Do you want to know the real secret to a satisfying and successful marriage?
Getting—and staying—happily married is probably one of the hardest things most of us will ever attempt. In fact, marriage is so challenging that you have to marry well to start with to even have a chance of success. Even worse, the advice you’ve heard all your life is either wrong or at best incomplete.
Heartbroken after his second divorce, Dr. Carroll was determined to solve the puzzle of how to have a successful marriage. Drawing on his professional expertise as a psychiatrist and a wealth of field research, he emerged with a powerful yet simple system for finding your perfect match. Using neuroscience, genetics, behavioral science, psychology, and his work with shamans and other spiritual healers, he will teach you how to “marry” science with spirituality to attract the perfect man for you - the man you were meant for - and how to get him to the altar in as little as a year.
• why the usual advice doesn’t work
• why amazing chemistry is a bad sign
• what type of man is perfectly suited for you
• how to energetically attract him
• how to know he’s really “the one”
• and of course, how to get him to the altar!
If you’re tired of the singles scene and frustrated by failed attempts at love, Don’t Settle is the step-by-step, complete solution you’ve been looking for.
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How to Marry the Man You Were Meant For
By Scott Carroll
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Scott Carroll, MD.
All rights reserved.
Are You Ready for Marriage?
The first step in my system is to prepare yourself for marriage. While this topic might seem a bit dull, it is critical to ensuring your future success. You wouldn't build a house on an unstable foundation, would you? We are doing the same thing here: building a solid foundation for your marriage.
To that end, please work through these seven questions to ensure you are ready to take the next step in attracting the man you are meant for. It may take some time to address all of the issues raised in these questions, but it will be time well spent because it will prepare you optimally to be married and use this system. I urge you to complete each question fully before you continue.
1. Why do you want to be married? It seems like such a simple question, but simply wanting to be married is no longer a good enough reason to get married in our modern society. Yes, there was a time, not that long ago, when being single severely limited and hampered your life, but today marriage really is a choice and not a necessity. However, the true reasons why we desire things are often not clear to our conscious minds, so find a quiet spot and give yourself several minutes in the silence to see what bubbles up from deep inside you.
Don't judge the answers that come up, because you need to be honest with yourself here. Just write them all down as they come up. Continue to quietly contemplate the question until no new answers have come up for several minutes. Afterward, look over your answers.
Healthy reasons for wanting to be married include things like seeking companionship, raising a family, or sharing some purpose together. The list of healthy reasons is long and varied, so we'll be spending much of the next chapter exploring them. For now, we just need to make sure you don't want to be married for an unhealthy reason.
Similar to the list of healthy reasons, the full list of unhealthy reasons is quite long as well, but the one thing they have in common is that they use marriage to solve a problem that is better solved by other means. For example, maybe you want to live a luxurious lifestyle. While marrying someone with good financial prospects might be smart, marrying someone just for their money isn't usually the start to a great marriage. After all, how much money does it take to stay married to someone if you can't stand being touched by him and if you can't be with whom you truly love?
Other examples include things like getting out of debt, moving out of your parents' home, or even getting out of your small town. While those things may happen as a result of a good marriage, it is generally better to accomplish these things on your own before you get married. The ironic truth of marriage is that the less you need to be married, the better your marriage tends to be.
Spend some time with your list of reasons to see if each reason can be satisfied by another means. If a reason can be satisfied by another means, commit to satisfying it by that non-marriage means.
If you want a luxurious life style, figure out how to start your own business or become successful in a lucrative profession. Similarly, if you need to get out of debt, learn how to budget and be frugal so you can do so quickly. If you want get out of your small town, start looking at job prospects in larger cities. If you satisfy those desires on your own you won't end up burdening your marriage with them.
2. Are you ready for monogamy? Unfaithfulness will destroy a marriage faster than almost anything else. Marriage means having sex with the same person for possibly longer than you've been alive.
Not everyone is cut out for that level of sameness and repetition. Could you stand going to the same restaurant for the rest of your life? You will always get the best seat and you will never need a reservation. You can also have anything you want on the menu and you can even work with the chef to change the menu from time to time — but you can never step foot in another restaurant, ever, no matter how amazing it may seem.
If you can honestly say you would be happy living that way, then you are ready for marriage.
3. Are you really single? Many people start trying to meet the next person before they have actually broken up with the last one. Don't test the waters like that. It is both dishonest and bad dating karma. Ask yourself if there is someone who thinks they are still in an exclusive relationship with you (if you have served them with a restraining order, that's good enough)?
Sit them down (in a public place, if you think they will take it badly) and tell them in no uncertain terms that your relationship is over. If you need help with telling them it's over, you can read about how to do it with class on my website (http://www.scottcarrollmd.com/saying-no-with-class/).
Similarly, do you tend to have your next boyfriend lined up, ready to go the minute you break up with your current boyfriend? Many women keep a waitlist of potential boyfriends. The problem with this is that quality men don't tend to put up with being waitlisted and you risk settling for a waitlist guy simply because he's available and you don't like to be alone.
Lose the waitlist and learn to tolerate being alone. It just takes a little practice and you can start by using your new free time to read this book and work on the exercises in it. Plus, being comfortable being alone is a wonderful gift, because it allows you to know yourself and to only be with a man because you truly enjoy being with him, not because you are uncomfortable being alone. However, if being alone makes you excessively anxious or depressed, you probably need to see a psychotherapist about it (See Appendix 2 for details on how to find one).
Another problem I occasionally see with my students is someone who is still living with their ex, usually for financial reasons. I get it, but do you think a quality man is going to want to date you if you are still living with your ex? No, he's not, because the last thing he wants to do is to star in your reality TV show. Plus, you'll probably never convince him that things are completely over and platonic with your ex.
Heck, have you even convinced yourself that it's completely over, that no part of you hopes he will turn it around and be the man you originally thought he was? If one of you just can't move out, either some part of you hopes you'll get back together or one of you is a mooch. If he's the mooch, let him mooch off his mother or another family member. However, if you are the one who can't afford to move out, start looking for other roommates, apply for better-paying jobs, and do whatever it takes to get your financial house in order before you focus on getting married.
Finally, are you still sleeping with anyone (that includes any form of sex, fooling around, or cuddling), including with your ex? Many former couples hook up, which is generally harmless, but it won't serve you if your goal is to attract an awesome husband. As I said before, a quality man won't believe that things are completely over with your ex if you still get together. Cut it off so you can start fresh with a blank sheet of paper.
Similarly, having regular sex with anyone who isn't the one won't serve your quest for an awesome marriage, because regular sex puts you at risk of becoming biochemically bonded to your partner, similar to what happens in addiction. Just as with an addiction, it can cloud your mind and induce you to make a poor choice in terms of whom to marry. If you need sex, a side hookup is fine; just don't let it turn into a regular occurrence. How likely is it that a quality man will believe that your regular sex is completely casual?
4. Are you financially stable? Notice that I didn't say rich. Instead, what I mean is that you have a reliable source of income, you spend less than you make, and you are not overwhelmed with debt. If you are struggling with any of these financial issues, you need to deal with that before you focus on getting married. Financial problems are one of the most common reasons couples fight and a major cause of divorce. Why would you want to burden your marriage from the beginning with these problems? Plus, quality men tend to be sensitive to how a woman manages her money and don't want to marry women who are bad with money and will drag them down.
Now is also a good time to run your credit report and get it cleaned up, because it is not fair to bring a bad credit score to a new marriage. When you marry someone, your financial and credit histories become combined over time, and the lower credit score tends to pull down the good score. Also, there are many advantages to having a good credit score, because it allows you to pay less for all kinds of things, from insurance to negotiating a better price for a car, not just get lower interest rates.
You will also need to set aside a little extra money each month for dating. While dating doesn't have to be expensive, it's not completely free, either. For example, you'll need to pay for a membership to at least one online dating website (the free ones are full of people who aren't serious about a relationship or can't afford to pay for a membership). You'll also need some nice clothing and be able to afford coffee/drinks when you go on a date.
5. Are you emotionally stable? All of us get nervous or sad from time to time, but are your emotions significantly interfering with your life? Do you get so anxious that you can't do certain things or can't relax and enjoy yourself? Maybe you struggle with sadness or low energy and motivation to the point that it affects your job or relationships. If so, you will need to get these emotions under control before you start dating, because they will limit your ability to date, scare off quality men, and be a burden on your marriage.
If you are still grieving some loss, such as your last relationship, you need to finish your grieving process before starting to date. Trust me, it is really embarrassing if you burst out in tears during a date because of something he said or did that reminded you of your ex.
The best way for most people to address these issues is to go to individual psychotherapy. Medication may work faster, but it only works when you take it and can have annoying side effects, especially sexual ones. In contrast, the benefits of psychotherapy can last a lifetime. Therapists also make excellent sounding boards as you go through the dating process. See Appendix II for tips on finding a therapist.
6. Are you sober? Addiction and marriage are inherently incompatible. Marriage is hard enough without adding the burden of an addiction. Alcohol and drugs also cloud the mind and interfere with making good choices in terms of whom you date and marry. Furthermore, quality men are going to reject you if you have an alcohol or drug problem. Only men with low standards or who have a problem themselves will overlook yours.
Let's go beyond addiction for a moment. If you drink alcohol daily, even if it is just a glass or two, or if you get drunk most weekends, I would recommend that you cut back before you start dating. Daily drinking and regular benders are bad for your health. Do you really want a marriage that revolves around drinking and getting drunk? Even if you manage to marry a man who doesn't have an alcohol problem now, why run the risk of either of you developing a problem?
Similarly, if you use marijuana illegally or regularly, you will need to cut back as well. Many quality men have jobs and careers that would be at risk if an illegal activity were going on in their homes.
Even if you live somewhere it is legal, marijuana still can make you lazy and unmotivated. Quality men who are serious about their careers aren't lazy and don't want to be with someone who is lazy, either.
Of course, if you use any hard drugs at all, you absolutely need to stop and get professional help before you consider dating. Hard drugs are dangerous and extremely addicting as well as illegal. If you have any doubts about how dangerous or addicting they are, spend a night working in the emergency room of any large hospital in a major city. You will see exactly what I'm talking about. Just be aware that it typically takes professional help and strong support to beat a drug problem.
7. Are you at least 23 years old? I say this because your brain will not be fully developed and neurologically mature until you are 23 at the earliest (or as late as 25, which is the earliest the male brain typically matures). This has nothing to do with intelligence or education, but with the fact that your frontal lobes, which are responsible for rational thought and objective judgment, are not fully developed until then. Before your frontal lobes finish their development, your judgment is susceptible to being overwhelmed by your emotions and is a major cause of "Shiny Object Syndrome" and "Dating ADD." Why do you think car insurance rates drop so much when you turn 25?
If you are under 23, you can read this book and start working on attracting the ideal man to marry, but please wait until you are at least 23 (or 25 to be even safer) to actually marry him. You need your brain to be fully developed to be sure he meets all the necessary criteria to be the one you are meant for and to prevent your judgment from being clouded because you are love-drunk.
– Why do you want to be married?
– Are you ready for monogamy?
– Are you really single?
– Are you financially stable?
– Are you emotionally stable?
– Are you sober?
– Are you at least 23 years old?CHAPTER 2
The Secret to a Satisfying Marriage
Notice that this chapter is titled "The Secret to a Satisfying Marriage" and not "The Secret to a Happy Marriage." We often say we want to be happy, where happiness equates to a blissful state of constant joy, untroubled by struggle, challenge, or hard work. But when is anything worthwhile in life or marriage ever free from struggle and hard work, especially when struggle and hard work are often the sources of our joy?
I think a better, more realistic goal for both life and marriage is satisfaction, because hard work, struggle, and challenges are both inevitable and a source of our joy. Yes, we have moments where we are briefly free from struggle and are thus at peace, but the peace quickly turns into boredom and apathy if a new struggle doesn't present itself. In fact, are we not most happy when we have triumphed over some great challenge?
Happiness is such an ephemeral thing that is here one moment and gone the next, that trying to be happy is almost like chasing the wind. However, you merely have to look back over your accomplishments and how you have lived and loved to be satisfied - which will then make you happy. That is why seeking satisfaction rather than happiness in both life and marriage is a more certain path to the happiness we all desire.
What is the secret to a satisfying marriage? Being in love is clearly not the answer. Virtually every newlywed couple loves each other, but still nearly half end up divorcing, while many more suffer in poor marriages.
Similarly, sustaining sexual attraction is not the secret, either. Many divorced couples quietly hook up for sex years after divorcing, which shows that the sexual attraction wasn't gone just that it couldn't save the marriage. In addition, all the information we have gained about sex over the last few decades has done little to bring down our divorce rate.
Don't get me wrong: Love is clearly important. After all, why would you marry someone you didn't love? Love is necessary, but it is not sufficient in and of itself to ensure a successful marriage. The same can be said for sexual attraction. It is clearly necessary, but it is not sufficient, either. Something else is required.
What about communication? The marriage therapy industry would have us believe that, if we could only communicate better, our marital problems would be solved. However, after spending a small fortune on some excellent therapists over the course of two marriages, I can assure you that no amount of improved communication can overcome a poor choice of whom to marry. Again, good communication is necessary, but it is not the secret.
What about compatibility and companionship? That must be the secret, right? Well, if it was, I would just tell you to go marry your best male friend because you get along so well. You'll probably continue to get along well, but could you stand having sex only with him for the rest your life? Again, both are obviously important, but not the secret.
Sharing a Purpose, Sharing a Life
Are you ready for the big secret? Here it is.
The great secret to a successful, satisfying marriage is a strongly shared purpose you are both passionate about and committed to — an overriding goal both of you share that can be the glue that holds you together and motivates you to work hard to overcome the endless challenges every marriage faces.
You still need all the other pieces — from love and great sex to communication and companionship — but a strong, shared purpose is the glue that holds them together, much like mortar holds bricks together to form a wall. When the bricks start to crumple, a strong purpose can hold your marriage together, allowing you to repair the broken parts before the wall collapses and divorce becomes inevitable.
Excerpted from Don't Settle by Scott Carroll. Copyright © 2016 Scott Carroll, MD.. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Step I – Preparing Yourself for Marriage,
Chapter 1: Are You Ready for Marriage?, 1,
Chapter 2: The Secret to a Satisfying Marriage, 8,
Step II – Is He Husband Material?,
Chapter 3: Did He Eat the Marshmallow?, 17,
Chapter 4: Bonding and Chemistry, 28,
Step III – The Relationship Archetypes,
Chapter 5: The Spectrums, 49,
Chapter 6: Putting It Together, 65,
Chapter 7: The Athlete, 71,
Chapter 8: The Engineer, 86,
Chapter 9: The Film Director, 98,
Chapter 10: The Artist, 112,
Step IV – Marrying Science and Spirituality,
Chapter 11: Engaging Spirit, 125,
Chapter 12: Aligning Yourself, 137,
Chapter 13: Manifesting Him, 148,
Chapter 14: How to Know He's the One, 158,
Step V – Sealing the Deal,
Chapter 15: Getting Him to the Altar, 165,
Chapter 16: Advice for a Successful Marriage, 187,
Appendix I: The Selfish Gene, 193,
Appendix II: How to Find a Psychotherapist, 197,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the best, most helpful and comprehensive dating guide I've ever read. Not only is it great content, but it's written in a way that is pleasant to read, not condescending or intimidating. The articles Dr. Carroll shares on his Facebook page are also great! Highly recommend to anyone who wants to set groundwork for a successful marriage.