Marriage will change a big portion of your life, like it or not. You have been making individual decisions but all of a sudden, someone has to have a word in whatever you do. The littlest of things like who buys soap or why you are buying a new dress matter. Your best friend, sister,mother can not come and go to your home as they as they wish and the amount of money you give them when they are in a fix also has to be discussed!
There are countless reasons why some things need to be discussed before you commit. Do not go into a marriage with assumptions. Ascertain somethings from the start.
Susan Piver, author of The Hard questions: 100 essential questions you and your partner should answer before you say “I do” gives you a list of important question to answer before tying the knot.
Question 1: What percentage of our income are we prepared to spend to purchase and maintain our home on a monthly and annual basis?
Question 2: Who is responsible for keeping our our house and yard cared for and organised? Are we different in our needs for cleanliness and organisation?
Question 3: How much money do we earn together? Now? In one year? Ten? Who is responsible for which portion? Now? In a year? In five? In ten?
Question 4: What is our ultimate financial goal regarding annual income, and when do we anticipate achieving it? By what means and through what efforts?
Question 5: What are our categories of expense (rent, clothing, insurance, travel)? How much do we spend monthly, annually, in each category? How much do we want to be able to spend?
Question 6: How much time will each of us spend at work, and during what hours? Do we begin work early? Will we prefer to work in the evening?
Question 7: If one of us doesn’t want to work, under what circumstances if any, would that be okay?
Question 8: How ambitious are you? Are we comfortable with the others level of ambition?
Question 9: Am I comfortable giving and receiving love sexually? In sex, does my partner feel my love for him or her?
Question 10: Are we satisfied with the frequency of our lovemaking? How do we cope when our desire levels are unmatched? A little? A lot? For a night? A week? A month? A year? More?
Question 11: Do we eat meals together? Which ones? Who is responsible for the food shopping? Who prepares the meals? Who cleans up afterward?
Question 12: Is each of us happy with the other’s approach to health? Does one have habits or tendencies that concern the other ( e.g. smoking, excessive diet, poor diet)?
Question 13: What place does the other’s family play in our family life? How often do we visit or socialize together? If we have out-of-town relatives, will we ask them to visit us for extend periods? How often?
Question 14: If we have children, what kind of relationship do we hope our parents will have with their grandchildren? How much time will they spend together?
Question 15: Will we have children? If so, when? How many? How important is having children to each of us?
Question 16: How will having a child change the way we live now? Will we want to take time off work, or work a reduced schedule? For how long? Will we need to rethink who is responsible for house keeping?
Question 17: Are we satisfied with the quality and quantity of friends we currently have? Would we want to be more involved socially? Are we overwhelmed socially and need to cut back on such commitments?
Question 18: What are my partners needs for cultivating or maintaining friends outside our relationship? Is it easy for me to support those needs, or do they bother me in a way?
Question 19: Do we share a religion? Do we belong to a church, mosque, temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?
Question 20: Does one of us have an individual spiritual practice? Is the practice and the time devoted to it acceptable to the other? Does each partner understand and respect the other’s choices?