If you want a long and happy relationship, here are The 7 Secrets To Resolve Before Marriage – Introducing The A.L.L.W.A.Y.S. Formula™
In case you didn’t see it on FaceBook, I’ve become a regular contributor on a local Fox TV affiliate and I was recently invited back on the air to discuss the highly publicized – and very public – divorce filing of reality TV star Kim Kardashian after 72 days of marriage. While I am not interested in being one of those talking heads who follows every move and pontificates endlessly on the private lives of celebrities, I am comfortable with creating value for others by turning an unfortunate situation into a teaching moment so I accepted the invitation. To Ms. Kardashian, I send my compassion and best wishes without judgment. For those of you who receive this, I offer some suggestions on 7 critical areas to resolve before you invest too much time in a potential long-term relationship or possible marriage.
I Call It The A.L.L.W.A.Y.S. Formula™
Here are some key issues you’ll want to address early in your relationship in order to establish your long-term compatibility. Keep in mind that the primary factor you’ll want to consider is your partner’s overall character. Simply put, you’ll want to determine whether you resonate with that person due to the fact that your highest values are in alignment. Secondly, be sure to remember that you don’t need to find a partner who’s IDENTICAL…you simply need one who is complementary.
Aspirations & Dreams….
It’s important to determine what you both aspire to create in life. Do your plans & visions for the future match up? What type of home do you want? Where do you want to live? Are you a born entrepreneur – or do you prefer the certainty of a regular and predictable paycheck? Are you a jet-setter who yearns to travel the world or are you pretty much a homebody? As you can see, answering these very basic questions up front can save both parties a great deal of stress in the future.
Links to Family…
Do you have similar or complementary family visions? Some people couldn’t fathom the idea of missing out on a family dinner with a huge, extended family while others come from families who live far away or perhaps haven’t spoken in years. What do you believe about taking care of your elders as they age or may need assistance? How do you feel about your siblings? Do you have an open door policy for family or do you prefer your own privacy? Families always bring interesting dynamics that need to be considered if you want to make a great decision for your future.
Have both of you been up front about current health issues & long-term values, as they relate to health and wellness? What do you believe about exercise and diet? As you may expect, a junk food junkie and a vegan gym junkie might have some disconnects that will create distance and dissension. Do you have any known diseases or illnesses in your family history? Do you prefer the gym with your partner, the solitude and regimen of a daily, extended run – or are you a couch potato? What’s a bigger priority for you – personal wellness or staying current on your shows? Can you see how fundamental this is in a relationship?
Wealth & Finance…
Money issues are the number one stressor in relationships. That’s why I created a brand new CD product called “For Love Or Money – 7 Secrets To Overcoming Couple’s Money Struggles.” Think about it. What happens if one partner is a scrimper and saver while the other is a spendthrift with maxed-out credit? What types of debt obligations do you currently have? Do you have a retirement account that is funded regularly or do you prefer to worry about that “later?” These are huge questions and it’s so much smarter to see how it all adds up early than to pay dearly later.
Do we have the same values & expectations around fidelity and monogamy? Can you be satisfied with just one partner for the rest of your life or does that sound like a life sentence without parole to you? What are your views around cheating and is it an absolute deal-breaker? Do you and your partner prefer an open relationship? What exactly is a must-have to you and where exactly do you draw the line on what is acceptable?
Youth & Children…
Have we discussed family planning and expectations? When it comes to families, do you believe “the bigger, the better” or have you decided kids aren’t for you? How do you feel about adoption? Would you be willing to pay for in vitro fertilization if you had trouble conceiving? Are you on the same timeline for babies? What do you believe about discipline? Public school vs private? Can you see how important it would be to discuss these issues prior to planning a future?
How important is a spiritual life to you? Would you describe yourself as devoutly religious or an absolute atheist? What holiday traditions or rituals do you observe faithfully? Would you baptize your kids? How do you feel about religious schools or regular worship? Oftentimes, attitudes and beliefs in this area will change and shift over time but if you want to positively influence your partner, acceptance is always your best policy. However, if you simply can’t accept your potential partner’s viewpoint, it’s best to part amicably and wish one another well.
The Last Word – A.L.L.W.A.Y.S.
As you can see, there are a number of really huge topics that need to be understood by both partners before you can successfully settle down. I know people like to ask the expert for hard and fast rules but in this case, the right answers are the ones you agree on with your partner. Remember, there are exceptions to every rule and decisions carry consequences so choose wisely. Bottom line, if you really want to do what it takes to have a storybook romance, it all comes down to both parties being on the same page.
Check out my Fox 45 interview on The A.L.L.W.A.Y.S. Formula