The time just before you get married is like no other. You are a bundle of nerves but brimming with hopes at the same time. In all the madness and rush of wedding preparations, the only thing you seem to be sure of is that he/she is the perfect partner for you. However there are certain matters which pertain most significantly to living together as a married couple and it is important to take your partner’s opinion on those. So here is a checklist of questions you must ask before you say “I do”.
TIP: Here are 2000 questions you can ask someone you plan to marry.
“What kind of wedding would you like to have?”
This is probably the first joint decision you will be making as a couple. While one of you may like to settle for a quiet ceremony with only the closest of friends and family attending, the other one may want to go for the whole white wedding routine. Then there are matters related to the fixing of the wedding date, the venue as well as financing of the wedding preparations and catering. Negotiating these issues together will give you the first taste of differing priorities and principles.
“Where are we going to live?”
This is again is one of the earliest pre-marriage questions you will need to ask your partner. Several factors will come into play here – who will move in with whom, whose apartment is bigger, what are the commuting distances for each partner as well as ownership and mortgage issues.
“Are you close to your parents?”
This is one of the most delicate but pertinent questions you need to ask before marriage. No matter how much people like to brag about their emotional independence, fact is, genes come into play sooner or later. So if you don’t cherish the prospect of your marriage being remote-controlled from your partner’s parental home, sort it out before things get sticky.
“What are your financial priorities?”
Marriage counselors will tell you that money is one of the foremost reasons why marriages break up. While one partner may like the good life and run out of his/her paycheck before the month is over, the other might be a firm believer in the merits of keeping a nest egg. There are bound to be major purchases, vacations, mortgage payments and unforeseen emergencies besides the usual expenditure on necessities and socializing. So unless you both agree on how to spend and where to save, prepare for some major rocking of the marital boat.
“Can my mom stay with us for a while?”
The extent to which you are going to let your partner’s family be part of your marriage is yet another issue which needs thrashing out. This may not only take the form of having them stay at your place from time to time but also various kinds of emotional and financial assistance that your partner may want to give his/her parents, siblings and even friends. Decide before marriage to what extent are you willing to go and no further.
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“Aren’t my sister’s kids cute?”
Or something similar may be necessary to sound out your partner’s views on having children. This may seem hasty or even embarrassing to bring up but sooner or later, you are going to have to decide whether or not to have a bigger family. If you and partner feel differently on this, now is the time to get it out since few things bring as much pain to a marriage as one partner wanting kids but not the other.
“Where will you be for the holidays?”
One of the biggest sources of holiday-time stress for couples is deciding where to spend it – with his/her parents, with yours or simply by yourselves. While this may seem like a matter that you can sort out when you get to it, asking your partner beforehand might be a good idea if he/she is fanatic about spending it with his/her family or if he/she hates being around relations during the holidays. Any extreme position is a warning sign and so move ahead with care.
“Do you still meet up with your Ex”?
Different people have different ideas on what is appropriate and acceptable in a committed relationship. Your partner may feel that there is nothing wrong with meeting her ex for lunch or going to a strip club with other guys. However if you are uncomfortable about all this, then this is the right time to express what kind of boundaries you expect in a marriage and ask if your partner is OK with them.
“How important is sex to you in a marriage?”
No matter how embarrassing this question seems to you right now, putting it to your partner before marriage will be one of the most intelligent things you have ever done. While one half of a couple may think nothing of letting a fortnight pass before getting down to business, the other half may use the time lag to blame a partner for being disinterested, aloof or even having an affair. So you should not only have a frank discussion on how often your partner likes to do the deed but also where, when and how he/she likes to get it on. Yet another point worth clarifying with your partner would be his/her way of handling sexual dissatisfaction. Together with money, sex figures among the top reasons for divorce in the US today and any step which lets you anticipate sexual incompatibility is worth taking.
“Do you believe in God?”
Religious beliefs may seem irrelevant in a society which is moving away from traditional moorings at the speed of light and yet it is an essential part of one’s worldview and perception of life. There may be several shades of belief on this one – ranging from outright atheism to belief in certain universal spiritual values to subscribing to a more formal kind of religion. The matter assumes greater importance when you are marrying a member of a different racial, ethnic or religious community. Thinking through how differing religious leanings might affect your relationship and how you wish to bring up your kids might save you a lot of heartache in future.
Marrying the person you love can be one of the most fulfilling experiences in life. While no amount of questioning ahead can guarantee the success of a marriage, sounding out your partner on basic compatibility issues can go a long way in preparing the groundwork of a committed and long-lasting relationship.