We all hope to marry the person of our dreams. It’s our fairy tale come true. However, has anyone noticed that fairy tales always end before getting married? No one wants to think ahead and spoil the forever dream with a dose of reality.
Love and marriage are real and wonderful. However, before proceeding in your relationship, there are serious and practical questions you need to discuss with your partner. Determine the issues on which you agree and disagree. This will help you plan for a successful marriage. The more you know now, the better prepared you will be. And your fairy tale stands an excellent chance of becoming true.
Here are just some of the questions you should discuss before walking down the aisle:
Do You Want Children?
The world assumes that getting married equals to wanting children. Don’t make that mistake. Instead, ask outright. Some people yearn for the patter of small feet. Others haven’t given much thought to how raising children will affect their lives.
Be sure to have a full-fledged discussion here. Who will have primary responsibility for the children? Which one of you takes off work if they get sick? What are your partner’s thoughts on discipline? Do you envision raising a girl the same way as a boy?
How Do You Foresee Handling Daily Chores?
It needs to be asked, although if you pay attention, you can gauge the situation while dating. Is his or her place neat? Does he or she remember to pick up groceries? The question is important because your partner may assume that after the “I dos,” you are expected to do most of the housework and shopping.
Do You Have Lots of Debt?
Each situation is different. A person can have debt due to a business loan for a new enterprise or a past emergency that needed handling. These are actually good signs and show some responsibility. However, is his or her credit card coasting at the limit every month due to constant impulse purchases and other foolish expenses? Does your future partner indulge in designer clothes and first-class restaurants that are not within his or her budget? This is a red flag, as this behavior could continue following the wedding. Have an honest talk about money and what is important to both of you. This should include how much money you see yourself saving for the future and whether you plan on separate and/or joint bank accounts. Make sure to know this before getting married.
What Are Your Financial Goals?
Perhaps you can agree on how to handle your expenses. But what exactly are your financial goals? Do you envision saving up for a house, or can’t your partner even imagine living in the suburbs? Do you want to enjoy saving for indulgent vacations, while your partner considers that a waste of money? And can both of you agree on how to save for the kids’ college expenses?
Do You See Marriage Changing Our Relationship?
Many people are on their best behavior during the courtship phase and assume that after marriage, basic courtesy is no longer necessary, and farting at the table has become perfectly acceptable. How does your partner feel about that? Does he or she feel marriage frees him or her from behavioral “obligations?”
How Do You Feel About Our Friend? Do They Fit Into Our Post-Marriage Relationship?
As singles, you have your individual friends. The two groups have even mingled occasionally. But what about post-marriage? How do you both feel about guys-night and girls-night-out? Do you view it as a threat? Does your partner feel that after marriage, your respective friends will become “our” friends? Or does he or she feel that a new marriage requires new mutual friends and old friends no longer have a place in your lives?
How Do You Feel About Our Sex Life?
Have you discussed your sexual needs while you are single? Are you just hoping for the best and assume things might change for the better in time? You need to know each other’s needs and expectations. Will your partner be satisfied with sex twice a day or once a week? How willing is he or she to experiment? Does either of you have fantasies that have been left unexplored? Sex is an important part of marriage. Make such that this is something both of you can discuss freely.
Where Do You See Us Five/Ten Years From Now?
This is the ultimate job interview question. However, it has its place in a pre-marital discussion. Is your partner eager to become head of the company in a few years? That could mean many hours and weekends at work while you are alone. Or is he or she happy with the way things are now – your partner is a cubicle-creature and has no further career goals. That will probably translate into more time spent with the family. Only after a good discussion can you decide what is more important to you.
Habits that seem cute while dating can become nerve-grating in the long run. Ask whether you have any habits that get on your partner’s nerves. And be equally honest in return.
Infidelity is a major cause of divorce. This is usually something we can’t foresee when getting married. How does your partner feel about monogamy? He or she will undoubtedly respond that infidelity could never happen to you. But a deeper probe may reveal some surprises. Ask if he or she has ever cheated on a boyfriend/girlfriend. Ask how he or she would handle being out-of-town and approached by an attractive stranger. How would your partner react if you ever cheated? How would he or she feel if you have a good friend of the opposite sex? How do you feel about that?
Most marriages have their ups and downs. However, the more you know about your partner’s values, dreams, and habits before you walk down the aisle, the better equipped you will be to weather a few storms ahead. It is important that this conversation does not turn into an inquisition. Both of you should be able to share the truth calmly. And keep in mind, a disagreement does not have to turn into a dealbreaker.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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