At some point in a serious relationship, you’ll probably think about marriage. It’s a wonderful step, but it’s certainly one of the biggest changes you can make in a relationship, let alone your life! Aside from popping the question and making wedding plans, society doesn’t rigidly define steps you should take before marriage. You might seek premarital counseling on the recommendation of your religious leader or even from your friends and family. Even if you don’t go down that route, you should definitely consider asking these 16 questions to ask before you get married.
These questions encourage conversation about the trials and tribulations you’ll encounter and help you figure out a game plan before life throws a wrench in your plans. Honest discussion can be difficult, but it can also ensure your marriage is happier and healthier than it would be otherwise. You can recognize weaknesses and work on them now before they tear your marriage apart in the future.
Through these questions to ask about marriage, you might discover more about yourself or even have a little fun, too!
- WHY AM I GETTING MARRIED? MY FIANCE?
For the most part, modern society views being in love as the “best” reason to get married, and we generally agree. But you might find yourself getting married because you’re pregnant, because of pressure from friends and family or even because you’ve been with your man so long that it just makes “sense.” Maybe you don’t want to make him feel like he’s wasted time on you or your relationship. Financial hardship is another reason people get married. It’s easier to foot the bill when you share costs.
There are plenty of reasons to get married, and no one can tell you that your reason is wrong. However, if you feel like marriage is something you’re being forced into, it might be time to reconsider. On the other hand, if you’re making your man feel obligated, asking this question can start a conversation that you dreadfully need to have.
- WHAT DO I LOVE ABOUT MY PARTNER? WHAT ANNOYS ME?
At the beginning of the relationship, we wax poetic about all our partner’s quirky traits. We might even argue that this person is perfect. Of course, no person is. As time goes on, those quirks might start to annoy you. If you plan to be in a lifelong marriage, then you need to be able to remind yourself what you love about your man and what attracted you to him in the first place. If you can’t do this, those little quirks might soon breed resentment, which isn’t good for any relationship!
- HOW DO WE SHOW LOVE?
One common area of strife within marriages is that one, or both, partners doesn’t necessarily feel loved. This might happen if certain things make you feel loved but your partner doesn’t do them often or correctly. Author Gary Chapman, who wrote the 5 Love Languages series of books, has discussed this in depth. In short, Chapman describes how some people are most receptive to only one of the following: loving words, actions, physical touch, gifts or service.
Whether you buy into the idea of love languages or not, figure out what is it that makes you feel the most love and make sure your partner knows. Then, make sure you understand your man’s needs and show him love in the way you need, even if it’s not the way you would typically show love.
- WHAT TYPE OF WEDDING DO WE WANT?
While a lot of questions to ask before marriage have something to do with compatibility, this one doesn’t necessarily. Knowing what type of wedding both of you want helps set the stage for the big day. You might have a wedding Pinterest board with tons of ideas, but which of those ideas are really doable? How can your big day be one that you share and not just one where you’re a bridezilla? When you can answer this question before marriage, you’ll have an easier time starting out on the right foot!
- HOW WILL WE DEAL WITH IN-LAWS?
Marriage means two families become one, and that’s always harder than it seems before you get married. When you and your man are considering which questions to ask before marriage, this is an important one. If either of your parents are overbearing, now’s the time to talk about it! Do one you spend a fair amount of time with your family? Does one of you have a more distant relationship with their parents? Perhaps you’ve got to fill your man in on some weird family dynamics. What will you do now that your family is bigger? There are holidays to consider, too. And if you have kids in the future, things will only become more complicated.
The sooner you sort out the answers to all these questions to ask before marriage and figure out the best way to blend your families, the better!
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- HOW WILL WE HANDLE FINANCES, INCLUDING DEBT, SAVINGS AND SPENDING MONEY?
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As a single person, your credit score is yours alone. This all changes when you get married. Perhaps you already share some bills or even a home with your boyfriend, but most couples combine even more once they tie the knot. Of course, you don’t have to, but that’s one of the things you’ll need to figure out together. Perhaps you’ll separately take care of certain bills from your individual accounts, or you’ll just have joint accounts. This is a big question, and failure to answer it can lead to a lot of tension down the line and even divorce.
Plus, if either of you is bringing debt into your marriage, it’s best to talk about it now. This isn’t the type of surprise anyone likes. Don’t forget to talk about how you’ll save money. If you’ve always been a spender but your man is more frugal, this could lead to marital strife down the line! On the other hand, he might be happy working while you play housewife and spend your (shared!) money.
This leads us right to our next question.
- WHO WILL TAKE CARE OF CHORES AND KIDS?
Not everyone plans to have kids, and that’s fine. But if you plan to live together after marriage, and most people do, then you need to figure out how you’re going to split housework, yard work, and even vehicle maintenance. Perhaps your man was raised in a more traditional household and thinks that will fall to you, but you work 80 hours per week at your amazing job. Maybe you can even afford to hire someone to help out, so everyone can be happy. If you ignore this compatibility question, you just might wind up miserable in a messy house!
- WOULD WE STAY TOGETHER IF SOMEONE BECOMES ILL OR INJURED?
Ideally, the answer to this is always “Yes.” But what if one of you becomes so injured that they require round-the-clock assistance? A serious illness could mean you lose half your household income and even your home or car. It’s understandable if you might have second thoughts or even if you would want your man to move on so you won’t become a liability. Of course, in most cases, you will stay together, but thinking about answering questions like this before getting married helps you come up with a game plan when things do go wrong.
- WOULD WE REMAIN TOGETHER IF SOMEONE BECOMES ADDICTED TO ALCOHOL, DRUGS OR GAMBLING?
While an injury or illness general is generally something that spouses stick through, addiction isn’t. It could endanger your life or that of your kids. You could wind up in dire financial straits, too. Sticking with a loved one who has fallen prey to addiction is admirable, but sometimes it’s pretty much impossible to do. What’s your stance on it?
- WHEN SHOULD WE CONSIDER DIVORCE?
If you’re honest, there’s probably a situation when you would consider leaving your man. The above compatibility questions might have helped you form an answer in your mind. Are there other instances when you would consider ending your marriage? If so, what can you do to prevent those things? Good sex, open communication, trust and quality time are just a few things that prevent a marriage from becoming one where one – or both – of you feels trapped!
- WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO HANDLE AN ARGUMENT?
How you deal with a disagreement is crucial to a happy marriage. If one of you pushes too hard, the other is likely to retreat. But berating your partner or refusing to deal with issues are both going to hurt your marriage in the long run. One way to handle tense discussions is with the Speaker-Listener technique. You might even consider premarital counseling, which will introduce you to more questions to ask before marriage as well as some techniques to communicate better – including during an argument.
- HOW WILL WE CELEBRATE RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS AND APPROACH THE SUBJECT WITH OUR POTENTIAL KIDS?
More couples than ever come from different faiths or a mix of faith and no faith at all. This used to be a deal-breaker, but it isn’t so much anymore. Still, it’s useful to talk to your partner about what religious holidays, if any, you celebrate and how. This question to ask before marriage becomes even more important when you have kids. Do you want to baptize them when you’re young or expose them to multiple options and let them choose when they’re older? Consider how your parents will take it, too.
- HOW WILL WE TALK ABOUT SEX/DEAL WITH DIFFERENT SEX DRIVES?
In the beginning of a relationship, you want each other all the time. You might have sex in public or in the car because you can’t even wait to get home before you take each other’s clothes off. But your sex drives may not always be compatible. There’s work, mental illness, kids, housework, other stress, hormones and medications that all play a factor. What if you want sex much more than he does? What if he wants sex but you stop wanting it at all? Some people underestimate the importance of sex to their marriage, but an unhappy sex life has ended more than one otherwise happy relationship!
- WHAT DO WE CONSIDER CHEATING?
Thanks to the Internet, there are now more ways than ever to cheat. Would you be hurt if your man was sending sexy pictures to another woman or even just telling her about his feelings when he wasn’t opening up to you? Determine how each of you defines cheating and talk about it to prevent cheating from happening in the first place.
- WHAT ARE OUR 10-YEAR GOALS?
Some people think no further into the future than tomorrow, whereas others have a life plan. There are plenty of ways to make it work if one of you is more forward-thinking than the other, but you’ll need to talk about it first. This question gets the ball rolling. You can discuss school, careers, kids, owning a home, where you’ll live, travel and so much more under this umbrella, even if you make no solid plans.
- DO I WANT KIDS?
This is one compatibility question that you just can’t beat around. There’s no way to compromise if your dream is to live a child-free life and your partner dreams of being a parent. Either you have kids and feel resentful, or you don’t (and he feels resentment!). Before you say “I do,” you must come to a conclusion regarding this question to ask before marriage. Even if you both want kids, you’ll need to consider how many and when!
Of course, you might think of other questions to ask before marriage. You might already live together, have kids or know how you’ll deal with finances. Your specific situation might prompt you to ask yourself and your man other questions. The important thing is that you’re thinking about what can go wrong and right. Being on the same page with your man means the highs will be higher and, hopefully, the lows won’t feel quite so bad because your husband will have your back!