Choosing a spouse no doubt is a very crucial decision in everyone's life, which is not at all easy or does have a manual.
Marriage is not just a man and a woman; it is more about an entity called a family that needs physical and emotional nourishment to keep going in a healthy way.
This article is not to make you see marriage as a complicated process and decide to remain single; it is rather meant as a practical guide that reminds you of points you might overlook.
Before starting important tips that should be taken into consideration, I want you always to think of marriage as a comprehensive process, rather than separate steps.
This means that its different aspects are closely related, you cannot depend on love or money, while ignoring other aspects, you should choose a whole person.
Here are some points you should always keep in mind when judging a possible candidate:
Good Looking, some people go to an extreme and say appearance is not important, however, appearance plays a key role for most people, even in forming a good or bad impression. You don't have to marry impressively good looking person. You should rather feel comfortable and that you can get along emotionally and sexually well with him/her.
Socioeconomic compatibility, which is really important for both spouses and if absent, it might lead to complete ruin of the relationship.
This aspect is especially important to the kids afterwards, who will feel confused about the different life standards of their big families.
My mother used to say,' you should be very cautious not only of who will be your kids' father, but who will be their aunts, uncles, and grandparents'.
Religious, Getting married to a true religious person is a blessing, but, you should first know that being pious is not about how he/she looks, it's more about how he/she behaves and treats people.
Being religious will make him/her a forgiving, generous, and understanding person, and more important, will make him/her understand the aim of marriage in Islam and how to preserve the family ties.
Harmony, this doesn't mean being completely identical in their likes and dislikes. What spouses need is a satisfactory degree of common interests.
Think of your future spouse as a potential roommate, will you go along with each other with minimal problems?
It is very important to be able to live together without having different opinions about many details.
Spouses should agree about lifestyle issues, eating habits, entertainment, going out, etc.
Nevertheless, every one of them should respect the other's hobbies and interests, and help him/her practice and excel in whatever they like.
Conservativeness, people differ in their perception of what is right and what is wrong. Apart from religion, different communities have different traditions and values like women dress code, her relationship with men within the family as well as strangers.
Try to find a spouse who is similar to you, not very far from where you stand, this will help you avoid much stress and complications.
It should also be frankly discussed before marriage or even before engagement, because this could cause continuous troubles and misunderstandings.
Ambition, this might look a bit weird, but the whole family should have a common dream, not necessarily to be an exact thing, but rather a place the family sees it should reach in a given time.
For example, it will be very difficult for an ambitious wife who wants her kids to learn different languages and skills to put up with a husband whose understanding of human development is very limited to just going to school!
Similarly, it would be a great challenge for a husband who decides to travel to study or work in a better position if his wife cannot depart her comfort zone of being at her home in her homeland.
One should always keep in mind that everyone has been living in another home for more than twenty years, raised in a certain way, and has ties he/she cannot abandon.
Considering this fact is very important to be able to deal with the other without trying to change him/her to be you. The change can happen after discussions and patience but it will never be an absolute change.
However, talking about important issues that will influence your relationship in the future is highly recommended.
Try to discuss the following subjects and have a sort of an agreement about:
Children: How many kids you'd like to have, which will be then subjected to change according to the wife's health, family finance or other factors that might come up.
You should also discuss how you will raise your children, what upraising strategies you think efficient, which type of schools you'd put the kids at, will you leave them to a nanny? What will you use as punishment, ..etc.
Who is responsible for what: This is a very important question that should be taken seriously. Financial, households, and kids' responsibilities are among the most important responsibilities that should be very clear from the beginning.
Finance: how will you finance households, will you both work? Do you have financial burdens and how you will work it out,.etc
Also, try to talk about how you will spend money; are you going to save money? Or you prefer to have a rather luxurious life?
Actually, Being different is not a problem, the question is how different you are and you both have the motivation and the ability to come closer or not.
Having found a suitable candidate fulfilling classic requirements and compatible is very important, however, it should be accompanied with emotional and sexual attraction.
You'd meet several possible spouses until you feel this is the one, even if you cannot call it love, there should be a reasonable degree of acceptance.
If you are lucky enough and happen to be in love with a suitable person, beware to discuss before marriage different rules and settings, because in many cases lovers feel they'll never disagree or fight after their love story, which is not really the case.
Taking all the precautions and checking the list doesn't mean you won't have fights or misunderstandings throughout your marriage, simply because we are still humans, full of mistakes.
However, it will help you decrease the number and extent of those minor disagreements or problems and have a better life, believing in your spouse, and sticking to the main part of marriage, which is meant by God to be love and peace.