We have had the opportunity to see our clients walk down the aisle and start exciting new lives together. Its an amazing experience but before you walk down the aisle here are some questions to consider.
Article Source – Tell it like it is
Before you say “I do”, and preferably before getting engaged, there are hard questions about marriage that need to be asked that may determine the success or failure of your marriage relationship before it even starts. Asking yourself and your prospective spouse the right questions before marriage will not only help you decide if you’ve truly found “The One”, but will also help you avoid common problems that can lead to divorce.
By taking the time to honestly evaluate your feelings and motivations for getting married, you will be able to determine your degree of readiness for marriage. Honest answers to the hard questions, thereby saving your marriage before it starts, helps determine how well you and your prospective mate will deal with problems and issues that often arise such as finances, sex, communication, conflict, parenting, in-laws, spirituality, expectations and chores.
Premarital counselling should be given serious consideration before getting married, as relationship experts agree that too many couples fail to ask themselves and each other critical pre-marriage questions before marrying. People simply don’t learn enough about each other before they slip on the wedding band and find themselves disillusioned with marriage, so these “getting to know you questions” are important questions to ask your boyfriend or girlfriend, and carefully listening to the answers can save you years of regret and heartache.
Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
Question 1: Am I/we really in love? What do I love about my partner? Be specific! You need to be sure that you both truly love each other rather than confusing infatuation or lust for each other. True love happens slowly, really loving the “whole person” as they are right now, not as you would like them to be after trying to mold him/her into the perfect husband or wife like malleable pieces of clay.
Question 2: Why are we getting married? Why am I asking this person to marry me? Pregnancy, financial security, loneliness, need for sex, wanting children, getting away from mom/dad etc are some of the worst reasons to marry and getting married for the wrong reasons can quickly lead to feelings of disappointment, resentment and divorce.
Question 3: What are my expectations of marriage? Have you fully considered and discussed everything involved with preparing for marriage? Marriage expectations can either make or break a marriage. False expectations, believing in the myths about marriage, thinking that someone else can or will make you happy, trying to read each other’s mind, losing yourself to the other person, wanting to do everything together, and wanting to have a “perfect marriage” will put you on the fast track to unhappiness and disappointment in marriage.
Question 4: Do your boyfriend or girlfriend’s family and friends like you? What do you like and dislike about each others family? How much time will you spend with in-laws? How much involvement do or will family members or parents have in decision making? Does your partner stand up for you in conflict situations with family or friends, or does he/she become passive and quiet while you simmer with anger and frustration?
Dealing with in-laws can be very difficult, with one or more family members creating problems and stress in your marriage due to their own false expectations of time spent together; conflicts and arguments with toxic family members over where holidays and special occasions will be spent; disagreements over how grandchildren should be raised or disciplined; mother-in-law’s being over-involved and critical about how to cook and clean house or sharing her personal opinions on being a good wife or husband without being asked for such advice.
Question 5: Are you a saver or spender when it comes to handling money? What are my/our personal and financial goals? Should we have a joint checking account or separate accounts or both? Who will have the primary responsibility for making sure that bills are paid on time? How much do we owe in debts and what are our assets, if any?
Money problems and financial disagreements is one of the top ten reasons for divorce, making it vitally important that couples communicate how money will be spent or saved in order to avoid needless arguments over money. Both husband and wife need to know everything about bills, loans, debts, savings account balances, credit card purchases and balances etc, rather than either the husband or wife controlling all the money and making all the financial decisions without the knowledge and agreement of their spouse.
Question 6: Are the two of you able to “fight fair?” Are there existing problems in your relationship that need to be dealt with before the wedding? Have you created your “non-negotiable deal-breaker” list and discussed them openly with your prospective spouse? What are the things that you will not accept or tolerate in your marriage relationship? Fights and disagreements do happen in marriages, and how you both deal with these problems in a respectful, non-violent, mutually agreeable manner will greatly determine if your marriage will be a happy and successful one or not.
Question 7: Do you want children? When? How many? Does your partner want children? If so, when and how many? Do you both agree on how to discipline children, discussing a variety of discipline methods you both believe in (time-outs, standing in the corner, taking away privileges, spanking, etc.) and are in complete agreement?
Disciplining children effectively requires that both of you are on the same page and agree on how discipline will be handled. Keep in mind that children learn what they live, and your kids will pick up on the verbal and non-verbal communication within the home and will develop what they perceive to be “normal” relationship interactions and behavior based on how you role model proper behavior within the home.
Question 8: Do you like and enjoy sex? How often do you need or expect sex? Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears? What sexual activities do you enjoy most? Least? Are there specific sexual acts that make you uncomfortable? If so, what? Be specific! Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect, want and need?
Does the mere mention of sex toys or vibrators make you feel squeamish, uncomfortable or make you giggle with embarrassment? Women especially have a difficult time discussing sex, foreplay, preferred sexual positions etc, but discussing sex with your soon-to-be spouse and life partner cannot be overemphasized. Expecting your husband or wife to somehow read your mind and “just know” what you want or need sexually doesn’t work and often leads to disappointment and disillusionment in marriage. SEE: How to Please a Woman in Bed, Pleasure and Satisfy Her Completely for tips.
Question 9: Is religion a big part of your life? What current religious affiliation do you currently have, if any? How important is it that your partner share your religious beliefs or convert to your religion? Does your religion impose any behavior restrictions that would affect you and your partner as a married couple such as dietary, social, sexual, familial etc? If so, be very specific!
Religious beliefs, spirituality and expectations for raising children in homes with different religious beliefs and upbringing can easily become a non-negotiable deal-breaker, so be absolutely sure you both discuss, understand and agree on what each other expects in regards to how religion will or will not affect your marriage and role as parents.
Question 10: How well do you communicate with your partner? Are you better at listening or speaking? How do you and your partner feel about using strong language or cuss words when communicating? How do you express yourself when upset or disappointed? Do you speak up for yourself assertively or become passive and quiet, unwilling to engage at all in discussions or during disagreements? Are you prone to screaming and yelling? Slamming doors? Hitting?
The communication differences between men and women are many, how each listens and speaks to the opposite sex is a telling sign of things to come, and how well you communicate will affect to a large degree the happiness and longevity of your marriage. Improving your communication skills with your partner with loving, respectful, effective communication, without resorting to abusive behaviors such as screaming, yelling, cussing, pushing, shoving, hitting and slamming doors will make or break your relationship and will affect the lives of any children that you may have in a negative or positive way.
Is anyone ever really ready for marriage? Getting engaged and planning to get married should be a fun and exciting time in your life. There are going to be ups and downs in any relationship or marriage, as there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. How you and your partner deal with the good times and the bad times will define you as a couple, and that is why it’s so important to make sure you determine your readiness for marriage and your partner’s readiness before taking such a big step into marriage and saying “I do.”