You are in love and planning on getting married!
Its a wonderful place to be. But sometimes, love can cloud your judgement.
You have to realize that divorce rates are higher than they have ever been. Although you think divorce isn’t in your future, there is a huge statistic that is going against you!
On average, 50% of married couples get divorced.
If you really love this person and want the best for both of your futures, you will need to put in some hard work to make sure that your life together is as solid as possible!
The most important thing you can do before you get married is to go through serious pre-marital counselling.
Relationship counselling will help you discuss many important topics that you need to be in harmony on before you get married.
Below are 10 of the most important questions to ask before getting married.
1. ARE OUR MONEY STYLES COMPATIBLE? HOW WILL WE HANDLE FINANCES ONCE MARRIED?
Money is one of the biggest causes of divorce!
Credit card debt, student loans, spending problems, an unwillingness to spend money, etc.
Sit down and be honest about your current financial situation.
You should NEVER wait until after you are married to disclose financial information to each other – especially if it is bad.
This conversation will tell you a lot about the person you are going to marry.
Are they a spender or a saver? Do they want to be financially secure in the future? Are they trustworthy if you combine finances? Should you keep your finances separate?
It is always the best strategy to make a plan before entering marriage.
Pro Tip: Go to a financial adviser and create an investment and retirement plan. This will keep you both accountable and ensure that you both have financial security for the future.
2. ARE WE GOING TO HAVE KIDS? HOW ARE WE GOING TO RAISE THEM?
Imagine marrying someone, only to find out that they really don’t want kids.
Maybe you agree on this now. Then, 10 years down the road, you want a child and they don’t!
Think futuristically. How will I feel in a few years? Is this what I want too?
If you do want children, how do you each plan on raising them?
Perhaps one of you believes in spanking a child when they are naughty, while the other thinks that is abusive.
MANY couples have run into this issue. Raising a child the traditional way vs. raising them in a more modern way.
Sit down and talk about how each of you were raised. Do you both agree with how you were raised? Talk about the things you liked and disliked.
This conversation can often lead into questions about whether or not one of you should stay home to raise the children or not. Once again, tradition vs. the modern world.
Again, you do not want to be having this conversation once a baby is on the way!
Imagine how difficult it will be to discover that you and your spouse are on completely different pages with how to raise a family.
3. WILL OUR MARRIAGE BE IMPACTED BY OUR RELIGIOUS VIEWS?
It is very unusual for people to have long, happy relationships when they both have two different spiritual belief systems
- Atheist vs. Christian
- Christian vs. Jewish
- Hindu vs. Muslim
This is so important because your beliefs give you your value system, your value system gives you your attitudes, and your attitudes give you your actions.
If you don’t have the same belief system, your actions are always going to be in conflict with each other!
Imagine bringing children into the world and confusing them with each of your different ideas on life. You will be telling them one thing, while your spouse is telling them another.
Although you may believe that you can reconcile your differences and raise your children to be “good people”, at some point, your differing religious beliefs will become a source of disagreement.
How much should we share with other people about our relationship?
Privacy and mutual respect are two building blocks in every successful relationship!
If you choose to tell a friend or family member a private fact about your spouse, you are betraying their trust and tearing down an invaluable part of your relationship.
This is NOT referring to abuse, addiction, or any other toxic relationship habits. You should always confront the person and seek professional help when you are in these types of situations.
This is talking about one of you having a BIG MOUTH!
You do not need to tell anyone about your last argument, your spouse’s weird habits, or any other private facts that they wouldn’t share with anyone other than you. By doing this, you are betraying their trust!
Long after you have forgotten what you disclosed to others, they will still remember and may hold it against your spouse.
If your significant other ever finds out that you betrayed their trust and confidence, it could have a serious effect on your relationship!
You need to make privacy a sacred part of your relationship. You need to know that your future spouse is someone you can always trust, no matter what!
5. HOW WILL WE HANDLE IN-LAW & FAMILY ISSUES?
Almost every family has issues with the in-laws or other family members at some point or another!
How are you going to handle a situation where a boundary gets violated?
You have to realize that when you get married, your spouse has to be your #1 priority.
If this isn’t the case for you, then maybe you aren’t ready to get married.
Your loyalties to your spouse should always come before your parents. It is your job to protect the dignity, honor, and reputation of your spouse.
If you are allowing your spouse to be disrespected and mistreated by your parent(s) or family, this will cause a division within your relationship that may eventually end in separation or divorce.
If they cannot be kind and cordial to your partner, then you need to address it.
The best way to handle family issues is for the guy to manage his family and the girl to manage her family.
Make sure that you have this conversation before you find yourself in a difficult situation. You don’t want this to have a strain on your marriage.
6. WHERE DO WE EACH WANT TO LIVE?
Does one of you want to live across the country, while the other would prefer to stay near family?
Perhaps one of you wants the white picket fence in the country, while the other wants to live in the big city.
For some people, this is a make-or-break issue!
Don’t marry someone without knowing if they already have expectations of how and where you are going to “end up”.
Over time, these unmet expectations can turn into resentment against the other person.
Sit down and talk about your goals and dreams!
Your marriage has a much better chance if both of your dreams can either combine or coordinate.
7. HOW CLOSE DO WE WANT EACH OTHER TO BE TO THE OPPOSITE SEX?
If you think this sounds like an immature question, think again!
Some people have no problem with their spouse texting or talking to members of the opposite sex, while others feel like they they are having an emotional affair!
Sit down and talk about flirtation, communication with friends, relationships with coworkers, etc.
You never want to marry someone only to realize that they will never stop flirting with the waitress, eating cozy lunches with coworkers, texting friends of the opposite sex for hours, or staying in communication with an ex – if it bothers you!
Before you get married, you need to define what each of you are comfortable with.
This question may uncover a hidden jealousy that you never saw in your partner. Maybe you never realized how insecure or controlling they were?
On the other hand, you cannot continue to act like you are single! You are in a committed relationship and you need to make sure everyone around you knows that.
Otherwise, one of you may end up feeling betrayed and unloved in the marriage.
8. HOW WILL WE HANDLE CONFLICT?
Have you ever got in an argument with your future spouse?
If so, was one of you loud and dramatic, while the other was quiet and unresponsive? Or perhaps one of you is direct, stubborn, and unrelenting.
Whatever the case is, you need to realize that both of you need a chance to have your opinions heard in a respectful manner.
Have a conversation about each of your responses to conflict. You absolutely must be in agreement on how you are going to treat each other when you disagree.
A healthy marriage has no room for personal attacks, passive-aggressiveness, power trips, silent treatment, etc.
If you feel like you are both heated, take a little time to cool off before having a conversation. But don’t let the disagreement fester!
Conflict is a normal part of marriage and you need to be ready for it.
9. ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN EXPECTATIONS FOR MARRIAGE?
Often, a person walks into marriage with expectations that they never communicated to their new spouse!
- How important is physical appearance to you?
- Will the household chores be split evenly or be one person’s responsibility?
- Will you both continue to work if you have a family?
- Who will cook all the meals? Will this be a combined effort?
These hidden expectations can quickly grow into resentment that your spouse doesn’t even know about!
Write down a list of things that are important to you. Sit down with your future spouse and ask them what they think about them.
Remember, they were raised differently and of course they have different ideas about life and marriage.
This is a great way to get ready for the greatest commitment of your life.
10. DO YOU SEE DIVORCE AS AN OPTION?
First of all, divorce is almost always an option! (Yes, I know some people have religious reasons for staying married for life.)
Imagine marrying someone who had a gambling problem, drug addiction, infidelity issues, etc.
You wouldn’t want to spend your whole life married to someone who would ruin every day of your life. Make sure you know who you are marrying!
Having a conversation about divorce is a great way to see how committed they are to the relationship.
Marriage is tough and it takes a lot of work and commitment!
Some people “throw in the towel” a lot sooner than others.
When times get tough and expectations aren’t being met, do you think your future spouse will leave you?
How likely are they to fight for your marriage? How willing will they be to go to marriage counselling when you both have children and you are both stressed to the core?
With divorce rates around 50%, 1 in every 2 couples are going to get a divorce. So you had better ask this question!