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How to know if hes marriage material by knowing if he's not


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How to know if hes marriage material by knowing if he's not

  1. 1. How to Know if He’s Marriage Material (by knowing if he’snot)Upon arriving at a recent early morning speaking engagement a half-hour drive fromhome, I realized that I had forgotten my laptop containing my PowerPointpresentation. Due at the podium in another half-hour with no time to waste, I called myhusband Mike, who was just about to step into the shower and get ready to leave forwork. I frankly told him my predicament and that I needed him to throw some clothes onand bring me my laptop immediately. “Just tell me where you are and I’ll be there,” hesaid, without communicating even a hint of exasperation any adult would feel in thatstressful situation.True to his word as always, Mike showed up with what I needed at just the righttime. And more importantly, even though my careless mistake that morning hadgreatly inconvenienced him, he hasn’t mentioned the incident since. Except thatevening at our favorite romantic restaurant where I’d taken him to express appreciationfor saving my day, when we joked a little about our shared tendency to be absent-minded.The above example illustrates precisely why my husband is the poster boy of malemarriage material. He is dependable, committed, grounded, unflappable, and aspassionate about me as I am about him.So how did I find this guy? By learning what to avoid over many years of dating everyvariety of loser you can imagine. How can you find a guy like him? By knowing thesure signs that a guy is NOT marriage material. The handy list of big red flags below willhelp you size up a potential spouse quickly and determine whether or not he has what ittakes to be fully invested in a fulfilling marital partnership.Big red flag number 1: He’s unreliable.A first clue that my husband was “the one” was his steady tendency to follow through onhis intentions. From the moment we met, he has always done exactly what he says hewill do. Everyone makes mistakes, and I recall one time when he said he would call meand didn’t because he fell asleep. But other than that, he has only made promises thathe knows he can keep. Marriage requires the capacity to keep commitments, andsettling for a guy who follows through just some of the time will only set you up
  2. 2. Big red flag number 2: He lacks personal responsibility.Many of my married clients are frustrated because their spouses are forever telling themthat they are the problem, no matter what the problem happens to be. Guys like thiswho routinely blame their upbringing, their boss, the government, or you for theirdissatisfaction in life are not adults, they are tiresome victims.Yes, sometimes it really is someone else’s fault, but usually not. The challenges ofmarriage demand skilled, selfless, roll-up-your-sleeves problem-solving from bothspouses. Guys who routinely project their issues onto others, can’t admit to beingwrong, or aren’t willing to compromise, are not equipped to step up to the plate in thisway.Big red flag number 3: He doesn’t know what he wants.I once dated a seemingly mature guy who was wonderfully interesting, sexy, and fun.We’d go through weeks of relationship bliss where everything felt solid and sustainable,and then suddenly he’d pull the rug from under me with unsettling declarations like “I’mpretty sure I love you, but I’m just not convinced I want to be in a relationship.”It’s normal to be uncertain about all sorts of things in life, but if your guy is perpetuallyvacillating about career choices, where he wants to live, whether you’re really thewoman for him, or any other pivotal matter, he’s probably not marriage material. Maritalsatisfaction starts with two people being sure that they want to be together, with thecapacity to be decisive about major life choices.Big red flag number 4: He doesn’t share your values or character.As a therapist, I often see broken-hearted betrayed spouses who swear they didn’t seeinfidelity coming and then slowly wake up to clues that were there all along. It could behis casual lies that make you subtly uncomfortable, or maybe it’s his penchant for pornor disrespect for waiters that provokes nagging unease in your gut. Whatever theevidence that your guy isn’t aligned with your moral compass, don’t ignore it. Marriagecan last only when there is an unwavering match of values and character.Big red flag number 5: He disagrees with you on major life issues.I know as a therapist that most divorces are caused by irreconcilable philosophicaldifferences around parenting and finances. Even if you get along swimmingly well withsomeone, you will struggle in marriage if you can’t agree from the beginning on suchmajor points as whether or not to have children and how to raise them, or how you willmanage your money. There are no right answers on how to approach such matters,
  3. 3. one thing is certain: if there is wide discrepancy on pivotal marital themes beforematrimony, this gap will surely make trouble after you tie the knot.Big red flag number 6: He needs special handling.One way that my husband makes life immensely easy for me is by knowing how to getalong with just about anyone and endure just about any circumstance – without lettingon that he is discontented or inconvenienced. If your guy broods when he is upset,makes you walk on eggshells, or otherwise puts the burden on you to make himcomfortable in uncomfortable situations, watch out. Men who need coddling will neverbe able to negotiate interpersonal challenges – difficult relatives, family conflicts, andpainful events like funerals, to name a few – that come with every marriage.Big red flag number 7: He has wild oats left to sow.My husband and I met in our early forties, after we had both traveled abroad, lived onour own and with roommates, landed satisfying careers, sufficiently worked through ourindividual core issues, and had enough relationship experience to know exactly the kindof person we were looking for. If your guy still craves adventures incompatible withpermanent commitment, he is definitely not ready for marriage and should be set free towrestle with his demons and exhaust his single-minded goals and dreams.Big red flag number 8: He is dependent on you.My first serious boyfriend was an incredibly cool guy, but his desire to be with me all thetime was suffocating. When a man insists that you do everything together, he isinsecure at best and controlling at worst. Couple time is enriched when spousesregularly enjoy interests, friends, and solitude away from each other. If your guydoesn’t support and encourage your independent growth and fulfillment, your marriageis destined to be isolating and oppressive.Big red flag number 9: He believes in fairy tales.Happily ever after is not reality. No spouse is perfect. No two people can live togetherpermanently without conflict. And every marriage, no matter how compatible andcommitted the spouses, is an experiment with no guarantees. Even the happiestspouses disagree, get on each other’s nerves, disappoint each other, and have theirplans derailed by unforeseen circumstances. If your potential marriage partner thinksotherwise, he is not grounded enough in reality to navigate the trials, mistakes,unexpected curveballs, and unintended hurt feelings that happen in all
  4. 4. Big red flag number 10: He doesn’t stimulate you.Many women come to me with a common dilemma. They’ve dated plenty ofcommitment phobics whose elusivity keeps the relationship exciting. They’ve finally meta guy who is objectively a suitable partner and ready for marriage, but there’s nochemistry. These women wonder if it’s possible to find a guy who is simultaneouslyenthralling AND dependable, and the answer is absolutely yes.Passion, the fuel of successful marriage, is kept alive when spouses regularlyappreciate and celebrate each other. Passion ebbs and flows in marriage, and it can bereignited. But a marriage that starts without passion will only deplete and depress you,no matter how hard you try to will it into being.Big red flag number 11: He doesn’t make you a better person.Imagine yourself at your very best. Confident, calm, energized, positive, supported,embraced, at peace with yourself and the world, inspired to contribute, ready forwhatever life brings. That’s what you can expect to feel like in a successfulmarriage. As my mother once told me, you’ll know you’ve met Mr. Right wheneverything opens up and you feel freer to be you than you ever thought possible. Ifyou’re feeling anything less than your best with the guy you’re with, you owe it toyourself to keep looking. There’s never a good reason to settle, and when it comes tomeeting marriage material, patience pays off.About the authorThrough speaking, training, consulting, and one-on-one sessions, psychologist AmyWood has helped countless adults from all walks of life and work to articulate andaccomplish their own versions of success. Known for her pragmatic optimism, shebelieves that every human being is a unique and valuable individual with the innerresources necessary to overcome any challenge. Dr. Wood earned her doctorate fromthe Adler School of Professional Psychology, is certified by the College of ExecutiveCoaching, and is based in Portland, Maine.Dr. Wood is the author of Life Your Way: Refresh Your Approach to Success andBreathe Easier in a Fast-paced World an award-winning personal improvement bookthat surpasses quick-fix self-help rhetoric with a sustainable program for adapting to ourperpetually hectic age. She is a co-founder of sPeak performance, a speakers bureaucomprised of women authors, and is often called on for her expert opinion by mediaranging from local newspapers to Parade Magazine.To learn more about Dr. Wood, visit her websitesat and
  5. 5. For more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how to make yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click the link below.