How to Hire the Right Spouse

Companies go to great lengths to write job descriptions and analyze the psychological profile of a potential hire. But when it comes to choosing a spouse, most of us just wing it and pray it works out.

Bill Hybels, in his book Courageous Leadership, outlines three qualities to look for in a potential hire: character, chemistry, competency.

What if we applied this to finding a spouse?

Most of us choose a spouse solely on chemistry. While chemistry is certainly important and serves as an indicator of compatibility, it changes with time. The chemistry, or emotional connection that my wife and I had in year one is not the same in year twenty four. It’s different because we have both become different people. Chemistry alone is not enough to build a marriage on. People change over time.

Competency? How does this translate to a relationship or marriage? Through communication. If the person is a poor communicator while dating, when the level of chemistry is still high, marriage can become frustrating when the level changes. Does the person respond promptly and appropriately? Do they avoid conflict?

When I asked a mentor of mine what I can do to build trust with my team, he said “Be an excellent communicator.”

Character is the most important.

Is the personal truthful? What kind of relationships have they had? What kind of relationship do they have withtheir family? Does there always seem to be a sense of drama? Do they take responsibility for their actions? Do they speak negatively about former employers, their family, or friends? Are they easily offended?

Look…nobody’s perfect. At the same time, with your spouse you’re making a “permanent hire” for your life.

Of Hybels’ three qualities, character is the one that’s non-negotiable. No matter how much chemistry they have with you or how good they may seem at communication, if their character is in question run for the hills.

Having worked with college students and young adults for many years, I was often asked ” How do I know he/she is the one?”

There is always going to be a sense of mystery involved, but my advice has always been, “Choose the one who challenges you, and makes you a better person to be around.”

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