Shop For the Right Spouse

Did you know that there’s actually a formula that predicts whether a marriage will succeed? Beatty Cohan, a psychotherapist in Sarasota, Florida, and coauthor of For Better, for Worse, Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love, suggests being aware of these factors before you say “I do.”:

1. Look to the parents. Check out your
beloved’s family background, particularly
the parents’ relationship, to get
a good idea of the behavior he’s been
exposed to. What we learned as kids
we often play out as adults.

2. Turn investigator. Are there signs
of alcoholism or other forms of
addiction in the family? Be careful—
there’s often a genetic link. Also
watch for a family history of depression
or excessive anxiety.

3. Listen carefully. Identify how your
potential partner communicates.
Also pay attention to how he or she
handles sticky situations and painful

4. Is there compromise? If you’re forever
giving in, then you’ve got a problem.
Compromise is one of the key elements
of a healthy relationship.

5. Is there true intimacy? We’re not
talking sex here, but the kind of intimacy
that comes when he can clean
up the vomit when you have the flu;
when she invites your mother for
Christmas even though she can’t stand
the woman; when he has a hot bath
and glass of wine waiting for you after
what he knows was a difficult day.

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