Six Questions To Ask Before You Get Married. Before purchasing that wedding gown and tuxedo, pick out the venue and talk to caterers it’s best you know the answers to these six questions before you actually say “I do.” As a Marriage Counselor I often see couples who return from their Honeymoon frustrated and angry as information that needed to be exchanged prior to the commitment ceremony was never discussed or assumed. Expectations for how they want to live their lives are looking very different from what they imagined. I encourage engaged couples or couples who are thinking about getting married to talk about and discuss these questions. It will make for a more clear understanding of what life will look like together and eliminate misunderstandings that could lead to irreparable damage.
1. Money Questions: These loaded questions will infuse themselves into every area of your life and show up in your day to day so ask them now. Should you have separate bank accounts and/or joint accounts; do you believe in family budgets; do you have significant debt; is it important for you to make a lot of money?
2. Work Questions: Let’s admit we are very status oriented and place allot of emphasis on marrying the “right” professional identity. You’ve heard the brags about “He’s a doctor” or “She’s a model.” Like status is going to guarantee a good relationship. When you focus on status you can destroy any chance of living an authentic life with a partner who shares your values. Ask questions like: Are you working in your chosen profession; what is your dream job; how many hours a week do you work; what does your job entail; what is your retirement plan?
3. Sex Questions: Men and women have different issues with owning their sexuality so it is important to have a conversation about the most intimate aspect of your relationship. Be sure to respect each other’s boundaries when asking questions like, do you feel comfortable initiating sex; if yes or no, why?; how often do you need or want sex; what do you need in order to be in the mood for sex; is sexual fidelity an absolute necessity in a good marriage?
4. Parenting Questions: Before having children make sure you have a strong foundation in your relationship and recognizing that being a mature adult has to do with working out your own unresolved issues with your own parents and family. Don’t subject your children to the chaos of parents who haven’t shown up and haven’t grown up. These questions are important; Do you want children; when and how many; do you believe children should be raised with some spiritual foundation; how important are extended family and their involvement; do you believe in spanking; what kind of discipline do you believe in; should boys be treated the same as girls in terms of expectations for sexual behavior, and rules for conduct?
5. Religion/Spiritual: Do we share a religion? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation? Does one of us have an individual spiritual practice? Does each partner understand and respect the other’s choices?
6. Pre-Marital Counseling: So what about who’s responsible for cleaning the house, yard, shopping, etc.; what percentage of our income are we to spend on buying a house; where do we live; how do we raise our children; do we eat meals together; what are my partner’s needs for cultivating or maintaining friendships outside our relationship? All these questions and more can easily be sorted out and addressed in pre-marital counseling. A structured time-specific program can prove beneficial, as well as productive and fun as this is for your life and the future of your family.
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Call me for more information about pre-marital counseling and sorting out these kinds of questions at (858) 735-1139.