Addictions can also limit the level of availability of the partner to
build a strong emotional relationship. Never marry an addict.
Addictions are not limited to drugs and alcohol. They can be about
addictions and dependency on work, internet, hobbies, sports,
shopping, money, power, status, materialism, etc. When someone
has an addiction, they will not and can not be emotionally available
to develop an intimate relationship with you!
Additional Points to Consider:
The fact is no one looks 25 forever. Ultimately, we love the person
we marry for more than their appearance. When we get to know
someone we love and admire, we’ll love them for their inner beauty
and overall essence.
Once we find someone, we consciously or subconsciously want so
badly for it all to work that we decide not to question or see what is
clearly in front of our eyes: they were rude to the waiter, speaks ill of
others, is rude to you, etc. We don’t stop to ask, “What does all of
this mean about their character?”
Never separate someone from their family, background, education,
belief system, etc. Asking clear questions can clarify this. Ask
questions like, “What does it mean to have a simple lifestyle?” “What
are your expectations of marriage?” “How would you help around
the house?” Compare your definition with theirs.
Be flexible. Be open-minded!
Giving in a happy marriage should not be confused with martyrdom.
It should be about taking pleasure and seeing the other person as
happy because of your connection with them.
Morality and spirituality are the qualities that truly define someone
in addition to beauty, money, and health. The morally upright and
spiritual person will stand by your side during adversity and
hardship. If someone isn’t God-conscience and doesn’t take
themselves into account with God then why should you expect them
to fulfill their rights owed to you? The ideal partner is someone who
considers giving a gain and not causing a loss. Having a mutual and
shared spiritual relationship will foster a successful marriage.
Furthermore, a successful marriage is one that keeps the laws of
family purity which require a certain degree of self-control and self-
discipline, as well as the belief that the physical side of the
relationship includes the spiritual and emotional side as well.
Finding commonality and balance between the spiritual and
emotional aspects of a relationship is a strong key to a healthy and