8 questions before "I do"

 Do you really know who you are marrying?  

Do you really know who you are marrying?  

Did you know that asking 8 questions of your future husband or wife can help you establish a great life together?

So aside from popping the big question ask these 8 crucial questions because building a happy partnership for life can be more than aspirational.

Spark honest discussions between you and your love with the following questions.

Are you all in?  Why get married if you are not willing to put in the work? Enriched relationships involve ongoing, hard work that reap rewards. The willingness to work through the difficult times (unemployment, chronic illness, fertility issues, etc.) are what pull you through together into a stronger marriage. 

Did your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arose?  Disagreements are inevitable.  Relationship success is defined by how differences are resolved.  As we are all shaped by our childhood family’s dynamic, this question will tell you whether your partner may be inclined to repeat the conflict resolution patterns of his or her parents.

Will we have children and will you change the nappies?  Do you both want children and if so, how many, when and how do you imagine your roles as parents?  Also contemplate what you would do if you want children, but can’t conceive in the usual way. Would your partner want to financially and emotionally invest in fertility interventions if together you are unable to conceive?  

What’s the most you would be willing to spend on a car, a couch, shoes? What is your partner’s approach to money? Prudent or reckless?  Shared bank accounts and bills or separate?  Who earns the money and who pays the bills?  Disclosing debts is paramount – is my debt your debt?

Do you know the ways I say I love youUnderstanding how your partner receives and expresses their commitment nurtures the relationship in ways specific to you both. What of the five love languages; affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service or physical touch is most meaningful to your partner?

How important is sex to you?  What sexual experiences are exciting and meaningful to your future spouse? How does your partner feel about pornography, flirting and expectations for sexual exclusivity?

How do you see us 10 years from now?  Keeping the answer to this question in mind can help you and your partner to focus on your ultimate relationship goals and deal with conflict.  Would your partner consider divorce if the relationship deteriorates or expect marriage to be for life?

Are there any ‘warning signs’?  Ok, so this is a question you need to ask yourself ABOUT your partner.  Have you any concerns about your partner drinking too much, using drugs, flirting or cheating, gambling, controlling you, telling lies? These are relationship red flags and, to save later heartbreak, must be dealt with before you walk down the aisle.  Ignoring the warning signs or believing they will go away with time is a furphy – unfortunately, they never do.

Couples often assume that because they love each other, they are of the same mind about big life questions but different experiences spark different perspectives. It’s worth asking the questions but if it feels too hard, then don’t do it alone.  

Working with a clinical psychologist can help build strong foundations for a happy life with your partner as you make wedding plans. Relationships can be tricky, but striving for what you both deserve is worthwhile. Life is too short to settle for anything less. #Best life.

article by Lydia Rigano

this article appears in DUOMagazine February 2017

 

Lydia Rigano