Many people are more afraid of dating than of speaking in public. Dating causes you to reveal yourself and risk that some of your weak parts will be found unacceptable. When you are comfortable with yourself, it makes others feel relaxed around you. If your relationship continues, the other person will eventually find out what you are like, so resist the temptation to appear different from who you really are. For many people the best single piece of advice is: Making your relationship work before you marry is the best way to know how it will work once you’re married.

Look Before You Leap
Make sure the person you are about to marry will be reasonable, ethical, and principled—even through a heated divorce (and until your last child turns 18).
Compatibility Checklists

Above all, marriage is communication. Every item on these lists provides a window into how well you will be able to communicate as a couple.

If these issues are difficult for you, or you can’t talk about them now, you aren’t ready to take the plunge. Make two copies of these lists, one for each of you. Give your real answers (not the ones you think the other person wants to hear). Address your fears or live with them. The subjects you need your candidate’s thoughts on most will be the hardest for you to ask about. Most people will not be honest or know their true thinking. If you are unsure, ask your questions in many different ways.


Marriage subjects our happiness to the whims, moods, and inadequacies of another person. We all have powerful and specific feelings about almost every issue. We all have weaknesses and faults, so finding a person who is “workable” is crucial. Workability can be determined only by talking openly about a lot of subjects over time. Take your time; get it right.


Children who are listened to and whose opinions are valued tend to live with the assumption that the world will also treat them this way.

Guiding Your Kids
Exerting too much control can cause children to withdraw from life, rebel or become bullies. On the other hand, permissiveness encourages youngsters to push parents to the limit of their tolerance. It allows children to think everything revolves around their own wishes. It causes children to demand undeserved rewards and to fail to appreciate the advantages they have.
Empowering Your Kids
Children make good judgments sooner when they have been allowed to “color outside the lines,” and when they have been allowed to experience the consequences of their decisions.
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