Questions to ask your partner and yourself before getting married

Questions to ask your partner and yourself before getting married


Monday, June 01, 2020

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IF you're thinking of getting married, you probably feel like you already know everything about your partner and that you will be able to work through whatever difficulties come up because you love each other. Right? Wrong! Couples who have spent years together sometimes find themselves heading downhill fast as soon as they get married. Relationship coach and author of Are you ready to say I do?, TB Fuller, says many of the problems that newly-weds face could have been avoided if they asked certain questions of themselves and their partners before they tied the knot.

“They might not be the easiest questions to ask or the most pleasant conversations to have, but marriage is a serious commitment and you must ask yourself and your spouse certain questions before you decide to commit,” she tells All Woman.She suggests these questions to use as prompts for deciding whether marriage is a good idea.

1. Where and how will we live?

When deciding to get married, it is important to understand that you both must have a realistic idea of what your marital home will look like. “Do you want to buy or build a home together? Does either spouse have access to land that they intend to use? How convenient is that location to the other partner's job or lifestyle? How welcome will the other partner feel if it is family property? Do either of you plan to migrate or travel frequently?” the marriage counsellor asks. “These questions form the foundation on which your marriage will be built.”

2. How do we feel about children?

“Especially as women, we need to ask ourselves this question even before we bring up the conversation with our partner,” Fuller says. “Do I want kids? Am I motherly? Do I want kids because society expects me to have kids in a marriage, or do I genuinely want to love and care for someone else besides my partner? And if I do, how many children do I want? Do I want them right away, or do I want to enjoy my marriage a little bit first?” she queries.

“Many couples decide to hold off on children for a few years, because studies have found that when a child is introduced one or both partners often starts to feel neglected when all the attention is being directed to the care of the children,” she points out.

3. What is our financial vision/plan?

“If you don't have sound financial plans, you are going to have seasons of debt and feelings of unfulfilment in the marriage,” Fuller warns. “It is very important to have a lucid financial vision or plan for the union. Who is financially stronger, and who is economically wiser? How are the living expenses going to be split? Are you going to save for vacations every summer? Will you pool your funds or keep them separate?”

Fuller explained that while everything does not have to be split 50-50, especially if one person is capable of handling more of the financial strain than the other, it is important to have an agreement and a balance that both spouses are comfortable with, for better or for worse.

4. How will the household be managed?

Domestic duties might seem miniscule in the early stages when both partners are willing and eager to please each other, but the mundane tasks can grow into a point of contention in the home in the long run if it becomes one partner's burden to bear, Fuller cautions.

“You have to really consider what things will be like after you get married. Who is more skilled at doing what, and who is more comfortable doing what around the home? Should we hire a helper, or should we consider who we can ask to pitch in.” she asks. “I recommend that you set up a realistic roster for cooking, cleaning up, ironing, and doing laundry, especially if you both work.”

5. What kind of wedding do we want?

“The wedding ceremony and its aftermath is the first real test for many newly-weds,” she pointed out. “Many people take loans to get married and they end up with a big, lavish wedding and some big, lavish debts to start off the marriage.”

Fuller highlights the importance of scaling wedding plans to match the couple's financial circumstances, and emphasises that the production quality of the wedding doesn't determine the quality of the marriage you are going to have.

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