How do you choose the right woman to marry? It’s a question that has plagued men for millennia. Let’s be real – we live in a modern time. The days when you’d ride over to the next village, pillage a young maiden and ride back have (probably) long gone.
So where does that leave you. How are you going to choose a wife and make sure you get it right first time?
Choosing the Right Woman for Marriage
Sitting in a trading centre (market) on the DR Congo/Uganda border with some local drunks. One said to me with slurred speech:
“You need to have a Ugandan wife and a western wife”
“Why?” I asked,
“Because the western wife will be well educated and bring you lots of wealth and status. The Ugandan girl will bear you many children and work hard in your farm.”
It was difficult to argue with his logic, but having two wives to cover all my bases was never an option. Plus I like growing my own food – why would I let someone else do it for me?
Why Do Marriages Fail?
Some would say that marriage is a contract. In legal terms, yes, there is a contractual element.
The memory of ‘signing the register’ while Whitney Houston warbles in the background will fade. What, then are you left with?
Marriage is more than a contract – it’s a partnership between two people. It’s a team of two who want to share life’s experiences with one another.
I’ve heard statistics like ‘50% of all marriages end in divorce’. But that’s a broad brush approach to examining why some marriages fail and others don’t. In fact there are many more variables in that 50% figure. These include religious background, shared values, whether there are kids, at what stage the marriage fails etc etc.
I’ve seen friends’ and colleagues’ marriages end. It’s tough that something that promised so much can end so disappointingly – think the last series of Game of Thrones. But more so.
I don’t know why your marriage is a failure or a success but I can tell you what my marriage and decision to marry was based on. Maybe this will help you make better decisions or confirm that you’ve made the right one.
How to Choose the Right Woman: What my Marriage is Not Based On
When you think of a movie that ended poorly, what do you think of? I could name a few but 1990’s thriller ‘Speed’ would be up there.
And it’s because of that last line when Sandra Bullock says:
‘Let’s base our relationship on sex
Sex is not a God-given right in marriage any more than good health or financial stability. It’s madness to base any long term relationship on sex.
Of course intimacy is an important part of marriage but why make it the glue that keeps things together?
Here’s my take: I did not have sexual relations with my now-wife at any point prior to our wedding night. There are several reasons for this, one of which is my Christian faith.
But an important side effect is this: Our entire raison d’etre for getting hitched was never about whether we were good in bed together. It was about something more – something deeper than that. It was a deeply held connection and understanding that we worked well together right from the starting gun.
When I decided that I wanted my wife and I to date, I came out and said something along the lines of:
“We work well together and would make a good team. I’d like us to start seeing each other on a more regular basis.”
Nearly eight years on I was right – we do work well together and do make a good team. Plus the sex awesome.
2. Having a ‘Trophy’ Wife
This was my mistake as a young man. I would chase after girls who I thought would look good on the end of my arm. Or that would impress other people with the sporting prowess, intelligence or academic success.
When these girls turned out to be totally unsuitable (like the one who didn’t know how to prepare an oven pizza) I was shocked. How could I have been so off beam?
The problem was this: I’d focused too much on how these girls were going to make me look rather than how we were going to work as a team.
Would my strengths and her strengths meet in an apex of greatness?
Or would she just be another accessory like my expensive wool suit, new car or Swiss watch that I actually bought in Switzerland?
I’d given no thought to shared values, compatibility or whether we would be able to raise children together.
Eventually I saw sense and, having a clear vision for my life, I looked for a girl who wanted to share in that vision.
An important part of this was asking myself this question: Does she want children? And if so, what kind of mother would she be?
This meant I needed to know what she was like around children and how she was seen within her extended family. Did her cousins and younger siblings look up to her as a matriarchal figure? Was she physically able to bear children? What did she think about parental discipline? Etc etc.
All of these considerations are the opposite of a bikini model bimbo trophy wife that can’t cook and finds kids ‘icky’.
Why Choosing the Right Woman Matters
A marriage failing can be a depressing and expensive business, especially for Dads. Suicide rates skyrocket – almost 40% more likely to kill yourself than a married man of the same age.
Even if you do survive young man’s biggest killer, you’re probably not going to keep the kids after you get screwed in the divorce courts.
Unless you accidentally kill Santa and then get transported to his toy making lair at the North Pole with your 9 year old son, you’ve probably had it.
Following this, you’re likely to hit the mid-life crisis full tilt until you either 1) Wake up and see sense 2) Die or 3)Re-marry into an equally loveless and superficial relationship. Not great options.
Which is why getting it right first time makes a whole lot more sense. I’ve just moved house which was a stressful and expensive experience. All the while I couldn’t help thinking ‘I’m glad I’m not doing this because my marriage ended.’
So get it right first (or maybe second) time. Having those shared values and personal compatibility as being above physical attraction is what has made my marriage as strong as it is. Sure we both screw up from time to time, have a fight and get annoyed. But we’re stronger and more in sync now that when we first started dating nearly 10 years ago.
How to Choose the Right Wife – Closing Thoughts
Here’s a popular meme from the health and fitness circuit:
“Couples who train together, stay together.”
I’m calling BS on this – there’s no evidence that this is the case. In fact I’m glad my wife doesn’t train at my gym. I’d get a lot less done – and probably get nagged that when I lifted that last rep a big vein popped on the side of my head and looked really gross and I shouldn’t lift that heavy weight anymore and stick to lighter ones. But I digress.
For all the protein powder this slogan has sold however, the principle is sound. Shared values mean stronger relationships.
Shared values overcome the obstacles and annoying habits that would make married life otherwise unbearable. If you’ve got this then great. You know what I’m talking about.
But for the younger guys who read this – be warned to steer clear of the trophies and the promises of sexual gratification. These things may fade with time but true compatibility will not.
Stop basing your criteria for a woman on how good she is in bed, whether she will impress other guys or if you’re ‘in love’. All of these things are fragile. But the marriages that last transcend these into deeper love, mutual respect and resilient partnership.
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