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12/30/2016 12:11 pm ET Updated Dec 31, 2017

How Do You Know You Married the Right Person?

How can you be sure the person you're going to marry is the one? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by C Stuart Hardwick, Scifi Author, on Quora:

How can you be sure the person you're going to marry is the one? Because they are the person you are willing to mold yourself around, and who seem willing to mold themselves around you too. That means you have to be compatible, of course, mutually attractive, with similar values, etc. And you need to be honest, with each other and yourselves.

But here's the thing. People grow. People change. Over the course of a lifetime, you grow together, or you grow apart. Doing the former requires commitment and effort, like anything else good in life.

I've been married for twenty-four years. I have, occasionally, found my wife bewildering. I have been so mad that I didn't want to be around her, and made her feel the same.

But I've never gone to bed thinking I didn't want to stay together or that I'd be better off alone, because I wouldn't. I'd just be older, and alone, without my best friend, without the one who knows how to keep me from screwing up. My wife has helped me to be a better person. She says, and I believe, I've done the same for her. Together, we've taken our lives where neither of us could have imagined alone.

And after twenty-four years, it still pisses me off when she throws back the curtains at seven in the morning and wants me to come outside and drink coffee with her, because who the hell gets up before they have to? But after twenty-four years, I get up, (at about eight), I drink the coffee, and I sit out until the mosquitoes come.

Because I love her. Because when you're with the one you love, things are pretty good.

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