What to look for in a Spouse?

Several friends have approached me with questions about what to look for in a spouse.  My husband and I came up with a list of questions to ask yourself when getting to know someone.  Please add more to the list.

  1. Do they give you the space and support to be the person you are supposed to be not the person they want you to be?
  2. Are they kind?
  3. Do they create unity around them (what is their relationship with friends and family)?
  4. Do they bring out the best in you?
  5. Do you communicate well together?
  6. What are the things about them that annoy you or you don’t like and can you live with those?
  7. What are the spiritual qualities you see in them?
  8. Do they put their faith at the centre of their lives?
  9. Are they in a learning mode and are they trying to overcome their challenges?
  10. How do they deal with challenges?
  11. What is their attitude towards life? Are they optimistic, positive thinkers?
  12. Do they see stumbling blocks or do they see stepping stones? Do they see the problem or do they see the opportunity?
  13. Do they bring you peace of mind?

I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have more ideas of what to look for please post them below.


    Varya July 26, 2011Reply

    Those are wonderful questions. Thank you for sharing! One thing I looked for in mine is the ability to sit down and consult and sort things out. For me it was one of the most important things – no matter how bad the argument can get it is the ability to find the sparkle of consultation within that is important. I guess it is more related to your question #12.

    Laura July 27, 2011Reply

    What a wonderful list, Elika! It makes me think of how important it is to serve or work with a potential spouse to really get to know these things about them. Before we were married, my husband and I were in a band together. We went on a national tour, which for an independent band can be exciting and awesome at times, and seriously challenging at other times. When I saw how patient, dependable, and responsible he was, and when I saw that we could solve problems together and laugh even when the van broke down, we were low on funds, and we couldn’t find the next venue in a new city, I knew this was someone I could build a life and a family with! Thanks for sharing this great list.

    Elika July 28, 2011Reply

    Yes Varyajoon, the art of consultation is highly valuable and an essential part of every marriage in learning how to resolve issues that come up in a unified way.
    Thanks for sharing Laura. Sounds like you had the perfect opportunity to get to know your husband in the band before you were married. And yes I think working or serving together is a great way of getting to know one’s potential spouse much better.

    Elika July 28, 2011Reply

    A few more wonderful questions that some friends of mine have shared on my facebook link:
    – Is this person ready to be a partner in caring for and supporting children and other work?
    – Do they reflect on the outcome of their own action or lack of action and learn from them? (This requires taking responsibility for the outcome of their actions.)
    – Are they willing to work hard?
    – Do they have a number of long-term close friends? This speaks to their ability to sustain a relationship.
    – Do they demonstrate selflessness in any aspect of their lives?
    – Do they treat their parent of the opposite sex, with respect? This is often (not always) an indication of how they will treat their spouse at least in part.

    Martin Kerr July 28, 2011Reply

    A fantastic list. Shame its too late for me! Only joking, we thought of most of these things before we started… Having shared interests and having fun together are pretty obvious, but can be forgotten about in the seriousness of assessing character, and that’s something that can carry you through hard times. Some logistical questions present themselves too – are your life plans compatible? ie. where you want to live, how many children, what kind of careers…these are material things and can often be changed or reconciled but they need to be addressed and understood. Sometimes we go into a relationship presuming our partner knows our desires and ambitions and will automatically support them, when actually we haven’t talked about it properly.

    Elika July 28, 2011Reply

    You’re absolutely right Martin! The points you mentioned are just as important to talk about before marriage and not to be taken for granted.

    richard August 22, 2011Reply

    Its a pity you did not hand me this list in 1974 !! I am sure half of the the questions i never actually thought about [pre faith]!Still 4 amazing children and one super magical grand child later and a most wonderfull but also sad journey ,know regrets .I will bear all this in mind should i ever find a woman who likes me enough to want to be with me for the rest of my life and beyond ,and vica -versa !!
    thanks Elika

    richard August 22, 2011Reply

    Awesome website Elika!! so professional and powerfull and functional .

    Nabil Mo April 17, 2012Reply

    Thank you for creating this Elika, I found it really helpful and interesting to read. In addition to everything that has been shared, a few other points come to mind.
    – how we view money and manage our finances;
    – the history of an individual would be quite important in what regards to possible trauma/abuse that has been swept under the rug for years and that may creep into the present/future;
    – what is their relationship with God? Do they pray often, say their obligatory prayers, make an effort to obey the precepts laid down in The Book, mention His name
    often as one who is in love?

    Tory-Ann April 17, 2012Reply

    My husband and I must have an interesting relationship because he does not have a lot of the qualities on your list. He is from a different culture. Men were expected to behave a certain way and woman were not supposed to have an equal say in the family affairs. The Baha’i Faith is very important for both of us and we both love to connect with people on a spiritual level. I am thinking that those qualities must help us despite the fact that we are not very strong in many of the other areas on your list. For example, Consultation between husband and wife is a big challange. But we have been together for 25 years and we are still going strong.

    Elika April 24, 2012Reply

    Most welcome Nabil! Thanks for your comments – those are important points to consider also.
    Hi Tory-Ann, congratulations for being married for 25 years. I’m sure you would have a lot of insights to offer especially since you and your husband are from different cultural backgrounds. Communication and cultural differences are probably some of the most challenging aspects of mixed culture marriages. I look forward to hearing more from you in regards to what has worked in your marriage.

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  • jaleh February 14, 2015Reply

    What a beautiful blog! How did i miss this one when it was my time to give consent!
    Thank you my sweet love heart El

    Lili Shang February 14, 2015Reply

    Thank you for bringing the “lists” to my attention as well as others. And, thank you to all the others who contributed to making the wonderful list. “The List” is so helpful with establishing a base line for love and unity in relationships…marriage and otherwise. The list makes a nice gift to young folks preparing for marriage and being new to the art of marriage and with older folks with a seasoned marriage, too. Thanks so very much for getting the two lists out there to help us all with more unified and service oriented marriages…service starts at home…and in the heart…unity, peace and love.

    Leonard Williams November 24, 2016Reply

    Do you get to miss them whenever they are in a separate room, Even when in the same residence or building?

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