Women everywhere are blogging and talking about Alain de Botton’s article in the New York Times, “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person.” After reading and re-reading his piece I feel that it is yet another doom and gloom commentary on marriage. His belief the “choosing whom to commit ourselves to is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for” probably speaks to his own disappointments in love and marriage.
In the past 35 years of working with individuals and couples, I have identified three reasons why people marry the wrong person. The good news is that if we are willing to educate ourselves about relationships, we can look forward to marrying the right person and finding lasting love.
1. If each of us is not in a good place emotionally and psychologically, it is not possible to choose the ‘right’ partner. It is also very difficult, if not impossible, to have a healthy, long-lasting relationship with anyone, if our own ‘unfinished business’ from the past as well as current unresolved issues have not been acknowledged, addressed and resolved.
2. The majority of people have unfortunately not learned the ingredients that actually go into a long-lasting healthy relationship like a marriage.
3. If we don’t know what ingredients go into a healthy relationship, we are in no position to be able to assess who’s right or wrong for us BEFORE committing to any serious relationship.
However, if we are willing to do some relationship education homework, we will be in a position to choose Mr./Ms. Right and find lasting love.