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25 Qualities of The Person You Should Marry

25 Qualities of The Person You Should Marry

Marriage is a big life decision that you should not make without a lot of thought and reflection. To help you get started, consider these 25 qualities of the person you should marry.

1. They respect your beliefs and values.

The person you marry doesn’t have to agree with you on every issue, but even so, you must have a mutual respect for each other’s core beliefs and values. How could it be possible to keep on loving a person you don’t respect? Spoiler Alert: It’s not.

2. They help you grow as a person.

The person you marry should help you evolve into a better version of yourself. That doesn’t mean they should belittle you with insults or tell you that you’re not “good enough,” because positive transformation cannot happen without total acceptance of who you are; but your partner should challenge you to step up your game in every aspect of your life.

3. They trust you, and you trust them.

The person you marry shouldn’t be snooping through your phone, private messages, or browsing history. If they are concerned about a specific issue, they should confront you about it without mincing words or sneaking behind your back.

4. They love all of you (even the flawed parts).

The person you marry should be in love with you—not their idea of who they think you should be. If they can’t accept you without attempting to mold you into another person, you would be wise to look for love elsewhere.

5. They make you chuckle or have giggle fits.

The person you marry should make you feel happy and fulfilled, not sad and stuck. You should be able to smile at each other for no good reason (other than the fact that you’re so happy to be together), and you should have inside jokes that no one else in your social circle “gets.”

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6. They are okay with the occasional night in.

The person you marry has every right to expect the occasional date night, road-trip, vacation, or adventure of their choosing; however, they shouldn’t feel like you always have to be doing something in order to enjoy your time together. They should be perfectly content to snuggle up with you in bed and enjoy a rare moment of silence together, with no need for anything but the feeling of peace and happiness that comes with being wrapped up in your arms.

7. They make time together a priority.

The person you marry needs to make time for you, because even the best relationship cannot survive without proper care and attention.

8. They have a life outside of your relationship.

The person you marry shouldn’t expect you to spend every waking moment with them, because you have hopes and dreams beyond the scope of your relationship. And besides, two people can only spend so much time together before getting fed up with each other, so a little bit of space will be good for both of you.

9. They express why they appreciate you.

The person you marry should make a point of expressing why they appreciate you, how they feel about you, and what physical qualities about yourself that they find attractive, handsome, sexy, or hot. It’s easy to feel your partner doesn’t care without the occasional compliment, so make sure they truly appreciate the role you play in the story that is their life.

10. They are willing to make compromises.

The person you marry shouldn’t be a weak-willed pushover who bends to your every whim, but that doesn’t mean they get to be stubborn. It is rare that one half of a couple is 100% right or wrong in any given argument. The answer usually lies somewhere in the middle. Your partner should be willing to talk through any given issue with you and make a compromise that might not be exactly what either of you want, but is nonetheless fair to you both.

11. They respect your mom and dad.

The person you marry doesn’t have to enjoy spending time with your family (just ask any married person you know how they feel about their in-laws to discover how unrealistic that idea is), but they should still have enough respect to do so without complaint during the holidays and special occasions that are important to you. 

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12. They inspire your trust.

The person you marry should be a person who you trust so much that you feel like you could tell them anything. If you feel like you must hide things about your past or personality, this could be a sign you’re dating the wrong person.

13. They can admit their shortcomings.

The person you marry doesn’t have to be perfect, but they should be truthful enough to admit it when they are wrong. It is okay to make a mistake as long as it is followed by a sincere apology and honest explanation. But if your partner avoids all conflict, denies all short-comings, and is unwilling to apologize, you might want to abandon ship unless facing a constant storm of marital strife sounds like fun.

14. They captivate your interest.

The person you marry should intrigue you in the same way a really good movie does; no matter how many times you watch it, you still enjoy the experience, and always seem to notice something new with each additional viewing. If they aren’t capable of sustaining your interest for the long-haul, then there is no way you can expect long-lasting relationship success.

15. They share your vision for the future.

The person you marry doesn’t have to be on the exact same life path as you, but your trails should converge in enough places so that you can both reach your final destination together. In other words: If your partner wants to travel overseas, but you’re too scared to even get in the plane, then you might have a problem.

16. They give without expectation of anything in return.

The person you marry you marry should be selfless enough to surprise you with the occasional small act of kindness, without the expectation of getting anything out of it. If you’ve ever been on a date with a male (or female) who expected to “get laid” just because they took you out to a fancy dinner, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is nothing more irritating than people who don’t give gifts to be nice, but rather with a predetermined outcome on their mind.

17. They don’t constantly try to “one-up” you.

The person you marry you marry has every right to perform a touchdown dance if they win a poker match or board-game, but it’s a bit lame to live your life as if every single moment is a competition with another person.

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18. They can be with you in the present moment.

The person you marry should be able to enjoy a romantic dinner or car ride together without having to escape into their phone every few seconds. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with a person who can’t appreciate the simple act of looking into your eyes, basking in your presence, and enjoying the silence? I didn’t think so. 

19. They turn you on (and vice versa).

The person you marry needs to feel magnetically attracted to you; likewise, you should sometimes catch your thoughts drifting away to a naughty place, where you find yourself wanting to rip their clothes off so badly that it hurts. Looks aren’t everything, but show me a person who says physical attraction is 100% unimportant, and I’ll show you a person who is delusional and out of touch with reality. I feel the need to clarify that I’m not saying any “look” is inherently better than any other. I happen to be friends with a lot of gorgeous women of any body-type you can imagine; curvy, muscular, skinny, fit, somewhere in between? It doesn’t matter. The same applies to you too, fellas. I can’t speak for everyone, but there are three things that turn me on more than looks ever could: confidence, sharp wit, and an ability to make me think.

20. They are willing to confront their demons.

The person you marry might have a few skeletons in their closet, and that’s okay. I would never tell you to not marry a person just because they suffer from alcoholism or suicidal thoughts; being unwilling to confront those obstacles, however, is a different story.

21. They don’t let feelings fester inside.

The person you marry shouldn’t keep their most vivid thoughts and feelings hidden behind a veil of secrecy. They should be willing to speak up when something is bothering them, so you can tackle the issue together as a team. Troubles that are held in have a way of intensifying, so you probably don’t want to marry a person who puts up a barrier that cannot be obstructed.

22. They remain faithful to you.

The person you marry needs to be faithful to you and only you (unless you both have agreed otherwise). If you want to get frisky in bed with other invited guests, then I’m not here to judge you, but it’s very important that you and your partner are both on the same page; otherwise, cheating is a thoughtless and inconsiderate act that is unforgivable in the eyes of many. I usually implore people to forgive their partners, but this is one area where you might only want to give a person a single chance, and I can’t say I would blame you.

23. They aren’t resistant to change.

The person you marry shouldn’t resist change with every ounce of their being. Sometimes life presents us with open doors of opportunity that could lead to a new career, a new house, a new hometown, or (insert the limitless possibilities that could occur here). If you love to improvise based on the contents of the hand you’re dealt, no matter where that might take you, then you shouldn’t settle down with a rigid partner who is so afraid of change that they won’t even discuss the issue with you.

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24. They exercise personal responsibility.

The person you marry should carry themselves like a responsible adult, not a reckless teenager. While life is meant to be fun, that doesn’t mean it should resemble a 24/7 shopping spree. If your partner is bogged down in debt, or misses payment after payment, or is unemployed and doesn’t seem to care, then his or her financial woes will become a constant source of stress as soon as you tie the knot. Unless dealing with collection calls and paying for a bunch of stuff that shouldn’t even be your problem sounds like fun, vet your potential spouse’s thoughts on financial matters before you even think about marrying them.

25. They love you here, now, today, as you are.

The person you marry should never make you feel inferior, unaccepted, or not “good enough.” Yes, they should encourage you to improve yourself, but they should do that by building you up (not tearing you down). If they can’t love you—all of you! even the weird, awkward, and flawed parts—then, they don’t deserve you.

Important Note

Of course, marriage isn’t for everybody, so never feel like you “have to” get married just because “society said so.” Tons of happy couples have flourished without the need for a marriage license. If you don’t want to get married, don’t. This is your life, so do your thing without apology.

Talk to Me

Different people are attracted to different things, so feel free to post a comment and tell us what you think are two or three qualities of the person you should marry. If you enjoyed this article, please pass it along to your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured photo credit: wedding at autumn via shutterstock.com

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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