You’ve found the one, Mr. or Ms. Right, and now you can hear the wedding bells ring every time you close your eyes. This is an exciting time, but it’s crucial that you ask a few questions before saying “I do” and signing on the line.
Asking these questions now will help to ensure that you have a long and prosperous marriage without unexpected hiccups after the honeymoon passes.
So without further ado, here are 10 questions to ask before getting married.
1. What Are Your Thoughts on Children? Do You Want Them, and How Many Do You See Yourself Having?
This question is a deal-breaker for a lot of couples. Sometimes a person will change their mind about having kids, but you shouldn’t count on it. Be honest and straightforward about your needs and expectations if you’re expecting to create a large family — or remaining child-free.
This question often brings up follow-up questions like adopting — see where the conversation takes you.
2. Do You Consider Yourself Religious? Would You Expect Your Family to Practice Your Religion?
Some people feel strongly about religion. Their faith may contradict your beliefs, or you both might be totally in sync! This question is critical, as it can affect what holidays you celebrate and your general lifestyle.
Discover your partner’s expectations if you were to start a family. If you and your partner have different belief systems, which one would you raise your children with? Would they expect you to convert?
3. What Are Your Financial Plans for Married Life?
Finances are essential to consider when choosing a life partner. Honestly, you could ask 50 questions relating solely to finance and still end up wanting answers. In the U.S., money is the leading cause of stress in a relationship.
Will you split your finances 50/50? What type of lifestyle will your salary support?
These are questions to ask before getting married, rather than being surprised.
4. Do You Have Any Debt? What Is Your Credit Score?
Maybe you are giggling, thinking, Who knows their credit score? But guess what? Bad credit can mean the difference between getting a new house or car. It can have implications for receiving a loan or getting a credit card.
Debt accrues interest, and it’s crucial to know what you are signing up for. The average debt for people 35 and younger is $67,400 in the United States.
5. Do You Have Any Goals? How Might These Change as a Result of Marriage or Kids?
Perhaps their goal was to become a senior manager at their company by age 30. They may have to put work ahead of the relationship. Are you prepared for that?
Or, maybe their lifelong goal has been to own a luxury sports car. While this might not be a priority for you, should you expect their plans to change? Honesty is vital here. What seems respectable when you’re single can seem irresponsible if you are a married couple saving up for a house. How would you address those changes?
6. Did Your Family Talk Through Problems, Argue or Shut Down? How Would You Handle Conflict in the Relationship?
If you’ve known the person for a while, you might already know the answer to these questions. If they struggle with proper communication during conflict, brainstorm a set of steps to use when problems arise.
Disagreements are part of any healthy relationship. The secret is working through them and instilling ways to strengthen your relationship rather than cause strain.
7. Where Do You See Yourself Living Long-Term? Do You Picture Moving to Another State or Country?
Try to remain practical about your intentions and give an accurate representation of your plans. Besides location, this could also include the type of home they see for themselves. Would it be an apartment or suburban townhouse? What about a log cabin in the mountains or a farmhouse in the countryside?
Where you live, and the type of home you picture for yourself, influences the nature of your daily life.
8. Are You Comfortable Living Near Family Members?
Let’s be real — many couples have a love-hate relationship with their in-laws. Living in the same neighborhood, town or state could be too close for comfort for some spouses. Alternatively, your partner may want to live close to their family. Would either option be a deal-breaker for you?
Keep in mind that your feelings about family may change once you have children. Your parents could decide they want to be closer to their grandbabies. You might even want family nearby to help you bring up your children. Would this be a turn-off for your significant other?
9. How Would You Describe Your Relationship With Gambling, Drugs and Alcohol?
Addictions destroy lives and marriages. Be straightforward and learn their bad habits before you tie the knot. If you’ve noticed any red flags with their behavior previously, start a conversation so that they have a chance to explain themselves.
10. What Are Your Expectations Relating to Physical Appearance?
As you age, your body changes. Discuss whether either of you has expectations relating to long-term physical appearance. In short, will you still love one another when you get gray hairs, wrinkles and gain weight?
For some couples, appearance plays a decisive role in the relationship.
Preparation Prevents Heartbreak
As you ask your significant other these questions, expect to answer them, too! One of your opinions or expectations might catch your partner’s attention. They deserve the same honesty that they are giving you.
Love and passion may drive the relationship, but asking these practical questions will help you avoid unnecessary future hurdles. Marriage is good for your health, but a poorly matched couple can end in divorce. You both deserve to be happy, and these questions to ask before getting married will reveal your compatibility for one another or that it’s time to move on.
The truth is that you won’t know until you start — so get asking!