Sunday, January 21, 2007

15 questions to ask if you want to marry

These questions appeared in the New York Times. Maybe we were too young, but I don't think we asked any of them--we sort of went on faith that the other was a good person--and being a woman I just figured I change what I didn't like. We talked about short term stuff--what was his draft number, should we rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment, which one of us would use the car and which would take the bus. Was there enough money for the first month's rent. However, we married young. If you are 35 or 40, there's a lot of water under the bridge and mountains out of molehills to cross, so you'd better ask some questions. I've rearranged them for my priorities based on over 40 years experience, and added my comments in brackets. All these questions are asked only if you believe you truly love the person, of course.

December 17, 2006 New York Times
Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:

9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education? [Is she/he a committed Christian? Does she/he commune on the golf course or with a congregation and clergy?]

6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears? [Does she/he expect a cohabitation probationary period before marriage--a sure route to divorce? If she/he has been unfaithful, will it change?]

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh? [How much debt does she/he have? Is she a shopaholic who needs to spend for mental health? Does he/she gamble? Has she/he been looking to the future or just likes to spend as you go?]

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver? [Does she/he already have children; what kind of parent is she/he; will you be expected to be a parent or just a stand-by babysitter with no say; what are the custody arrangements?]

11) Do we value and respect each other's parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship? [Is he/she in a family business? Do her/his parents live close? Are her/his parents married to each other? Are there siblings?]

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores? [Whose standards will determine "fair," or "clean," or "on time."]

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental? [Does she/he have health insurance? Unpaid medical bills? Preexisting conditions for which you'll be responsible? How much time spent with a shrink?]

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?

8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another's ideas and complaints? [Don’t forget the non-verbal communication--sulking, slamming doors, driving like a maniac, flirting, procrastinating, etc.]

10) Do we like and respect each other's friends? [Does she/he even have friends or are you it?]

12) What does my family do that annoys you? [Get over it.]

13) Are there some things that neither are prepared to give up in the marriage? [Does he/she hate your hobbies and leisure activities? What about your pets?]

14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move? [Are your job skills and training readily transferable to another geographic area? Mountain guide in Iowa; scuba diver in Nebraska, for instance.]

15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other's commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face? [How many times has she/he been married and what's your limit?]

7) Will there be a television in the bedroom? [Huh? Is this a which way to roll the toilet paper question or a sex question?]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a nice post.. I agree with all of those. The better communication before the wedding, the better communication after