Want a successful marriage that won’t end in divorce? Do this, not that
Marry with an eye towards congruence – meaning, marry your equal. Don’t marry too far up or too far down.
Marry within your own race, class, ethnicity, religion, educational level and socio-economic group when possible. But don’t marry for those reasons only; make exceptions when it makes sense – and only when it makes sense (the more of these factors that are disparate, the less the justification for marriage should be.)
Marry someone who likes to talk with you and who you like to talk to. Don’t marry someone you have trouble communicating with, no matter how seemingly unimportant the topic.
Marry someone who likes you and who you like. Don’t marry someone who you wouldn’t consider your “best friend” or whom you love but don’t like very much.
Marry someone who is fundamentally respectful of you, your person and your emotions. Don’t marry someone who is always trying to make you jealous and who invades and violates your personhood and who shows no concern for your emotional wellbeing.
Marry someone who shares your views on money. Don’t marry your opposite where money is concerned; i.e. spendthrifts should never marry tight-fist-ed savers and vice versa.
Marry with financial stability factored into your calculus. But don’t marry just for money.
Marry someone closer to your age than further away from it. Don’t allow too big a generational gap (but if you have to make an exception it is better that the man is older for gaps north of 10 years).
Marry only after you’ve carefully vetted the person. Don’t rush into marriage with someone you don’t really, really know.
Marry someone who shares your sense of humor. Don’t marry someone who doesn’t laugh at your jokes or whose jokes you don’t find funny.
Marry someone who is basically law abiding. Don’t marry the bad boy/bad girl type because you “thrive on the adventure” because that will get tiring after a while, assuming you live to talk about it.
Marry someone who shares your views on having and raising children (or getting pets). Don’t marry someone who tells you up front they don’t want kids if you want kids; or that they want kids when you don’t (same with pets).
Marry someone who is basically honest and above-board. Don’t marry someone who lies and cheats for obvious reasons.
Marry someone who your family and friends get along with. Don’t marry someone who everyone in your life despises (whether that is justified or not) because the stress is too great for everyone concerned and it is unfair to the other person (especially if you don’t have the backbone to stand up to your family and let them know in no uncertain terms that this is the person you want to spend your life with.)
Marry someone who is physically attractive to you – and you to them. But don’t marry just because you are physically attracted to someone.
Marry someone who shares your religious views. Don’t marry someone whose religious views are diametrically opposed to your own.
Marry someone who loves you as you are. Don’t marry someone who keeps trying to change you.
Marry someone with whom you are sexually compatible. Don’t marry someone who can’t bring you sexual pleasure no matter how hard you try at it (it’s not going to improve after marriage!)
Marry someone who wants to marry you. Never marry the confirmed bachelor/bachelorette type.
Marry someone who you believe in your soul is the right person for you. Don’t marry someone because you think its the best you can do (that’s settling and it usually doesn’t end well).