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One thing that frustrates married couples the most is they can’t change the other person habits and differences. Why is that? Have you considered they grew up in a different environment and household? We rarely take into account the one we married parents might be (and most times they are) totally different from our parents. Maybe your parents gave you freedom to do as you please and was very little consequences to your actions. For the other person, their upbringing might have been strict and full of responsibilities, maybe he had to be the man of the house at an early age because his father wasn’t there and had two younger sisters he had to watch over while mom worked two jobs.
When we find “the one” we only think in the present, not in the future about this person. We don’t think about how they will deal with adversity or their reaction to the loss of a parent and how we can help during tough times. How did they see their parents deal with adversity? We rarely ask questions like:
-What is your family medical history?
-How important is an education to your family?
-Was there any physical/verbal abuse?
-How important is marriage to your family?
-How does your family feel about entrepreneurship?
What we rarely think about is how important our potential spouse parents, uncles, aunts and cousins opinion is to their life. They somewhat played a part in who they are today (either good or bad, depending on what you are willing to accept). How important are the grandparents? They shaped the way his/her parents thought then passed down to your potential spouse. In most cases dysfunctional or not, our environments we grew up in we consider normal because this is all we knew. It’s when we are exposed to a different family and how their household runs then we start to think different.
Before you decide to marry someone, take time to meet the parents and grandparents (if possible). Take a double date with the parents and see how they interact with each other. Then you will get an idea of what your potential spouse dealt with growing up. Once you find the one make sure the two of you do an in-depth search on your family history so both can get a clear picture of what you plan on giving a lifelong commitment to. After marriage their family is yours like it or not, drunk uncle, flirting cousin and all. Welcome to the family.
Do a Genogram: A family tree that gives you information on family members and their relationships over two and three generations.