What it Takes?
This blog is to help those who are still searching for that elusive spouse. I just got married again in 2016 after my first wife died in 2008. I thought I will just remain a widower, but life is not easy for the single. I’m not saying that marriage is a bed of roses, but studies have shown that the benefits of being married offset its crosses. For one, having a partner to share life’s joys and sorrows is huge. Secondly, it is more economical and healthy. Someone is always there for you. Of course, I am presuming that the spouse you marry is a good person or a saint.
So, there are several things we have to answer: first is the question of how do you search, find and marry someone in a happy marriage, and second is defining what a good spouse is?
There are so many ways in finding the right spouse. But it depends where you live. I reside in California, so I can only relate or recommend to you how to find your spouse in America. Other countries have their own unique culture and customs. Although, love is universal. So the road is not much different. Finding my first wife was easy because I have many friends, and I met her during my friend’s wedding. That means we should know how to make friends or at the very least acquaintances because it is really hard to find a good friend these days. We were happily married for 20 years that bore a son who is now 18.
It Takes Three to Get Married!
Finding my second wife was a challenge. I still have many friends, but I am not as young as when I first got married. However, the Internet was a huge help. But before we go any farther, let us establish some parameters on how to have a happy marriage. If we don’t do this, we will just be wasting our time searching for happiness, which we also must define since this word means different things to different people.
Our hearts yearn for a happiness that won’t stop, a happiness that never ends. Reality tells us that it is impossible to attain this here on earth even if we are the richest man in the world. Sooner or later we will face the afterlife. Since that desire for eternal happiness speaks of a being we call God to satisfy that craving, the happiness that I’m, therefore, referring to is that happiness beyond the grave which we call heaven and whatever happiness we experience here on earth is a foretaste of heaven. In short, we can start being happy in marriage as we journey towards heaven in this life.
The late Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote a book entitled, “Three to Get Married”. If we go to marriage without the aid of God, then we are living marriage on shaky grounds. Why is that? It is because we are humans, we are highly fallible. We make mistakes very often. We need a third person who is not a mere mortal to help us live a happy marriage. We need God, our Father.
Where Do I Start?
Before starting to search, we should ask the most important question: what kind of spouse are we looking for? Ever since I started serious dating that would lead to a happy marriage, I had made a decision that if I could answer “yes” to this question: “Can I be holily and happily married with this person in marriage until death do us part?”, then I will not regret having married this person. If you take a note on the question, you can infer that holiness leads to happiness. It also predict that the more we live holiness in marriage the happier our marriage become.
What is to be holy? Volumes upon volumes of books have been written about this topic that I will just summarize it to you in simple words. To be holy is to be a saint, and anyone in heaven is a saint. Humanly speaking, a holy person tries to live all the human virtues to the best of his or her abilities, and that is not easy. Faith, hope and charity are virtues. There are so many of them that without education we may not even know that we practice or desire to see others live them. But living with a virtuous person is a lot of joy. Just imagine living with someone who is unselfish, generous, hardworking, patient, daring, cheerful, kind, and the list goes on. On the other hand, imagine yourself living with someone who is the opposite? That’s what we call a living hell, is it? Want to be happy in marriage – marry a virtuous spouse or someone who struggles to be better humanly, and this will also apply to us. Want to have a happy marriage? Struggle to be a better person, a person who can be canonized. The saints were the happiest people who lived on earth. Of course, it is not easy. But if you want to be happy, you will find a way.
It is, therefore, hard to be happily married if our only goal is to have sex. And what about children? Things get complicated is it? No wonder there are so many divorces. I would say that the parameters I mentioned earlier were not met in the first place when they got married. But don’t lose hope because our father God has not given up on us. Our first goal then in preparation for a happy marriage is to try to become a virtuous person.
Let’s Start Searching!
Now that we know what to look for, we can start searching. It’s amazing how far we will go to look for a car but not spend a reasonable time looking for a spouse who will be with us until death do us part. Over the years the landscape of finding a spouse has changed considerably and that is due to the Internet. One recent survey showed that 19 % of brides found their match online, 17 % through friends, 15% during college and 12% at work. Mine was no exception, I found my wife online. But, there are “secrets” to finding your “perfect” spouse online and enter marriage where you can somehow predict whether both of you will be happy or not.
Before I found my spouse, I didn’t realize that online dating works. Of course, I’ve heard about it, but I thought it was not for me. But then I decided to join since for an older guy like me and seeking my second marriage, the avenues of finding a wife is not as varied like I’m no longer in college. Being Catholic, I joined Catholic Singles but things were faster in Catholic Match. It was not easy at first, but eventually I dated.
The most important part of Catholic Match was their forums where one can express one’s thoughts about the most important things about dating, marriage, and finding the “perfect” spouse – the kind of spouse I described earlier. I posted regularly and befriended some posters including my eventual wife. The most important in reading posts is that you will be able to discern what kind of person the poster is. Is she patient, kind, reasonable, of sound mind, and many other qualities that helps knowing the person deeper? Human virtues are very attractive. It is what you call the inner beauty.
We both posted regularly and we became friends and the courtship started. It is great to have some hobbies like ballroom dancing.