Marriage is a big commitment and before jumping in head first, couples need to ask many questions. Communication is critical in a strong relationship. If couples can tackle difficult questions before walking down the aisle, they will learn so much about each other and likely feel confident later answering the big question, “Will you marry me?”
Establish Clear Communication
In the beginning stages of a relationship, life is fun and easy. Most couples enjoy dating and want to spend as much time together as possible. They focus on pleasing each other and creating as many special moments together as they can. Over time, as the relationship develops, and the couple begins to learn more about their partner’s behaviors, habits and daily routines, stronger feelings begin to develop. They may start to visualize making a commitment and building a future together. To minimize surprises down the road, it is worthwhile for every couple to build a foundation that is based on open communication, honesty and trust. Open and honest communication about goals, dreams, expectations, and various aspects of their lives is a great place to start.
Explore questions that are based on these topics: religious beliefs, family background, parenting, finances, and where to live.
Couples may find that they come from completely different religious backgrounds, they actually share the same faith, or one or both of them is not religious at all. Discussing religious beliefs and co-creating a faith-based support system is incredibly powerful for a successful marriage.
- Is it important to study the bible?
- How often will we attend church? Will we go to church together?
- What church should we go to?
- Is it important that we share our religious beliefs and practices with our family?
- Will we have a religious wedding?
Understanding family upbringing, values, beliefs and behaviors can help couples figure out how their two families will mesh together after the wedding. Sometimes these new family relationships create joy and happiness, but they can be stressful and difficult to navigate as well. Couples must recognize that their behaviors and attitudes are shaped by their upbringing and each partner may have had completely different experiences.
- Is family important to you?
- Are you close with your parents and siblings?
- How did your parents show love to each other and to their children? What did your parents believe about discipline?
- Will we spend holidays with our families? How, where, and when?
- Will we ask our parents for marital advice?
Couples often make assumptions about having children, which is a big mistake. This can lead to serious issues later in the relationship if they discover they are not on the same page about if and when to have kids or how to parent the kids if they do want to have them. Imagine dreaming of having children your entire life only to find out that you are in love with someone who has never wanted children and has no desire to ever have any.
- Do you want children? How many children do you want?
- When should we plan to have kids?
- Are you expecting one of us to stay home with the children instead of working? Who?
- Where will our children go to school?
- How will we continue to make time for ourselves after having children?
It is often said that money is the root of all evil. Couples often argue about money, how it will be saved, how it will be spent and who will be in control of it. Couples need to fully understand their financial situation because money problems can quickly lead to arguments that end in divorce.
- What is your credit score?
- How much debt do you have? When will your debt be paid off?
- What are your thoughts about budgeting and saving?
- How will we make financial decisions?
- Who will be responsible for managing our money and paying the bills?
Where to Live
Deciding where to live may be a life changing decision, at least for one partner in the relationship. Clear communication is critical because moving to a new area may impact family relationships, friendships, careers, church homes and so much more.
- Where do you want to live?
- Should we opt for a house or a condo?
- Should we rent or buy our home?
- How much can we afford to pay for rent or a mortgage payment?
- How will we divide household chores and responsibilities?
Getting married is so exciting. The marriage proposal is probably the easiest question to ask. However, before popping the big question or responding with an answer, there are many questions to be asked. By taking the time to discuss these topics and any other questions that come to mind, couples will undoubtedly gain valuable insights about their partner’s past as well their future long-term plans and ideas.
I hope these questions will help you get the answers you need so you can make the biggest decision of your life with confidence. If you have additional questions to add to the list, please share your comments.
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