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Dearest Children of Mine,
In the previous post, we explored the truth that beauty fades. Although I know it's a long time until you're 55 and can start dating, in this post I'd like to speak to one of the most important things to think about when you consider the kind of person you'll marry.
Years ago, I caught up with a dear childhood friend and discovered she was living with a mutual friend also from our hometown. "How is that working out?" I asked. "You know what?" she said. "It's great. We conflict sometimes, but to relieve the stress after we've each have our say, I cook and she cleans. So when the dust settles, we have a clean apartment and a nice meal." It was remarkably astute to understand how they each blew off steam and how it worked in their relationship. When you're considering marriage partners, that kind of analysis should be part of your thought process.
What I'd like to discuss in this post is an element that isn't usually discussed in pre-marital counseling, but it affects your marriage relationship immensely.
The thing is, a great deal of life involves work. That sounds like a drag, but as you grow up, you'll realize that what you once thought of only as "work" also equates to success, feeling accomplished and - I know it sounds crazy - pleasure. As a child, I remember observing a woman busy working in her flower filled yard and feeling sorry for her that she had to spend a lovely summer afternoon working. What I came to realize as an adult is that it was quite likely she was enjoying her time outside a great deal, and she probably took pleasure in the accomplishment of keeping a beautiful yard. Work equals pleasure. Trust me - you'll get there, too.
If a great deal of adult life involves work, it's hugely important to make sure that you can actually work with the person you marry. As a couple you'll work on countless things together: moving, finances, cleaning, cooking, raising children, and managing a home - the list is endless.
Some people prefer to work alone, others prefer to collaborate on every step along the way. Some people want lots of detail about every step, others would rather figure out the method on their own as they go. Some people are ready to get to work early in the morning, others prefer later in the day. Everyone is different and there isn't a single workstyle that's correct. When you look for someone to marry, consider their workstyle and find a person whose style is complimentary to yours.
While we're on the subject, I have a few more words on considering what kind of person you want to marry. Next we'll talk about family.
thanks for reading!