“Due Diligence”:Making The “Right” Choice For A Life Partner

I’ve had two people say to me this past week, “I’ve made the wrong choice of a spouse for the kind of person that I am.”  Both have children and do not want to put them through a divorce. Their statement of “wrong choice” was based on their getting a better understanding of who they are – at a deeper level than what they had previously understood.  Two of the insight areas were brain wiring and life style interests. Through a better understanding of how their brain is wired, particularly in the emotional needs and capacity area, and what kind of life style is desired, they realized their choice for a partner was not a good one.

Another couple that I have worked with for pre-marriage counseling are very confident that they have made the “right choice” moving forward into their marriage commitment. They know how each of them is emotionally wired from their genetic orientation through their family’s impact. By knowing this core orientation they are more aware of their childhood emotional wounds, as well as their individual strengths and weaknesses. Also, through this examination of who they truly are they have a better sense of the life style to be created to meet each of their needs.  In addition to the work they have done with me, they also have taken an inventory used by the Catholic Church which assesses how each of them agrees or disagrees on a variety of perspectives.  It was interesting and affirming that the inventory bore out the findings we discovered in the counseling process.  This couple will have a loving and fruitful life “til death do us part”!

The following categories are used in the inventory for couples to see how well they agree or disagree in their respective perspectives.

  1. Life style expectations
  2. Friends and interests
  3. Personality match
  4. Personal issues
  5. Communication
  6. Problem solving
  7. Religion and values
  8. Parenting issues
  9. Extended family
  10. Sexuality issues
  11. Financial issues
  12. Readiness issues
  13. Marriage covenant
  14. Family of origin
  15. Dual careers
  16. Co-habitating couples

As you can seen this list is quite exhaustive with many related issues for each category. If a couple participates in such an exploration of these areas with the guidance of a person trained  in examining and facilitating constructive communication between the two, the outcome can be most rewarding.  Unfortunately most couples do not do this much needed due diligence and often end up making the “wrong choice” for a partner.

May the wise know that there is much to be learned about oneself and a potential life partner to ensure the “right choice”. It is an investment well worth making!  Even those already in a marriage can benefit from this examination to clarify some issues and move the relationship forward with these added insights.

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

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