Mia: Congratulations for doing the smart thing. Too many people go through with marriages that they know aren't going to work. As for your questions:
1. Maybe. You don't have to share everything. Not everyone can handle the truth.
2. The only way to be unselfish in a marriage is to put your partner's needs ahead of yours. If you're lucky, he or she will do the same for you.
3. You'd be a fool to ignore the comments that your family makes about your significant other. I once dated a lazy, depressed wannabe actor who barely got out of bed. At first I was too blinded by his talent and charm to see his faults. It was my mother and other relatives who hipped me to the fact that this guy was a loser.
4. If you're having problem after problem, that means you're not a match.
5. Don't move in with anyone until you've decided you're ready to make a lifelong commitment. Single people should act like they're single.
Q: I wish we could retire this myth of the "soul mate." I am 65 and have been happily married for close to 40 years. Before I married, I dated lots of people. My observation is that there are any number of people that you can be happy with if you genuinely care for each other. Fantasizing about finding such a person just drains away energy that could be invested in making the relationship you have work better.
Mia: You can be a great match with someone and still go through tough times. That's only normal. But I do agree that there are lots of potential partners you can be happy with.
Steve: I'm a soul-mate,
I'm a soul mate . . .
Sorry, was having a Sam & Dave moment there. Your observation is excellent.
Steve is a fifty-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a younger, recently married woman with an all-together different attitude. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. S&M@phillynews.com or write: S&M c/o Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130.