Don't say "I Do" until you're sure none of these apply to your guy ...
You might think you've found the man you want to marry and now it's just a matter of making it happen. Whether you have a specific man in mind, or if Mr. Right hasn't shown up yet, I would like you to take into account the "3 A's" before committing to marriage.
I learned the 3 A's from a therapist friend of mine many years ago. I told her I didn't want to marry just any man; I wanted to find a man of quality. She gave the 3 A's to me as a warning of what to avoid in a husband. I thought I understood them and I believed I'd taken them to heart.
But even though I knew what they were, I found myself getting involved with men who embodied one of the three. Surprise, surprise, every one of those relationships was painful ... and not a single one of them lasted.
No matter how secure you are in what you want, you can still be fooled. Despite your best intentions you can find yourself justifying these 3 A's and accepting less than you deserve. The 3 A's:
- Addiction: particularly to mind-altering substances
- Abuse: physical, emotional, and so on
- Adultery: a man who cheats in a committed relationship
It may seem obvious that men with any of these problems are not good husband material. However, if you're honest, I bet that at some time in your dating life, you became involved with a man who embodied at least one of these.
When you first fall in love, these traits are hard to identify, but in time they are impossible to overlook. Unfortunately, by then it's too late and you've fallen in love. Now the only thing you can do is try to make the relationship work.
My experiences are typical. For example, what I wrote off as a one-time drunken blackout happened ... again and again. The excuse that he was just letting off steam no longer mattered. It got to the point where I couldn't trust him to show up. Worse than that, I couldn't trust him not to drive drunk. I couldn't take it anymore. It was a mess of a breakup, full of sadness and drama.
I was also involved with a man who I thought was kind and thoughtful. But, as soon as he knew I was smitten, he introduced "kinky" things into the relationship and played emotional games. I became very uncomfortable. I went along for a while because I thought he loved me, but I soon woke up and realized that you don't humiliate and demean someone you love.
In one long-term relationship, we decided to experiment with "free love." We gave each other permission to "see" other people, as long as we told each other what was going on. It fell apart when I came home, surprised to find my best friend's rings on the nightstand. I felt betrayed because he hadn't told me and she was my best friend. It sure felt like adultery to me.
The truth is simple: you can't have a healthy relationship when any one of the 3 A's are present. I've experienced the pain and heartbreak of trying to justify each one of these problems, and it never worked. It always failed miserably.
If you see any of these 3 shortcomings showing up in a man you're interested in, please take note and beware. There's no getting around it; to get a quality marriage, you need to find a quality man.