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Getting Hitched: "To Do" Or "To Ditch"? Part 1

"Divorce" is a sensitive subject, particularly today. Read Bianca's take on the factors you should consider before you even decide to walk down the aisle.

The month of June in the Philippines may mean it's back to school and the start of typhoon season, but in other parts of the world, it is also the season for the so-called June Bride!

Ah, yes, the idea of "Happily Ever After" is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the name of love! Unfortunately, many assume that having a wedding is the same as making a marriage work. News flash: No, it is not! One is a fairytale while the latter, a reality. This is why it's no surprise that married couples are separating (or, in other countries, getting divorced) left and right, leaving the Philippines in a state of moral dilemma as citizens rally to support or oppose the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill and the Divorce Bill.

Issues of Church and State are not for the faint of heart, but we need to address matters of the heart before you decide to take the legal walk to the altar.

Consider these things before getting married:

1. Money

Whether you like it or not (and whether you are materialistic or not), money makes the world go 'round—and is often the pitfall of many married couples.

Ladies, it is never enough to find a man with money to support you. You need to have your own money! You need to be self-reliant and self-sufficient enough that, if your man ever wishes to bail, money won't be a problem. Too many wives find themselves unable to leave their husbands because they solely rely on their husbands' financial support. Likewise, men find it easier to cheat on their wives and get away with it because they know their wives rely on them for money anyway. You need to be able to talk about money matters and assess each other's spending habits, as this will serve as guide for the future.

2. Lifestyle

Rich girl dates poor guy. Poor guy loves rich girl. Love conquers all. Except that it doesn't, because love does not pay the bills or put food on the table.

Consider each other's lifestyle and see if you have more things in common than not. Are you both willing to make huge sacrifices when trying times come along? Does he prefer staying home while you enjoy partying every night? Does he engage in expensive hobbies? Did your parents give you everything you wanted, from trips abroad to shopping allowance, on a regular basis? Are you okay knowing you may not have those luxuries with your partner? Remember, we're talking about a lifetime here, folks.

3. Career Status

The new generation of women thrive in the corporate world and often even outdo the opposite sex. Tradition has it that the man serves as the sole provider, the one who wears the pants in the relationship.

Are you more successful than your partner? Do you work in different fields? Who makes more money? You need to consider all these things, as men may say they want an independent woman but really mean they just don't want someone needy. Your being an independent, successful woman can emasculate an insecure man quicker than you can say "Cheater!" When a man's ego is threatened by his partner's success, he may seek to find false validation elsewhere to feel more of a man. Do you think your man is secure enough to support your own success?

4. Love For Family

You can tell a lot about a partner by the way he treats his own family, especially female members. Respect for women starts at home, so observe closely.

5. Dreams And Aspirations

Do you share the same goals and both work hard to meet them? Intentions are nothing without actions, so if your man has less drive and ambition than you do, ask yourself if you can live with that. Remember, thirst for success and inner drive cannot be taught. A person must want it for him or herself. So if you have a savior complex, thinking only you can bring your man toward the light of direction, think again. Unless concrete effort is made by your partner to create a future for you both, don't get caught up in the romance of it all.

So now we've covered the first five factors to consider before getting married. It's common to see women more concerned about the checklist for their wedding ceremony than that for their future marriage...until it's too late.

Whether you are pro- or anti-divorce, here's something for you ponder. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, as we continue to delve into the issue and give you a harsh reality check on the sacred institution of marriage.

Do tell us, what's your take on the Divorce Bill?


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