Love and Marriage: Premarital Considerations

Think about this before you give your life to someone else: Love has no bearing whatsoever on the success or well-being of a marriage.

I have worked with people and couples for twenty years, and in all that time, I cannot think of a single instance when a couple’s marriage has survived or improved because of their love for one another. As shocking and depressing as this may sound, what I have actually found is that a person’s morals, values, and other compatibility traits are crucial to the success of their marriage. Love merely piques our curiosity; it is not the primary element that keeps a marriage strong, despite its importance.

Essential to the flourishing and endurance of matrimony are the fundamental characterological components, comprising qualities like:

  • Compassion
  • Intimacy
  • Fidelity
  • Loyalty
  • Forgiveness
  • Openness
  • Friendship
  • Respect
  • Gratitude
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Honor
  • Willingness
  • Understanding

For most of us, self-awareness and emotional development brought about by mistakes and bad decisions come too little, too late. Thus, we live in a world where divorce is commonplace. Additionally, the “throw it away” mentality that our society has embraced somehow allows us to just move on and away from what doesn’t work. But I’m getting off topic. back on course

I advise customers to think about their unique qualities, emotional development, communication preferences, and other compatibility criteria before committing to marriage in order to prevent divorce. Naturally, this encouragement frequently encounters oppositional anger, bewilderment, and resistance. When they confront the limerence and its delusion that love will triumph over all, infatuated couples get reluctant. In the event that the client[s] and I decide that work needs to be done to create a solid marital foundation, our attention will shift to taking accountability for any characterological flaws on a personal level, honestly and truthfully.

(Note: Being honest involves thinking, feeling, judging, emotion, and bodily sensation on an interior level. Contrarily, truth is defined as actions or facts that can be verified or quantified in the outside world. The facts are not exaggerated.)After providing clients with any necessary definition clarification for the different traits, I invite them to fill in the following sentence stems to start taking personal responsibility for character strengthening (i.e., building blocks):

I would have to admit that I need to improve in the following areas if I were to be totally honest with myself.

I think I need assistance getting better in the following areas:

In his highly regarded book Are You Growing Up or Just Getting Older?, Dr. Jerome Murray addresses emotional intelligence-related maturity in comparison to other, more widely used age measures. According to what he states, maturity is determined by the following five age measurements:

Chronological Age: A person’s age expressed in years is determined by their chronological age, which is a measurement of their lifetime.

Physiological Age: The term “physiological age” describes how far along the body’s systems have advanced in relation to age.

Intellectual Age – The term “intellectual age” describes a person’s ability to learn and retain information at a level that is either above or below their chronological age.

Social Age: This concept contrasts chronological age with social growth. “Does this person relate as well socially as he should for his age?” is the question it poses.

Emotional Age: Emotional maturity is compared to chronological age, much like social age does. “Does this person handle his emotions as he should for his age?” is the question it poses.

In his paper, Dr. Murray goes on to list traits of emotional maturity and emotional immaturity, as well as some tactics for developing emotional maturity. When it comes to how disputes are settled, concessions are made, and agreements are reached, emotional maturity is crucial. In relationships when spouses lack the skills to communicate in an emotionally mature or aggressive way, ego-fighting (right vs. wrong) is common.

Four categories can be used to classify communication styles:


Couples with compatible communication styles are rare. Consequently, there are “misunderstandings” that arise and ego-fighting results. Before tying the knot, there are a number of compatibility characteristics that need to be taken into account and, yes, worked on. These include character, maturity, communication, religious and spiritual beliefs, personal and professional objectives, lifestyle requirements, economics, physical intimacy desires, etc.