In yesterday’s issue of New York Times, a summary of the points to consider before the marriage was featured by a known op-ed columnist. These points are shared by Father Pat Connor, a 79-year old Catholic priest born in Australia. For 40 years, he has been giving a lecture — “Whom Not to Marry” — to high school seniors, mostly girls because they’re more interested.
It’s important to do it before they fall seriously in love, because then it will be too late. Infatuation trumps judgment.
Interesting points/questions shared to the high school teeners. It’s a cool generation, ey?
(a) Never marry a man who has no friends. This usually means that he will be incapable of the intimacy that marriage demands. Since, as the Hebrew Scriptures say, ‘Iron shapes iron and friend shapes friend,’ what are his friends like? What do your friends and family members think of him? Sometimes, your friends can’t render an impartial judgment because they are envious that you are beating them in the race to the altar. Envy beclouds judgment.
(b) Does he use money responsibly? Is he stingy?
(c) Is he overly attached to his mother and her mythical apron strings?
(d) Does he have a sense of humor? More marriages are killed by silence than by violence. The strong, silent type can be charming but ultimately destructive. In all your dealings with one another, speak the truth to one another in love that you may grow up.
(e) Don’t marry a problem character thinking you will change him. He’s a heavy drinker, or some other kind of addict, but if he marries a good woman, he’ll settle down. People are the same after marriage as before, only more so.
(f) Take a good, unsentimental look at his family — you’ll learn a lot about him and his attitude towards women.
(g) Does he possess those character traits that add up to a good human being — the willingness to forgive, praise, be courteous? Or is he inclined to be a fibber, to fits of rage, to be a control freak, to be envious of you, to be secretive?
After the talk, the girls claimed, “But you’ve eliminated everyone! Life is unfair.”