We are in the middle of a series on dating, marriage, and finding the right person. It’s called “How Will I Know if He/She Really Loves Me?”
You can catch the whole series HERE.
You can also take the quiz to see how compatible you are HERE.
In the middle of a run/walk on the treadmill, I asked my good friend her thoughts on my new blog series.
She’d married off two daughters in the past year, and I knew she would have some great insights.
“How did you know that your girls had found the RIGHT guy,” I asked.
Without much hesitation at all, she said,
“I think that family backgrounds and family similarities matter a lot.
Both of my girls married men who had grown up in homes very similar to our home.
Consequently, they had social, spiritual, economic, and lifestyle issues in common.
Truly, I believe this helps them to relate better to each other.”
It’s a good point.
And, it’s today’s suggestion… for marriages and relationships to thrive.
For marriages to have a better chance of greatness… it helps if the couple have (at least) some similarities in their family backgrounds and upbringing.
7 remarkable ways your backgrounds improve your marriage
So, what does that look like?
Here are a few components that will either enhance or challenge the relationship:
First, Consider Social Status and Standing.
If you and your partner are from similar social backgrounds, this will make the relationship easier.
You will have some of the same social graces, experiences, and expectations. You will also be on a more similar plane socially, possibly knowing some of the same people and being part of the same organizations.
If you and your partner do not come from similar social backgrounds, this may be an area that challenges your relationship. There may be some uncomfortable moments and some tension in your marriage over these differences.If you and your partner are from similar social backgrounds, this will make the relationship easier. Click To Tweet
A friend of mine married a very wealthy woman. She was a precious girl, and she loved him dearly. However, he did not come from a wealthy background and struggled to know how to act, how to talk to her family and friends, and how to relate. At times, their marriage was very strained over these matters.
Additionally, he always felt immense pressure to provide for her and to make more money.
Can a rich girl marry a poor guy or vice versa? Absolutely! However, the differences may cause some conflicts.
Here’s a practical article that may help – “My Family Was Rich, My Husband’s Was Poor.”
To Consider – Are you and your partner from similar social backgrounds or different ones? What impact does this have (or could this have) on your relationship?
Second, Consider the Marital Status and Relationship of the Parents’ Marriages.
Often, when couples come together – one comes from a divorced home, the other does not. At times, two kids will marry whose parents are both still married to their original spouse.
I’ve read all sorts of studies on this subject and can’t even begin to delve into this topic. However, it does appear that the marriage we observed as children will greatly impact us as married adults.It does appear that the marriage we observed as children will greatly impact us as married adults. Click To Tweet
If you grew up in a home with parents who adored each other, you will have an easier time relating and loving your spouse. Conversely, if you grew up in a home that was filled with fighting, anger, hurt, divorce, and remarriage, you will have some “demons” to deal with in your own marriage.
Truly, the best news I have for you today is that there are healing and help in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He is able to mend, repair, restore, and renew all things.
Psalm 103:3 reminds us, “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”
Psalm 147:3 tells us, “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”
And, Psalm 23:3 encourages us that, “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
To Consider – What sorts of marriages did your parents have? How might this impact your own marriage? What might you have to overcome to win in marriage?
Third, Consider the Emotional Atmosphere.
What was it like to grow up in your home? How did the adults treat each other? How did they treat the kids?
Was it happy? Sad? Stressful? Laid-back? Peaceful? Competitive?
Without a doubt, there was some sort of emotional atmosphere in your home. Likely there still is. And, whatever you grew up with will be the “emotional atmosphere” you bring into your marriage.Whatever you grew up with will be the emotional atmosphere you bring into your marriage. Click To Tweet
One couple I knew were both incredible competitors. They grew up competing, and they brought this into their marriage. Everything was a battle, a war, a sparring match. Eventually, they gave up on their relationship and divorced.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
The emotional atmosphere in homes is very real and significant. Read more about setting the tone for a home in this article – “Mom, What’s the Tone of Your Home?”
To Consider – What was it like to grow up in your home? What is the tone of your married home like? Is there anything you can do to make it better and more positive?
Fourth, Consider the Significance of Spiritual Matters and Faith.
Faith, religion, church, and spiritual matters are HUGE in a family! They are a big deal in your life whether you realize it or not.
We all grow up with rules, ideas, and beliefs. Moreover, we all look at life through a “Grid of Beliefs.” This grid colors our decisions, ideas, dreams, work, and relationships.
For example, I have a strong belief in justice. I want the good guys to win and the bad guys to pay. From the time I was a small child, I’ve believed in a God of justice and a society of justice.
Some of this stems from the fact that I grew up in a neighborhood with all boys. Incidentally, this made me stronger and gave me a great aversion to bullies and to injustice.
My great belief in justice spills over into my marriage, my ministry, my work, and my life. It’s a core belief for me, and it impacts everything. Sometimes, it also causes interesting discussions in our marriage and family.
The same will be true for you and your spouse. Your core beliefs will come with you into marriage. Faith and beliefs will be a significant part of your relationship whether you ever step foot in the door of a church.Faith and beliefs will be a significant part of your relationship whether you ever step foot in the door of a church. Click To Tweet
Also, if you both have a strong and active faith, there is great evidence that this will make your marriage even stronger.
How does your faith contribute to your marriage and make it better?
Here’s a great article from Huffington Post, “5 Ways Faith Contributes to Strong Marriages, New Studies Suggest.”
To Consider – How does your faith impact your relationship? How might stronger faith make your relationship better?
Fifth, Consider the Educational Backgrounds.
For most of us, we will likely not marry someone who has spent the same number of years in school.
You may have a GED, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D. Or, you may have spent as little time in the classroom as you possibly could. More significantly, the issue here may be the love of learning and the desire to continue to do so. If both partners love to learn and grow, the relationship will benefit.If both partners love to learn and grow, the relationship will benefit. Click To Tweet
For example, my husband just completed his Ph.D., and I recently received my master’s degree. Both of us love to gain new insights, study, learn, and grow mentally.
However, you don’t have to attend college to do this. You can learn together online, in books, in activities, and in volunteer work.
The key seems to be that both partners want to continue to learn. I found this wonderful article about you can keep learning as an adult. You may want to check it out, “10 Simple Ways to Make Sure You Are Always Learning.”
To Consider – So, are you and your partner both learners? Curious? Growing? Taking in new things? What can you do to improve this?
Sixth, Consider How Money Was Spent, Saved, and Used.
Money. Money. And, more money.
This is a big one! In fact, entire websites, radio programs, and companies have been built around the topic of winning with money.
And, winning with money in your marriage is a huge deal as well.And, winning with money in your marriage is a huge deal as well. Click To Tweet
So many of the most heated battles in marriage and in families are over money. And, likely, you learned all about money growing up in your home. You learned to save, spend, borrow, give, and deal with money based on what you saw your parents do.
If you and your partner handle money in significantly different ways, you will likely have significant issues dealing with money together in your marriage.
To Consider – How do you and your partner agree on money matters? How do you differ? What needs to improve in this arena?
Seventh, Consider Roles and Job Responsibilities.
Ken and Jenny grew up in very different homes.
In Jenny’s home, her mother did most of the housework. But, her father took out the trash, carried heavy objects, and typically carried the suitcases and loaded up the car for trips.
In Ken’s home, his mother did everything. Everything. She did the housework, took out the trash, carried heavy objects, and typically carried the suitcases and loaded up the car for trips.
Thus, when they got married, it was a little confusing and a little humorous. The trash would build up into huge mounds before anyone would take it out because they were waiting for the other partner to do it.
When they took trips suitcases would be left sitting on sidewalks, waiting for someone to pick them up and put them in the car. They eventually figured out what was going and learned to work together. But, it took a little time.
The same will be true in your relationship. One of you likely grew up with a mom that took out the trash or packed the car. Conversely, the other one of you saw your dad do these things.
Consequently, differences in roles in our homes will be brought into our marriages. We will have to learn how to adjust, adapt, and transition. It is going to take lots of work, lots of patience, and lots of grace!
“Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life.”
To Consider – What family roles do you and your partner see differently? Where will you have to show lots of grace?
There could be many other factors, but these are some of the main issues that impact relationships.
The wisdom of Ben Franklin comes to mind as I close this article:
“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward.”
Would you like more marriage and relationship resources?
So, what do you think?
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