There are certain questions that couples avoid because they’re afraid to hear the answer, or they think it will start a fight. Don’t make that mistake. These questions are important to ask to make sure you’re on the same page in order to have a happy and healthy marriage. If you don’t address them now, they are certain to rear their ugly head later.
7 Important Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
Every person on the path to marriage should ask their fiance these crucial questions.
1. Do you want kids?
This question is first on the list because it’s the most important. Having kids is a momentous, life-altering decision that should be made only when both partners are on board. Hopefully you’ve discussed this at least a little bit before getting engaged, but now’s the time to get more in depth. How many kids do you think you want? When do you expect to start trying? Who will be in charge of late night feedings and diaper changes, or are you willing to split the work equally? What happens if we want kids and can’t have them? If we don’t want them, what happens if we accidentally get pregnant? Some of these questions you won’t know the true answer to until you’re in the situation, but it’s helpful to know if you’re both in the same ballpark when it comes to such a huge decision.
2. Who will make the big decisions?
Hopefully the answer will be that you’ll make them together. One head of the household is a surefire way to create tension and resentment. Decisions you’ll have to make together: When is it time to upgrade or downsize our home, or move out of state for a job opportunity? Will one of us stay home with the kids, or will we use daycare or a nanny? What happens if we get into financial straits? This isn’t the 50s, so make sure your partner is on the same page that you’ll be equal partners in the marriage.
3. What is your take on religion?
You may know your partner’s affiliation, but do you know what religion or spirituality means to them, if anything? Will you be expected to convert, or are you expecting your partner to convert? What religion will you raise your kids, or will you allow them to decide for themselves when they get older? Are you expecting to get your children baptized? Do you go to church every week? Will you be celebrating all of the holidays associated with each of your religions? You should get an idea of how important religion is to both you and your partner, and discuss what you expect your life to be like with (or without) religion.
4. Is there anything that needs to be worked out with any of our family members?
If there’s been a strain in your relationship with any of your partner’s family members or vice versa, now is the time to try to repair the relationship. Weddings can make people act completely nuts, so you may not get the resolution you’re looking for; just try to remain civil and don’t say anything you can’t take back. These people are going to be in your life now whether you like them or not, so make your life easier by side-stepping conflict where it’s not necessary. (Don’t become a doormat, either. There’s a time and a place to voice your opinion. If you feel strongly about something, you should say it, just try to be respectful.)
5. What do you expect to be different once we get married?
Discuss what each of you think married life is like, and what, if anything, you expect to change. Putting everything out there beforehand can quash any unrealistic expectations and give you a better idea of what your partner thinks a marriage is. You’d be surprised what some people expect to change once the marriage license is signed.
6. What would you like to change about our relationship, on your end or my end?
This is a tricky question that many people would rather not get into, but it’s important to understand what is meaningful to your partner before getting married. Do you want them to spend less time at the office? Do they want you to find a better solution to working problems out than yelling at them? Maybe they want to make more time for the relationship, or maybe they need one hour of personal space to unwind after work before doing anything together. Do your very best to remain calm and listen with an open mind, even if they say something that makes you feel defensive. Each person is different and has different needs, including you. If you discuss with each other what will make you happier in your relationship, the only place to go is up.
7. Where do you see us in five years? Ten years? 30 years?
Will you be parents? Traveling the world? Running a business together? Living in another state or country? It’s essential to have a similar vision for your future…but let me tell you, life takes you in unexpected places, and it’s a whole lot easier to deal with when you have your best friend by your side.