Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Marry For Love. And Money. And Some Other Stuff.

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

you: will you marry me? her: can i see an ekg first, please?

ACTIVATE CONTROVERSIAL POST MODE. BEEP. BZZT. VROOM. PLOINK.

I have the wonderful pleasure of being married to an extremely awesome woman. She’s sweet, smart, and fantastic in bed very forgiving. For all you single, dating people out there, perhaps there’s a special someone in your life you’d like to one day be joined to in marriage. If that’s the case, good for you.

But before you pop the question and become emotionally, legally, and financially bound to another person, make sure first and foremost that you want to marry this person out of love. Marriages without love are a sham. Without love, you might as well marry a piece of coal; it’ll still keep you warm at night.

Despite what the fairy tales and John Lennon may tell you, love by itself isn’t going to be enough for a successful marriage. Perhaps 500 years ago in simpler times it would have been. But today, in the year 20XX, where your breakfast pops out of a toaster instead of your farmhouse chicken, you need to look honestly at your potential spouse and make sure there’s more than just love in the air.

Love Is A Must, But Also Marry For…

Money. You heard me. Marry for money. To clarify, make sure the person you are marrying is in a similar financial boat to your own. If you’re both poor, unemployed, and homeless, then you’re all set! But if you’re a doctor bringing home six figures and you own your own home in six states, hopefully your spouse-to-be isn’t living paycheck to paycheck.

Also make sure that your intended’s financial behavior is like your own. If Mr. Frugal marries Ms. Credit-Cards-Are-Free-Money, there’s going to be a disagreement sooner or later.

Health. A healthy person who takes care of his or her body will make for a happier spouse than one who catches the plague and dies on the honeymoon. While you shouldn’t let people’s physical limitations deter you from loving and marrying them, you might want to watch out for someone who will enlist you to run a double marathon with her when your idea of exercise is blinking more than once a minute.

Companionship. You’re happy with that person you’re going to marry, right? That’s good, but how strong is that “with” part? Will yours be the kind of marriage where the husband is in the garage all night while the wife is upstairs reading? Or do you have enough in common and a strong desire to spend time together that your spouse will not just be your legally wedded partner but also your best friend?

Stability. It’s sad but true that the divorce rate in the United States is quickly approaching 150%. Soon, not only will all marriages end in divorce, but so will most first dates! Okay, so the situation isn’t that dire yet, but more often than not, a marriage is doomed to failure from the start. The best way to make sure your marriage ends up in the statistical minority (i.e. those that work) is to think about where it’ll be on your fifth anniversary, your tenth, your twentieth, your fiftieth… and if you can’t even comprehend still being with your spouse for those longer periods, then you probably won’t be.

Him or Her. Most of all, marry not just for yourself but for the other person, too. Live your own life for your spouse, and let your spouse live his or her life for you. If you each put the other first, then you’ll have two forces acting in unison to make sure the marriage is a happy, life-long union.

It’s a simple recipe for marriage, though all it takes is one overlooked ingredient to rip apart an otherwise joyful couple. But if you can find someone who shares the same longing for love, desire for stability, and financial discipline as you, you’ll be well ahead of most on the path to eternal matrimony.

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