If you’re a Private Investigator, background checks are pretty run-of-the-mill, day-to-day business. In fact, it should usually be one of the first things that a PI does when conducting preliminary research on a case. You put a lot of emphasis on determining exactly who your subject is, their location and their usual haunts. You try to figure out who their known associates are and their habits. You do all this before a case just to try to figure your subject out in exactly the way your client wants you to, and you go about all this with professional dedication and determination.

But what about putting the same kind of effort into finding out who your spouse is? Research has shown that people put scarily little effort into finding out exactly who they’re dating and who they will potentially be married to. It seems like people are putting less thought into who they will spend every day of the rest of their lives with than they do in researching a major purchase like a T.V. or a computer. When you consider divorce rates, and the opinion level that most people have of the institution of marriage, makes you kind of sad for society and makes those statistics makes much, much more sense.

But there are people who believe that you should go about finding a mate in life with the same level of effort and dedication that you give your career. One of the simplest ways you can go about finding this information is running a background check. It might seem invasive and uncomfortable to think about doing to your significant other, but when you consider that basic things like money management and family backgrounds are a few of the major causes of either a happily lasting marriage or an ill-fated divorce.

Here are a few other things that you can learn from a background check that can save you some distress when you’re considering taking that plunge into marriage:

Family History. Knowing how your significant other was treated as a child is important, because history has a way of repeating itself unless issues have been addressed. Is there a history of abuse, mental illness, alcoholism or addiction? If so, do not be blinded to the fact that your partner was affected in a negative way. Unless he has faced and dealt with his past, it will affect your relationship at some point. Also, when you marry someone, you don’t just marry them, you marry their entire family. So knowing a little bit about your future in-laws will only be a good thing. Especially if there are legal issues that are ever going to be an issue later in life.

Work History. Knowing your significant other’s work history is important because it will tell you how responsible they are in the work place. This work history will also tell you how they’ll handle working in the future and how they honor their commitments. It will tell you if they get along well with people, or if they are someone who is always in the middle of conflict, or simply walking away from a difficult or stressful situation. Also, knowing a person’s work history can help give you insights into their financial stability. Which directly brings us into our next point.

Financial History. Knowing your significant other’s financial background is important, because their patterns of spending money will likely continue on after you are married. Do they budget money or spend freely, with little thought to paying bills? Are they in significant credit card debt? What about student loans? All of these monetary issues will affect you, both in your credit and tax information.

Now the question of trust always comes up, if you’re going to marry a person then you should know every single detail about their lives, but the fact of the matter is that just because you’re marrying someone, it doesn’t mean you know their history. Many people marry complete strangers. I’m not saying a person walking down the road, but strangers in a way that they don’t really know anything about their partner – other than who their partner has claimed to be for years.

A television show that was on TV a while back called Who the Bleep Did I Marry, talked about the lives that couples lived for years, only to find out 19 years after their marriage that their partner was wanted by the FBI. Or the case of Barbara Bentley who was living happily with her husband, until the FBI appeared at her door and found a gun. Suddenly, her husband was not who she thought he was. While background checks are not something that many couples think about, it’s definitely something that can save you a whole bunch of trouble at the end of the year.

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