Before setting out on a quest for love , I feel it is important to look at the divorce rate in America. I would also like to cover what I and world re-noun radio show host Dave Ramsey feels are three key elements that a couple should have in common, before saying " I DO"

The current divorce rate in America is about 50%. Wow! Every other person you see on the streets is likely to get a divorce. The old adage "practice makes perfect" does not hold true in cases of subsequent marriages. According to the enrichment journal of America, things get tougher the more times you try. For a first marriage the divorce rate is 41%, for a second marriage 60% and for a 3rd marriage 73%.

I don't even want to know the statistics for a fourth. Well it would probably be something like this 3 strikes your out, but, four balls you walk. Sounds humorous at first, but not so much. The struggles of a broken heart and battling with emotions are some of the hardest challenges we will deal with in our life's.

Divorce has a direct effect on children in the family and often leads to them feeling less adequate and problems at school and a whole list of other problematic behaviors if not dealt with. In Maslow's hierarchy of needs he states first and foremost we have to have our biological needs met. Things like food, shelter, and clothing. The second item on Maslow's list is safety. We need to feel safe in our environment.

The third is what hinges our emotional well being. We are all in search of love, and acceptance. When we don't get this love and acceptance Maslow indicates it has a direct effect on the fourth item on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This area is self esteem. If we are continually rejected in our relationships then it has a terrible impact on our self esteem. We constantly deal with feelings of worthlessness and not belonging. With such a high divorce rate, no wonder everyone is in therapy or needs to be in therapy.

There is no such thing as a sure thing, but we can improve our chances to be in the 50% success rate and not the 50% failure rate by taking some common sense approach to finding the right partner. World renown radio talk show host and famous author and also financial wizard Dave Ramsey frequently mentions three things couples should have in common before walking down the isle.

  1. At the top of the list actually, is Religion. It is possible to bring a Baptist and a Mormon together at the wedding chapel and have a strong marriage. However, depending on the strength of each others belief, it is found that much of the marriage is spent one person trying to convert the other and one person pulling back.

    Hey! The spouse responds, before we tied the knot you said you didn't care which church I went too, or if I even went. In the beginning of each relationship there are those wonderful elated feelings that have us walking on cloud 9. These are endorphins and even as good as they feel they are not permanent. In the beginning of that wonderful blissful relationship we feel as if nothing could ever go wrong. However a marriage is much like entering a business relationship with a partner and we need to rationally discuss all aspects of the business before signing on the dotted line. So seriously, for your best success at your business surviving, and living through the torment and uncontrollable situations that life will roll in its path, having the same religious beliefs will certainly make your chances for success greater.

    2. The next thing is relationship with the in-laws. How does your soon to be partner like your family, specifically your father and mother. You hear all the jokes in society today about the dreaded mother in-law. This is fun to joke about, but as for item two to have in common for a successful relationship, if your soon to be spouse is negative and judgmental, and has a disliking for your father or mother this is going to lead to problems down the road. The mature person will admit that you can't get along with everyone and we don't love everyone we come in contact with. However, like I said the mature person will see the persons strengths and find reasons why he or she does like there soon to be in-laws, and will make it a goal to be close to them, and form a bond and a relationship with them. If you run across the individual in your search for a soul mate that just wants to pick your family apart and point out all of their negative issues and problems, then you should probably reconsider your choice in future partners

    3. The third item up for discussion is money. This is huge and the majority of this text will be spent here. Your belief system in money and the way it should be handled is much like a religion. If someone has lots of debts then they have those debts for a reason. It has been a practice in there family or maybe a practice they acquired themselves. Later in life as a retaliation against parents they thought were to frugal.. I have been in the people business my whole life and I see this type of mentality about money frequently.

    In this fast pace society we live in today, many people have adopted the gotta have it now mentality. My mother told me a story about how her and my father wanted a pressure cooker early on in their marriage. They had good credit and credit card companies would have gladly signed them up for a card. However this is not the way they believed in doing things. If you want something and you don't have the money to pay for it you save. So mom told me how they saved penny's and change for several months before they aquired enough money to buy that pressure cooker. I tell this story because it relays that my parents were on board with finances and had the same belief system.

    On the opposite extreme, if you both have the same belief that using credit cards and spending frivolously is okay then even then you have a better success rate at marriage survival than if you both have different beliefs in the way money is handled entirely. People fight over money, they fight over not having enough, they fight over how to manage and spend or save excess.

    If you both believe it is better to save for what you want, and pay cash, or do without. This increases your chances for a good marriage greatly. However, if one partner has the "got to have it now mentality." You know what I mean, the kids are going to have a mental breakdown if they all can't have 10 presents each for Christmas. When someone has this mentality I call it materialism high. It's my own little cliche, I kind of like it. It is kind of like drugs, it gives us a temporary feeling of elation and when the newness or the high wears off they need another fix. In this case, another materialistic item.

    This type of personality also speaks volumes for that persons commitment to a marriage. When the feelings of elation or the endorphins wear off they are ready to divorce,they want something new, something with sparks. Do yourself a huge favor, before you make or accept a proposal. You should run a credit check on each other and find out exactly what kind of financial prosperity or disparity you are looking at. In relationships people will hide there financial past, it is embarrassing, they don't want you to find out.

    While someone's mind is in that elevated endorphin state because of the newness of the relationship, they may think that they can change overnight. They fool themselves into thinking they can solve problematic issues about themselves so the the other partner does not know. However, like every other kind of change in our life's, changing the way we look at, think about and handle finances does not come with overnight change. It is much wiser, better and easier in the long run to find that person that is in harmony with your thinking and has shown it through there actions, rather than trying to convert someone to your way of thinking.

    This holds true with all three concepts. While nothing is set in stone, however you will increase your chances for success greatly by finding and seeking the person that has the same religious beliefs, has the ability to develop a meaningful relationship with your family and your financial goals and priorities are headed the same way. I guess that what I am saying is that while a 425 credit score and a 725 credit score could have a good chance of living on love, the reality is you will have far greater success looking for another 700's credit score.