Our Love Story
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The influence of Dennis Prager's marriage columns
One of my colleagues in Salem Communications is syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager. He's an orthodox Jew, a brilliant thinker and simply overflowing with common sense. That's why I invite him on my show as an occasional guest. And that's why I love reading his columns.

On December 6th and 13th, Dennis wrote a power-packed set of columns entitled "If You're Thinking of Marrying: Part 1 and Part 2"

As I read through the first one, I thought, "He's describing Amy and how I feel towards her."

There is no doubt in my mind that God used those columns to help me recognize that Amy would be my future bride.

In fact, three days after I read his first column, I sent an e-mail, including the link, in which I said, "Amy, I have never seen this kind of marrying advice in writing before. I was riveted to every word, except for one of his last lines about luck which I reject. How do you think we stack up? ~ Adam"

Between the two columns, Dennis offered 12 questions to help seriously dating couples determine whether they are a good match for a lifetime. Here are the ones that stood out to me.

"1. Is the person your best friend or at least becoming so?
"It is easy to get excited about a new person. But if you cannot say that the person you are considering marrying has become or is becoming your best friend, you need to figure out why before you decide to marry. This is probably the single most overlooked question among couples, especially young ones.

"And for good reason. Many people cannot not answer this in the affirmative. But you have to answer it. Over time, friendship is the greatest bond between a couple. If the person you marry does not become your best friend, you will either seek someone who will be or simply drift apart.

"What is a best friend? Someone you can and do tell just about everything to. Someone you want to be with as much as possible. And someone you need. One of the most devastating ideas of the last generation was that needing or depending upon another person is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. The inability to need is a sign of weakness -- you are afraid to relinquish power or afraid to be hurt.

"2. [In light of the fact that you spend] the vast majority of time doing other things [outside of sex as a married couple], you must enjoy this person during those hours.
This sounds trite, but enjoying each other may actually be the single most important characteristic of a happy marriage.

"3. Is there chemistry between the two of you?
"As essential as being best friends and enjoying each other are, there should be a physical component to your relationship. Dating for marriage is not an interview for a platonic best friend. Nearly always, a woman who dates a man who meets the criteria listed here can grow to find him sexually attractive. If that were not the case, the majority of men would never attract a woman. There are very few men who turn heads. Most men become physically attractive to a woman thanks to other, masculine, qualities that they possess.

"4. Does the person have a number of good friends and at least one very close friend of the same sex?
"It is a bad sign if the person you are thinking of marrying does not have good friends (including of long duration) of the same sex. Something is very wrong. This alone should rule out the person from consideration. A woman who cannot hold female friends and a man who cannot hold male friends have issues that will probably sink your marriage.

"5. Do you miss the person when you are not together?
"This even holds true for men. Yes, men are better at being distracted by work, sports, computer games, the opposite sex, and God knows what else, but it is not a good sign if you rarely miss her when not together. As for women, if you don't miss him, it is probably a really bad sign.

"6. How does the person treat others?
"It should go without saying that if the person is not kind to you, quit while you can. But it is far from sufficient that the person you are considering marrying treats you kindly. Watch how he or she treats waitresses, employees, family members and anyone else he/she comes into contact with. I promise you how the person treats others now is how this person will treat you later."

"7. Do you share values?
"Opposites attract in the very beginning. Likes stay together for the long term.

"The more you share, especially values, the better your chances of a good marriage. For example, if you think TV watching is a form of self-abuse and your prospective spouse loves watching for hours a day, you may have a big problem. Likewise if you have opposing political and social views to which you are passionately committed.

"Love conquers all pre-maritally. Not post."

The more I read and re-read those two columns, except for his assumption that everybody is having sex out of wedlock, the more I became convinced that Amy Holzer was simply perfect for me.

Continued >> The Christmas when it all came into focus

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