by Dr. Lorin Bradbury
Question: How do I know when I have found Mr. Right? Is there a test we could take when I think I have found Mr. Right that will assure that the marriage will last? Is it true that marriages are made in heaven?
Those are interesting questions. I’m not convinced that there is just one Mr. Right on this earth. In fact, there probably are many that could be Mr. Right, and if you are a single man reading this column, there probably are a number of women who could be Mrs. Right. But marriage is what two people make it.
The person you marry will bring into that marriage certain characteristics—some good and some not so good. (Of course when people are dating or courting, they see only the good characteristics. It’s only after marriage that they recognize the other person’s flaws and defects.)
Dr. John Gottman, considered the foremost expert on marriage, states that when you marry, the person you marry brings a certain set of problems into the marriage. If you married someone else, you would be handed a different set of problems. Therefore, whoever Mr. Right is, he will bring into the marriage certain imperfections. However, remember, Mr. Right is going to have to deal with the set of problems you bring into the marriage also. It’s a matter of accepting that both have weaknesses and strengths. And it is likely that your strengths are his weaknesses and his strengths are your weaknesses.
You asked about tests you and your future spouse could take that will assure a marriage will last. There are tests that can be helpful to learn about your future spouse’s strengths and weaknesses, but they do not guarantee a lasting marriage. Because the one you marry is different from you is not a reason to eliminate that person as prospective mate. Instead, differences often lead to compatibility. Differences tend to complement one another. A test that you might want to consider is found at https://www.16personalities.com. And it is free.
Concerning marriages being made in heaven, sorry, that’s a myth. Marriages are made right down here on earth. Marriages are made when two people work together to create oneness. It’s unfortunate that many are afraid to marry, choosing rather to live together unmarried. Marriage provides a basis for a genuine committed relationship.
Marriage is all about commitment—commitment to love—commitment to grow together—commitment to forgive—commitment to give the benefit of the doubt—commitment to stand beside your spouse through difficult times—all right down here on earth. There was a time, not too many centuries ago, when people got married so they could fall in love. Now we seem to think we have to fall in love so we can get married. The marriage covenant provides the opportunity to grow in love. So get growing!
Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected]