Questions before marriage
50% of marriages end in Divorce, so to ensure the odds are in your favour, it is worth asking some serious questions before making such a serious life long commitment.
What kind of friend are they?
Knowing how they treat their friends is very important. 1. Because they should start by being a friend to you. And 2. Their friends have more of an insight into the real them, before you do.
Are they supportive towards them? Are they the kind of friend that others seek for advice?
Do they motivate, encourage them, how do they deal with friends highs and lows. Are they sympathetic to the lows? Or do they have an attitude where they’d rather not hear about it?
Are they generous, giving freely, or hold account of every good deed, or feel begrudged when asked for help? Do they take an interest in their friend’s family? Are they considered to some friends ‘part of the family’.
Their attitude towards money
Regardless of how much money someone makes, it’s important to know their attitude towards money. A very common reason for divorce and bust ups in relationships, are money related.
It’s one of those subjects which people often feel uncomfortable discussing, but it’s something you need to bring to the table early on, especially if you’re going to eventually be in a situation of purchasing or saving with this person.
Are they a Shopaholic spender or a thrifty saver?
Is this person the kind who as soon as money reaches their hand its gone, or the kind who believes in budgeting, and saving for the future? Someone who works hard to put money aside would soon get frustrated with a person who is reckless with money. During the courting phase, a saver may not mind splashing a bit of cash on gifts and extravagant dates, but in a partnership it’s important to have an agreement in place, are you going to save together, have a joint account? It’s also worth knowing if this person has racked up any debts, especially if you’re to enter a mortgage together.
One of the nice things about getting to know someone is hearing about their dreams for the future. We all have dreams, but realistically not all end up pursuing them..
How does this person view their dreams, are they actively pursuing them or just talking about some pipe dreams. Do you share any of the same dreams? They don’t have to be career related, as it's perfectly normal to have different dreams in that area, but do you both dream of having a family for example. Or do they dream of going to live overseas? And how likely are they to pursue those dreams and how would it potentially affect your relationship?
Does this person have any goals, they are actively trying to achieve? Or are they happy just to go with the flow, and be reactive rather than proactive towards what they get out of life?
When they talk about their goals, are you part of them?
And what’s the end goal? Someone may have many goals in terms of a career, and financial, but the end goal could simply be to provide for a family.
Find out what the main purpose of their goals is.
Following on from their goals, what is the purpose behind why they do what they do.
Is it for recognition, fame, personal development, a burning desire, to make a difference in the world? Finding out what they believe their purpose to be and the purpose to their actions tells you a lot about a person.
When you marry a person, you are not just marrying them, but effectively marrying the family too.
Are they on good terms with their immediate family, if not why? Does their family welcome you? And have you developed a bond with them? Having the family support when you and your partner are going through tough times, can really help keep you together. Do you like being around their family?
And how do your values compare when it comes to how much time is spent with family, or keeping in contact? If you are the sort of person who is on the phone to your parents daily, and see them a few times a month but your partner keeps them at arms length, that could pose a problem especially when it comes to having support when you have children together.
Do they want to have children?
Seems like an obvious one to be discussed before marriage, but some people wrongly assume that children will come part and parcel of marriage later down the line, only to discover later on that their spouse has no real interest in extending their family.
If they want to have children, ideally how many, and how soon would they want them?
What are their views on parenting?
Often people decide to have children together because they love one another, and both want children, but often don’t find out the others views on parenting, until the children already come along, which is kind of too late. When both parents have conflicting views on what parenting should look like. Things to take into account include, what you would want to teach your children, if you both have similar values, or and religious beliefs, for example, chances are you’ll have a similar message you want to portray.
Also what are their views on raising children? Are they going to be super strict, liberal, or somewhere in between? What was their own child hood like, and how does that impact their views on parenting? but what about things such a discipline?
Do you both agree on the way in which discipline should be shown? Such as if one parent believes in smacking a child, and the other strongly disagrees, how would you reach a compromise?
You don’t have to agree on everything, but similar views on how children should be raised, would give you a better chance of staying together as a family in the long run.
How they handle conflict
Do they accept sometimes you can agree to disagree? Are they able to express their opinions without being forceful with theirs? Do they walk away in a strop or give the silent treatment when it’s time to discuss matters? Are they willing to listen to your point of view?
Do they lose their temper easily? How do they manage their anger? How are they able to compromise? Do they forgive and forget quickly, or hold a grudge? And how do they like to resolve issues?
Their sex drive
People often underestimate how much compatibility also includes sexual compatibility.
Are they Mr or Miss Vanilla, or they a little freaky in the sheets? Are they happy to have it a few times a month, or are they randy most days?
Notably, work, stress, health issues may cause this to fluctuate, but judging on an average, when you’re happy, stress levels are low and in good health, how often do you need to be having sex?
In the beginning of a relationship you may be at it like rabbits, due to an undeniable lust for one another, but long term, what’s going to keep you satisfied in the sack?
If one of you is happy to have it once a week after a candle lit dinner, and the other, needs it’s spontaneously twice a day every day. It’s not hard to see that sooner or later, it could be a problem.
What about sexual preferences. Do they have any particular fantasies, fetishes? And are you comfortable that you may be able to fulfil them in the long run?
Their attitude towards a work life balance
When people are single, they have the tendency to throw themselves more into work, and when they find the one they enjoy spending time with, hopefully spend less time doing overtime at the office, and start to enjoy more leisure. Although to some, being a workaholic is literally an addiction which is hard to break, don’t expect from getting married, that career person, is going to transform into homely house husband or wife, or change their habits at all.
It’s important to find out, how this person manages their work/life balance, as spending Friday nights alone, for extended periods of times, can soon make a person to feel neglected, and cause for resentment.
How much time will they have to spend with you, and would you be satisfied with that?
And how do they like to unwind?
Do they make you laugh?
Laughter is the cure of many ills. And it’s amazing how many people end up in relationships, where they can’t actually have a good laugh with the person.
What’s their sense of humor style. Are they sarcastic, dry, or witty? And do you laugh at their jokes out of politeness or do you really get it?
Can you make each other laugh? It’s a really bonding experience which is often underestimated. And couples, who can laugh together tend to sail through the good and bad times far easier.
What are their religious beliefs?
You don’t always have to believe in the same faith, but the important thing is knowing what you both believe, and how you express those views, are they willing to accept the views of others who have a different faith? And if you plan to have children, how do they want their children to adopt these beliefs?
What are their political beliefs?
Again like religion, you don’t necessarily have to have the same beliefs, but do they have any radical views, which could later cause conflict? What would their ideal world look like? What changes would they like to see in the world, and how comfortable do you feel about that?
Their lifestyle choices
Do they drink once a week, or go out on a binge? Do they laze around on the couch at weekends, or lead an active lifestyle, regularly hitting the gym? Are they a smoker?
What are their vices, do they have any addictions or previous addictions? These are things to take into account, if you’re a fitness fanatic, are you going to be satisfied with a couch potato who’s down the boozer every night? And if they have a previous addiction, how might you handle it if it were to resurface?
What are their views on Marriage?
Marriage is of course not about just the wedding day, but spending the rest of your life together.
So aside from getting caught up in the excitement of diamonds, and frills, it’s important to know how they view the concept of Marriage itself.
Is Divorce ever an option and on which grounds?
What do they expect to change once you’re married?
And what essentially does marriage mean to them?