How to Know if Mr. or Ms. Right is Right for You: Pointers from Gloria and Emilio Estefan

Gloria and Emilio Estefan (Photo credit: Jesus Carrero)

Gloria and Emilio Estefan

You’ve been in a relationship and are considering taking the next step into marriage with your partner. How can you have confidence that your marriage will not become a statistic like so many others that started with wonderful excitement, promise, and love?

There are many different ideas about what’s necessary for a harmonious long-term marriage:

  • If the sex is great and we are physically attracted to each other, everything else will work itself out.
  • According to the old adage, “opposites attract.” Our opposite natures will keep things interesting!
  • The opposite theory is, “like attracts like.” We’re meant to be together because we enjoy the same diet, the same music, the same movies, the same hobbies, the same vices, and so on.
  • Financial security is key. Does my partner have good money and a reliable job?

All of these things can be helpful in creating and maintaining a good relationship. They’re important—though you may want to go easy on those vices! Still, they are not the key to ensuring a long-term, harmonious marriage.

What does make a marriage stick?

Gloria and Emilio Estefan, the Latin and pop music superstars, have been married for thirty-five years now, and they are still very much in love. What’s their secret? What pointers can we glean from their harmonious, long-term marriage?

Opposites or similarities?

In an article by Ray Rogers, “Gloria Estefan Raises the Standard,” Gloria says, “Emilio and I have in our relationship certain things that really make this work: Number one, there are no egos involved. We’re very different personality-wise, but in the things that count—values, morals, business—we rarely disagree.”

Here’s a clip from an interview with Gloria Estefan by Piers Morgan on CNN that ends with a similar statement about different personalities but common values and priorities:

What’s fascinating about her statements is that it’s a case of both “opposites attract” and “like attracts like.” But here’s the key:

  • The opposites are on the outer level of personality and expression
  • The likenesses are on the inner level of core values, morals, and approach to life

Outer opposites attract

On the outer level of personality and expression, the “opposites” that attract partners to one another can function as balancing complementarities. Here’s how Gloria Estefan once expressed it in a television interview: “We’re very different. If we were like me, we’d still be sitting on my couch playing guitar. If we were him [Emilio] we’d be dead of a heart attack by now. So we balance each other.”

Beyond the obvious balancing complementarity of male and female, there are balancing complementarities of inward and outward focus, business sense and artistic sense, practicality and idealism, and many other contrasting personality traits in partners that, put together, form a better and more complete whole than either partner can be individually.

Inner similarities give staying power

However, while differences in character and expression may make a relationship work well, they are not what hold a marriage together.

What does hold a marriage together for the long term are common core values, morals, and goals. In other words, what makes a marriage stick is a shared view of the meaning and purpose of life in general, and of the partners’ life together in particular.

These, in Gloria Estefan’s words, are “the things that count.” If there is not that common center around which the outer opposites and complementarities revolve, then instead of making the relationship work, those opposites will sooner or later cause the couple to spin off in opposite directions from one another.

How to know if Mr. or Ms. Right is right for you

Nearly every couple standing at the altar getting married believes and hopes that they will have a long-term, harmonious marriage. And yet, statistically half of those couples will be divorced within seven years.

Couples who thought they were meant to be together often realize after marriage—and especially once the children are born—that they are not “opposites that attract,” but instead are fundamentally different people.

When you reach a point in your relationship where you are considering marrying your partner, you need to ask yourself this key question: Are his or her core values a match for my own?

The values at the core of our being

What are “core values?”

From a spiritual perspective, our religious or spiritual beliefs are at the heart of all of our values.

This doesn’t necessarily mean your partner must belong to the same church or come from the same religion as you. It’s not about institutions. The thing to look for is whether your partner has a similar sense of who God is, a similar view of the spiritual nature of life, and harmonious beliefs about why God created us and put us here on earth.

This leads to the common morals that Gloria Estefan speaks of.

Does your partner have a similar sense of the importance of honesty? Of respect for others? Of commitment and sexual fidelity? Of personal integrity? Of other moral values that are important to you?

Also critical are shared goals.

Does your partner want to achieve similar or at least complementary things in life? Do you and your partner want to direct your lives toward mutually supportive aims?

If the two of you have these inner similarities, it should also lead to a common and mutually supportive way of running your practical or business life. Common values, morals, and goals make it possible for the two of you either to work together directly or to support one another in the distinct jobs and roles you take on.

Do you and your partner truly share these core values and a common approach to life?

Know thyself

The Estefan family in 1996: Emilio, Emily Marie, Gloria, Nayib

The Estefan family in 1996

All of this leads to another question to ask yourself: Do I even know what my own core values are?

We humans take many years to reach self-responsible adulthood. Ideally, by the time we do reach adulthood we will have a clear sense of who we are, what we believe, and what our purpose in life is.

But often it takes longer. Once we finish our schooling and go out into the working world, it is a common experience to discover that what we thought we believed and wanted to do just doesn’t feel right for us. We may try out several belief systems and several career paths before we find what expresses our best and deepest self.

Couples who marry before they have a clear and settled sense of who they are as individuals and where they are going in life are just as likely to grow apart from one another as they are to grow closer together.

That’s why it is critically important to clarify your own faith, your own beliefs, your own values, your own morals, your own goals in life, before making a lifelong commitment to another person.

Yes, you might get lucky and find “the right one” purely by the grace of God. But even then, “God helps those who help themselves.” The clearer you are about who you are, the more clearly you will be able to see if your partner is a true and deep match for you.

What makes a marriage stick?

Yes, it’s good to have lots of things in common.

And yes, it’s good to have complementary opposites that offer balance and spice to the relationship.

But if your core values aren’t held in common, all those other commonalities and complementarities won’t be enough to bind the marriage.

Once you have clarity about your own values, it’s time to honestly examine your partner’s values to see if they are in sync with your own.

As you do this, keep in mind that core values must be expressed in actions, not just in words. It’s nice if your partner says she or he believes in and values certain things that you also believe in and value. But if the way your partner treats you and behaves toward other people tells a different story, then it’s the actions, not the words, that tell the real story. As Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

In short, don’t marry your partner without a clear understanding of his or her core values—which will sooner or later be expressed in what your partner does and how your partner lives.

As Gloria Estefan sings in her 1989 chart-topping love ballad, “Don’t Wanna Lose You”:

So open your eyes,
see who I am,
and not who you want for me to be.

What makes a marriage stick?

Common core values of faith, morals, goals, and focus in life.

Everything else is the delicious icing on the cake.

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Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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Posted in Popular Culture, Sex Marriage Relationships
15 comments on “How to Know if Mr. or Ms. Right is Right for You: Pointers from Gloria and Emilio Estefan
  1. kbshannon says:

    It is what keeps me faithful in a long distance relationship. I wrote on this today.

  2. Patience Ahimbs says:

    can God seperate a couple married in church and allow a second marriage in church? yet God doesnt allow divorce? thank you.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Patience,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question. Divorce is a very sticky issue, and not one that I could do justice to in a brief reply. Suffice it to say that it’s a much more complex issue than many Christians think. However, if there is something more specific you’re wondering about, feel free to leave another comment.

  3. caionsouza says:

    Hi Lee!

    I’m very happy to announce that I’m finally starting the relationship i always desired to have with someone i love so much! and with that I’m also not so happy to announce that I’m being bombarded almost 24 hours per day with some really bad intrusive thoughts, again.

    While this time I can deal with most of them identifying that those thoughts are coming from those satans and not me, some of them are still successfully making me sick because they attack directly our relationship as a whole and specially my partner creating literally extreme scenarios of cheating, abandonment, break ups and almost everything that could end our love for each other.

    To give you a good example of how they do it, they use literally probabilities to tell me that if it has even 1% of chance to happen, it will happen, some sort of Murphy’s Law, like “see that random hot guy on the TV? Well, something extremely extremely extraordinary will happen and he will meet your girlfriend, she is going to fall in love with him and they will live happily after ever so there is no future to you and her and there is nothing anything you can do because it will happen anyway!

    One good way i found to counter it was saying that it don’t give a f* about probabilities and that it doesn’t apply to love itself, only mathematics and other material things.

    I know i always come with those same questions about dealing with evil spirits, but you are the only person i can ask for help about those questions and this time it involves someone i love so much..

    Blessings my friend.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Caio,

      Congratulations on finding love! I wish the two of you all the best together.

      About your struggles with those satanic voices, there are several angles on this that might be helpful.

      First, every worthy thing always gets tested. And even though it is evil spirits doing the testing, they are still providing a valuable service in that they are exposing flaws and weaknesses that we need to work on.

      Consider companies that hire hackers to try to break into their systems. Why do they do this? Because hackers can identify weaknesses in the company’s security, so that those weaknesses can be fixed before real hackers find and exploit them. This is what evil spirits do for us. They find the weaknesses in our character and in our relationship so that we can become aware of them, see them more clearly, and work to fix them.

      Of course, it’s never pleasant to have these flaws and weaknesses pointed out to us. It must be both unpleasant and humbling for the programmers who designed those systems to see where they flubbed up and left openings for the bad guys to get in. Some companies would rather avoid doing this altogether, because they’d rather not have their faults pointed out to them. But avoiding that embarrassment and unpleasantness is only going to make them vulnerable to evil people who will steal from them and even destroy their company altogether.

      If we think of the evil spirits as doing us the service of showing us where we have work to do, then instead of being angry and resentful, we can actually thank them for the service they are providing. And the best thing is, they find that really annoying! They don’t want to do anything good for anyone! 😉 However, this is an example of how the best of the angels don’t feel anger or hatred toward anyone—even toward those who feel anger and hatred toward them. This is also how God operates, to an infinite degree.

      When it comes to relationships, this mechanism acts in spades. No relationship is perfect because no two people are perfect themselves. And evil spirits especially hate marriage, and marriage love, so they attack it viciously whenever they get the opportunity. This is what they are doing to your relationship right from the beginning. And as they say, “forewarned is forearmed.” Knowing that your relationship is going to be attacked arms you to deal with those attacks.

      And the way to deal with them is not to get mad, but to commit yourself to fixing whatever flaws and weaknesses there may be in the relationship. This is not going to happen all at once. Just as it takes us a lifetime to be spiritually reborn as a new person ourselves, we also have a lifetime to work on our relationships of love and marriage. Knowing this also helps to blunt the attacks of the evil spirits. Maybe they have a point in their accusations. But we have a lifetime to work on it, as long as we remain committed to the relationship.

      There is also the possibility that as good as it feels, maybe this isn’t the right relationship. I know people don’t want to think about that, but avoiding thinking about it won’t make the reality go away, if that is the reality. When the evil spirits test our relationships, over time we find out with greater and greater certainty whether this relationship is or isn’t right for the two people involved. If the relationship withstands all that testing, then trust and confidence grows that the two of you are indeed meant for each other. If it doesn’t withstand all that testing, then it is better for the relationship to break up early on, so that the two people involved don’t get too deep into it, and end out having a long and painful process of breakup years down the line.

      So once again, even though their effort is to break up your relationship, even so the evil spirits are doing you a service because they are giving your relationship the test of fire that will determine in the hearts and minds of both of you whether or not it is ultimately the real and right relationship for you.

      Now about that 1% probability, first and foremost, the idea that a 1% probability means it will definitely happen is just bad math. 1% probability means it is a 1% probability that it will ever happen. If it were definitely going to happen, then the probability would be 100%, not 1%. But this is the sort of fallacy that evil spirits love to get wormed into our mind if they possibly can. It is the falsity that they use in their efforts to destroy what is good.

      What I really want to focus on, though, is your insight that this is about “material things.”

      To make a long story short, there are two types of marriage/romantic love: material love and spiritual love. Material love focuses on material things, such as wealth and physical attractiveness. Spiritual love focuses on a oneness of minds and hearts between the two people.

      Relationships based on material love are inherently unstable. What happens when the one you love starts getting old and gets a few wrinkles? What happens if the one you love has a business failure and suddenly is poor instead of rich? These relationships are always potential prey for others who have more wealth or beauty to come in and steal away a desirable partner. This is the way of the world.

      It is not the same for marriages based on spiritual love. These marriages are not based on the wealth or beauty of either partner. As nice as those things are, these marriages are based on a sense of inner oneness in mind and heart. In other words, they are based on having common loves and goals in life, and a common view, or set of principles, about life—especially a common spiritual view of God and the life that leads to heaven.

      Whereas relationships based on material love will commonly break up due to changing material circumstances, such as some rich and famous TV personality inexplicably deciding that your partner is the one s/he wants, relationships based on spiritual love will withstand “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” If your relationship is based on an inner oneness, the richest, most famous, most handsome or beautiful person in the world could come knocking, and your partner would have no interest whatsoever, because her or his oneness is with you, and that’s not something to be given up for all the material wealth and beauty in the world.

      It is not wrong to enjoy wealth and beauty, including the physical beauty and material wealth of one’s partner in marriage. But if that is the basis of the relationship, that 1% will, before long, turn into 100% chance that this relationship will go sour. The way to keep a relationship together is to focus on the inner oneness of mutual love and shared faith and beliefs based on one’s goals and purposes in life, and how one plans to go about achieving those goals and purposes. And of course, having those goals and purposes be about loving God and the neighbor in your own specific way rather than being about piling up wealth and pleasure for yourselves.

      For more on this, please see:

      • caionsouza says:

        Thank you for the very instructional insight Lee. I will read the further articles! Also loved the analogy of the company and the hackers.

        Now after analysing those cataphoric scenarios i can see they revealing that I have a lot of insecurity and trusting issues about myself and my partner since our relationship is at the beginning, we are still discovering the basics of each other!

        Lately I can sense those “hackers” being more sneaky and “friendly”, trying to pass as some sort of feeling of destiny saying that that she is just another person in my life, another love that will teach me something but will not stay. Those thoughts have basis with what my mother used to tell me all the time, that there are people that are just transitory in our life. While it’s correct and I agree at some degree, the hacker spirits are trying to used it in an way that makes me believe that i every girl i will ever meet in my entire life will be transitory. All of them will come, teach me something then leave! Only in the afterlife i will find my true eternal partner! (Now they change the strategy and say I can’t prove that afterlife actually exists! So I’m really doomed! We are dealing with some elite level hackers Haha it’s so funny 🤣).

        While i find their effort comic sometimes, all of that scares a little bit because makes me anxious that it’s not possible to build a lasting relationship while here in earth with someone I choose to love because of some sort of determinism or God’s decision. At the end their intention is trying to convince me that i will never feel true love and companionship but at the deepest of my heart i know it’s possible, like you and Annette! and so many others… i also have optimism and faith that it will be with the person I’m with now. Thank you again, Lee!

        • Lee says:

          Hi Caio,

          Yes, those spiritual hackers keep changing their strategy and upping their game, just like hackers here on earth. That’s not only why we have to keep moving forward and upping our own game, but it’s also because if we’re doing our spiritual work, we are always growing and moving on to higher and deeper levels.

          There’s an idea floating around that life will get easier and easier spiritually as we continue to grow spiritually. But at least on this earth, the opposite is true. As we are victorious in some of the easier and more external spiritual battles, deeper parts of ourselves open up, where more subtle, devious, and destructive evils reside that must be faced, battled, and overcome.

          Fortunately, the Lord does not allow those deeper parts of ourselves, and deeper evils, to be opened up until we have the experience and strength, with God’s help, to face and overcome them. Just as in earthly athletic training and sports, as we get spiritually stronger and more skillful, we are ready to take on more fit and trained opponents.

          As for whether it is possible to find and build a relationship with our eternal partner here on earth, the evil spirits’ insinuation that this isn’t possible, or is highly unlikely, is a test of many things: our current relationship, our commitment to it, our willingness to do the work and go the distance in that relationship, and so on.

          But ultimately, it is a test of our faith in a loving God. A loving God would not give us a strong and deep desire for oneness with another person, and then dangle that always out of reach, so that we can never actually attain it, or so that attaining it is so far into the future that it might as well be forever. It is true that some people never find their eternal partner here on earth. But that’s not because God has made it impossible. That would be just cruel. And God is not cruel, but loving.

          The question is, can we really believe that?

          If we can believe in a God who is pure love, then we can believe that God makes it possible for us to find and marry our eternal partner right here on earth, and continue with that person after death and to eternity.

          About the implications of whether or not God is a God of love, please see:

          God is Love . . . And That Makes All the Difference in the World

        • caionsouza says:

          Hi Lee

          Unfortunately I was not on her future plans, I was so deeply happily that I found someone that seemed a good match but after our date she just lost all her interest 😞 I blinded myself and ignored all the signs last week, maybe even from the good spirits calling all of them evil because like i said before, i already failed at so many times trying to find someone to build a solid relationship that this time I really wanted this one to be my last failure. But my desire is still going strong and i will not surrender to those voices saying that i don’t deserve and will never feel what a truly love is. I guess that is what faith is at all! ❤️‍🩹 Blessings!

        • Lee says:

          Hi Caio,

          Sorry to hear it. But as I said in my previous reply, if she’s not the right one for you, it’s better to find that out at the beginning rather than putting more and more of your time, energy, and heart into it, only to have it all come crashing down later.

          Yes, keep the faith! God has someone in mind for you, and you will find her when the time is right.

          Meanwhile, you’ll have plenty of work to do in making yourself more and more into the right person for her. Finding the right person is wonderful, but it’s even more important to be the right person!

        • caionsouza says:

          Thank you for the kindly words Lee. 😊❤️

  4. caionsouza says:

    Hi again, Lee

    Thank you for the latest response.
    Made this illustration for you and Annette as a gift! 🙂
    Hope you two like it!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Caio,

      Haha! Nice! Even better than the original! 😀

    • Lee says:

      Hi Caio,

      Inquiring minds want to know: Did you do this drawing yourself, or did you use some app to produce it? Or some combination of both?

      • caionsouza says:

        Hi Lee 😉

        I made the draw by myself using an software called Adobe Illustrator. I’m a graphic designer 😊

        • Lee says:

          Hi Caio,

          Ah. Very nice! I thought it must have been a human production, not some app, or even so-called AI, which I don’t think would be intelligent enough to produce that drawing! Too many subtle little human touches.

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