Two minutes after my fiancee asked me to marry him, I told him that marriage means “for life”. It doesn’t mean “trying to be happy”, but “working on it when it doesn’t work”.
Marriage is sacred to me, and I know that many people would laugh when I say that when we get married, I don’t plan getting divorced (but then… who does?). My opinion on marriage is too strong, but I have good reasons to be so.
First of all, years and years back in the days, when marriage was considered more serious than a death sentence, people didn’t have any other choice but to make things happen and work on their happiness in marriage. Sometimes it was possible, and sometimes it wasn’t.
Fortunately for us, nowadays we are allowed to choose our partners in life. And once we hit that point, we decided our choices can change, our priorities can be modified, and our promises can be broken.
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I am in my early 30s, and I have a good amount of mistakes behind my back. And each one of them made me stronger, more opinionated and more determined that if I say Yes to a man one day, this would be the first step to marriage, we will make work.
My fiancee already has a failed marriage behind his back. And that was his strongest motive to pop the question only when he meets a woman that would be fully “in it”.
Our story and hopes aren’t unique, and I know that many couples want the same things.
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Let’s take a closer look at important things in life
Ever noticed how so many people get married and a year or two after that they divorce? Do you wonder why?
What happens after we say “I do.”?
Well, there’s one answer to that: Life kicks in.
Nothing more and nothing less.
Let’s allow life to “kick in” before the marriage. Let’s talk about all the dirty stuff that happens after we get married. Let’s see if you have a chance at being happily married.
I’ve prepared 77 questions to ask yourselves before you step into the sacred union called marriage.
Money questions to ask before marriage
According to a Citibank Survey, 57% of the divorces happen because of money issues!
You don’t want to end as part of that statistic, do you?
Talking about money is harder than talking about intimacy! And that’s a fact!
But not for you two, right?
Having regular discussions about finances, family budgeting, spending routines and habits is a crucial point for you and your partner.
So, what should you ask your partner then?
1. Do you feel free to talk about money with your future spouse?
2. How often do you talk about money and how to spend them? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
3. How much does your partner earn every month?
4. Do you have any debts? What is your partner’s attitude towards them?
5. Do you agree to accept your partner’s debts as yours?
6. Will you join your money or you’ll keep separate accounts?
7. How much of your income do you need for yourself monthly? Is your partner alright with that?
8. Are you happy with your partner’s spending habits?
9. Do you have a plan to cover your debts (if you have any)?
10. Does your partner know about this plan and does he/she support it?
11. Does your partner want to be included in this plan and to help you?
12. What would you do if one of you suddenly loses their job? Will you be able to react promptly in this situation?
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13. Have you talked about saving plan?
14. When you talk about money, do you receive clear answers to your questions?
15. Do you have any hobby that requires money monthly?
16. Is your partner aware of that? How does he/she feel about it?
17. Does your partner has a hobby/passion that requires money every month? How do you feel about it?
18. Are you willing to settle a budget for these hobbies?
19. Who will pay what bill in the house?
20. Will you be part of a charity payment?
21. Be honest and write down how much money you need monthly to cover your expenses. What is the difference between both of your current incomes? List 5 ways to improve it.
In case you have money issues and often argue about finances, I recommend “First Comes Love, Then Comes Money” by Scott and Bethany Palmer, an absolute bestseller and must-read for couples with money issues. I especially liked their approach that couples don’t have money problems; they have relationship problems. Couldn’t agree more than that.
Describe your dream home
Another part of the test about your relationship compatibility requires you to talk over your dreams. That’s one of the first conversations that usually happen.
However, are you serious about it?
We work hard while we are young so we could make our dreams come true. You better be deadly serious about your dreams or your everyday work is worth nothing.
So, your dreams…
22. Are they still the same as when you met?
23. How often do you talk over them? How much of your dream lives match?
24. Where do you want to live? A city or a small town?
25. Is it closer to the sea or the mountains?
26. Describe your dream-home – a house or a flat? Small or big? Are pets allowed?
27. How would your perfect day look like? Describe your routine from the moment you open your eyes to the moment you go to sleep in the evening.
Creating new lives
Family planning is indeed a topic you’ve talked over.
Or, have you?
You will be surprised how many couples I know that “talked about kids” before the marriage, and then it turned out – one of them wasn’t listening at all…
Here are the most critical questions you should match your opinion on:
28. Do you plan to have children? How many? When? (Please be specific with the time frame)
29. Who is going to stay at home to look after the children and who will bring the primary income in the house?
30. If you are the partner that will stay at home – Are you alright with postponing or giving up the career you have right now?
31. Have you talked about sending your children to college and the saving options for that? (It’s never too early!)
32. Does one of you support homeschooling or you prefer to send your children to a public/private school?
33. Please list the most important values you would like to teach your children. (Be as specific as possible)
34. If you two share different religions, what would be your children’s religion? Is the other partner alright with that? How about his parents?
Imagine your life with children. Although you could never plan these things so early, make a list of ways to find time for you and your spouse. (It might come handy very soon)
Relationship compatibility and values
The list below would highlight the most important benefits you are looking for in your partner.
35. Do you trust your partner completely with important decisions?
36. Does your partner keep their promises? If not – how often does that happen and are you willing to accept that fully?
37. Do you share the same beliefs? The same religion? If not, is that a problem for you or them?
38. What is your love language? If you are not aware of your love language, I recommend reading Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. It’s life-changing material and will give a completely different perspective on your relationship and yourself too.
39. Please skip the next few questions, if you’re not sure what love language is and how to speak it.
40. What is your partner’s love language?
41. Please list five ways you show love to your partner according to his love language, not yours.
After that, list five ways you’d like your partner to show his love for you according to your language.