Our “little girls” are adults now. Along, our eldest will be 22 in April while Azah, our second will be 21 in May.
They are now both busy planning their careers. My wife and I shall do our best to help by guiding them not to make the mistakes that we had made.
There is however, one issue that the children would have to decide on by themselves.
Choosing their spouses.
Early Retirement Extreme wrote a post on “How to be happy in the long run”, which included a section on choosing a spouse. My understanding is that he has suggested “stress testing” the potential spouse to ensure that we end up marrying “a survivor” as he puts it. I am not so sure if I can suggest this advice to my children.
I am truly blessed that in the so very important decision of choosing a spouse, I have made or have been guided in making the right decision. My wife and I have gone through many ups and downs and whilst we have differences, the net is very, very positive and good.
How would I react if my children were to ask my advice on how to choose a spouse?
Well, I have thought about this and these are my thoughts.
It is impossible for us to predict the future and try to do a comprehensive spreadsheet evaluation on how to choose a spouse. So many events will happen in our married life, during which each partner may behave or react in a manner that may surprise the other.
These are my suggestions.
a) Choose someone who believes in and fears God.
This is putting the “Big Brother” mechanism in place. That someone is always watching you. Knowing that doing good is good and doing bad is bad and that all our deeds are being counted up.
This part should also take care of good behavior and respect for the wife, the elders and others in the community. Above all this rule will make the person respect the sanctity of marriage.
I don’t know how and don’t want to comment on the many fine people who do not believe in any particular religion.
b) That someone must believe in having goals for himself
This would help in weeding out the directionless drifters who somehow with silver tongues manage to sweet talk their way into many a lady’s heart. I am sure that during their conversations, my daughters would be able to gauge this.
A person with goals, no matter where he may be now, will have an advantage in improving his position as opposed someone who does not have goals.
If they have written goals, so much the better!
c) And finally, that someone must be able to make you laugh.
Make you laugh loudly and happily. Whether it is by doing something silly, or by telling a good joke or whatever other way people are made to laugh. I think humor is a great adhesive in sorting out the many little differences that will crop up as people live as husband and wife.
Well, these are my thoughts. My wife also agrees with these suggestions. My daughters read my blog (don’t you, Along and Azah?), and I hope they understand what I am saying here.
All my 4 brothers and sister were married off by parental matchmaking. I was the first one to break this chain, by choosing my wife myself. In addition my wife and I come from different cultures, which was also a first for both our families.
Our marriage has endured and has gone from strength to strength. Whilst my wife and I will never be able to guarantee “good spouses” for our children, we can help pay it forward by treating everyone as we would want our children to be treated.