Mate selection, training key to a successful marriage

| October 26, 2012 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Maj.) Stephen Hommel
500th Military Intelligence Brigade

Hommel

The 500th Military Intelligence Brigade sponsored a Strong Bonds event for singles, but some wonder about the wisdom of spending money on singles, in a time of dwindling resources. The reason, the time to prevent many marriage problems is before you actually get married.

Some of the worst memories from my four deployments were seeing the deep hurt and heartbreak that Soldiers go through when they discover that their spouses cheated. The last thing on a Soldier’s mind at that point is the mission.

Strong Bonds invests in Singles to prevent that very thing from happening through teaching mate selection skills. Many Americans struggle with picking the right person to marry or being one who stays married.

If you don’t pick the right kind of person in the first place, your marriage may be doomed from the start.

I once met a Soldier who came home from deployment to see a “Welcome Home” sign on the garage, and a note saying, in effect, “I ran off with my lover, and we are spending all your money!”

He told me the real first indication that something was seriously wrong with their relationship was when he opened the front door of his bare house. But as we talked, I could see red flags going back to even before they were married, and in hindsight, so could he.

Nothing is fail-proof, but knowing what qualities to look for and what to avoid before marriage is more than half the battle.

I asked Soldiers how long they thought, at a minimum, couples should date before getting married. They answered no less than a year. However, as we talked back and forth, about a third of the group thought it was also a good idea to live together before marriage.

Studies found that couples who live together before getting married have significantly higher divorce rates than married couples who did not live together first. The question is why. I believe it has to do with commitment. When you live together, to whom are you really committed? Yourself.

When relationships are built on self-interest rather than a genuine and definitive commitment to the other person, for better and for worse, it is difficult for most people to make the transition to the kind of commitment and unconditional love that is necessary for a successful marriage.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News

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