Veto Factors, Part 5
- Tuesday, October 01, 2002
In the previous four installments of my series on Veto Factors, I’ve taken an in-depth look at eight issues that I think can be described as relationship "deal breakers." These are the biggies-the relationship cornerstones that should never be compromised
Veto Factor is a term I use to describe a characteristic of a relationship that makes this relationship simply unworkable for one or both people.
To date I’ve written about Family Planning, Smoking/Drinking, Spirituality, Ethnicity/Race, Education, Gender Roles, Values, and Verbal Intimacy. Your primary task while dating should be to determine how your potential partner feels about these major issues. Now it’s time to examine the final two of my ten veto factors.
Veto Factor Number 9
The ninth one is anger management. I don’t know how to talk strongly enough about this issue. There are ten million kids in America who get beaten up by their parents every year. That’s an estimate. It may be more than that.
We know that there are one million of these little kids who are reported to authorities every year. We also know that there are two-thirds of these kids who are under the age of three. Very often a child gets beaten up who doesn’t have a voice. No one knows about it to report it, but the little child is under that kind of physical abuse and the threat of abuse on a regular basis.
If you are involved right now in a dating relationship with someone who does not have their anger under control, who either regularly explodes or clams up and begins to pout, sulk and distance themselves from you, then their anger mismanagement can create enormous problems between the two of you. I passionately believe that this area is a veto factor.
Veto Factor Number 10
The tenth area I’d like to mention to you because I’ve seen so much trouble with it. It is the area of ambition.
I know couples who have gotten married in which one person is highly ambitious and the other person is not ambitious at all. The person who is not ambitious at all is frustrated with the other person, regularly calling them at work and asking, "Can you come home? Can you come home early today?"
Well, the person who’s ambitious doesn’t want to come home early today because they want to move ahead in terms of their career development, and they become frustrated with the other person who quits work everyday at two o’clock to play a little golf. The two of them don’t have ambition in common. If you don’t have ambition in common it can cause a lot of trouble.
Well there you have them: ten possible veto factor areas. I know some couples who’ve had major difficulties in each one of these areas, and I know that each one of these areas is important enough to some people that it, all by itself, can spell the end of their relationship and rightfully so; Because if they were to get married with these differences in these key areas, they would have a hard time making the relationship work.
How about this person you’re going with right now? Do any of these areas cause you alarm in and concern in relation to them? If so, do you see how it might create chaos in your marriage down the line?
Sixty-six percent of all the marriages here in the United States, if present trends continue, will end in separation or divorce. All of those people obviously had an opportunity to assess their relationship at some point before they got married, but they went ahead and married anyway. Did they simply not see the problems coming? Did they see no problems? Did they see some problems but did they think they could overcome them in some way?
Right now you’re in a perfect position. You’re not married and I’m saying these are ten areas that can cause big problems if you don’t take them seriously. If you want to overcome them, overcome them before you get married. The greatest miracles of all-the biggest changes in people-always occur before the marriage happens. After the marriage there is a lowered ambition and a decreased motivation. There is a tendency to think, "You married me this way, maybe this is the way I’m always going to be." Take these ten areas seriously and I promise you, your seriousness about them will serve you well.
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