The Ten Most Important Questions to Ask Before You Get Married
By Sheri & Bob Stritof, About.com Guide
Sometimes love just isn't enough to keep a couple together.
So often on the Marriage Forums, a person will share an issue in a marriage that is an obvious deal breaker. When asked if the issue was discussed prior to getting married, the answer is often "no." Don't make that mistake. Don't get married without knowing your future spouse's thoughts on these issues that can kill a marriage.
Compromise is usually not an option if the two of you disagree on these issues that can be deal breakers.
1. Do you want to have children?
It is a huge red flag in your relationship if you and your future spouse can not agree on whether to have children or not.
Thinking that you can deal with this issue later in your marriage is a mistake.
Making a decision to have a baby when one parent doesn't want to have children is not fair to the child or to your marriage.
2. Can we talk about money?
The mechanics of how the two of you will handle your finances really isn't the issue. Many couples in successful marriages have separate checking accounts and many couples in successful marriages have one account.
The issue is whether or not the two of you can calmly and practically talk about money.
If how your money is spent, or saved, or not spent is an issue before you get married, it will be an even bigger issue after your wedding.
If your future spouse doesn't want to talk about money, or doesn't think talking about money is important, postpone your wedding until this issue is solved.
3. Can we talk about sex?
There is no way of predicting the future when it comes to an individual's sexual libido.
However, if the two of you are already having sexual issues, you shouldn't get married until the issues are settled.
Differences in sexual frequency, desire, preferences, fantasies, masturbation, pornography, expectations, etc. will tear the two of you apart. If you and your partner are unable to talk about the issues, or if your future spouse doesn't see any real problem, or doesn't want to talk about sex with you, cancel the wedding.
4. How much time will we spend with our in-laws?
They may be wonderful people who love you both, but your in-laws should not be allowed to interfere in your marriage relationship.
If either one of you will not set boundaries with your own parents when it comes to visits, phone calls, finances, children, etc., the problem with your in-laws will only worsen.
5. Will you clean the toilet?
If the answer is "no" or "why should I?" or "Isn't that your job?", you have several options.
You can hire someone to do the chores that neither of you wants to do.
You can accept that you will be doing 90% of the chores around the house.
You can discuss the importance of sharing the household chores together.
If none of these options work out, call off the wedding. This is another one of those issues that won't suddenly get better after you sign the marriage license.
6. How do you want to spend our days off?
The answer to this question will reveal several things.
How your future spouse likes to spend free time.
The value your future spouse places on having fun together.
Whether or not you will come first before work.
Balancing work and fun and family time and personal time is not easy.
Without talking about the time aspect of your life together, you may find yourself grumbling because your spouse is spending what you consider to be too much time with old friends and extended family, or on hobbies, sports, the computer, etc.
Living a balanced life together will create the time you both need, individually and together, for vacations, quiet time, and fun time.
7. How often do you drink?
The answer to this question, or to questions about smoking cigarettes or using drugs, will reveal whether or not your future spouse has a potential addiction problem which could end up not only threatening your marriage but could also put you in legal and financial jeopardy.
8. Have you ever hit someone?
If your future spouse has anger management issues, or tries to control who you see and what you do, or is causing you to walk on egg shells, cancel your wedding.
These are signs of a potentially abusive personality. Don't think you can "save" him or her. You can't. This is a problem that needs professional counseling.
9. Do you think it is important to be faithful to one another?
Open marriage and swinging is okay for some married couples, but most want and prefer a monogamous relationship. If your future spouse and you have differing opinions on what cheating is or isn't, don't get married until this issue has been discussed.
10. What do you think we'll be doing in 30 or 40 years?
If your future spouse can't answer this or won't answer this, then the two of you need to talk about long-lasting marriage expectations.
Why marry someone who doesn't think your marriage will last?