Premarital Questions About Money
Do we have compatible ideas about spending and saving (am I a spender or saver – and what's my partner?), long term (retirement saving) as well as short term (next car, appliance,or home purchase)? This is an important question, many marriages that fail do so because money and finances are one of the biggest areas of conflict and stress couples traditionally face. Stress and conflict rise in a relationship in direct proportion to the debt you carry.
Have I been completely honest with my financial situation? Are we in debt? What are our plans for getting out of debt, and do we have retirement goals? Have we taken a money management course for couples? A money-making premarital question: Who's responsible for the investments?
Premarital Questions About Emotions and Conflict
Have we learned to tell each other what we expect ahead of time so that we are not disappointed when he/she doesn't read our mind? Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another's ideas, dreams and complaints?
How do we manage conflict? Do we walk away and just not talk about it again? Do we calmly sit down and listen to each others point of view? Do we erupt into a fight when we disagree? Do I walk away and you want to fight? How to we deal with each others style of managing conflict?
Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage? Are there some errors that are unforgivable? How and when will we resolve differences in our marriage? Will we never go to bed angry with each other, hold a grudge for weeks, months or years or resolve problems as quickly as possible. Will we seek professional counseling? together ? separately?
Premarital Questions About Sex
What are my ideas about monogamy? What are the boundaries that define our relationship? Do each of us feel fully confident in the other's commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?
Have we discussed our sexual health? Do either of you have a sexually transmitted disease, and are you taking measures to prevent it from spreading? Can you comfortably discuss your intimate body parts and functions? A body image premarital question: Does your weight or appearance affect your sexuality – and can you be honest about that?
What do you know about our sexual preferences? Have you discussed premarital questions about the preferred time of day, number of times per week (or day), place, lights on or off, length of sexual contact, foreplay, or how adventurous you want to be?
Will there be a wave goodbye, a brief kiss or a full embrace when you leave each other daily? How comfortable are we with showing affection in public, just holding hands? Will we expect to exchange gifts on every Hallmark holiday? Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect? And where and when I expect it? How important are anniversaries to each of us? Will I be upset not to receive flowers yearly on the day we first met, or is it a date neither of us remembers?
Premarital Questions About Children
Have we, individually and as a couple, decided whether we want children? If the answer is yes, when? When I have asked couples whether they would start a family within a year of their marriage, nearly 75% said they hadn't discussed the timing and were surprised to discover disagreement on that point. If so, have we considered how kids will affect our careers, lifestyle, recreation, privacy, social interests, money, and plans for the future? Figure this out before the wedding day.
What about infertility, birth defects, miscarriages, unplanned pregnancies, or other options such as fostering or adopting? Premarital questions need to include honest discussions about children.
Premarital Questions about Equality
Have we discussed the name question? Will either or both of us change names, will we hyphenate two names? Will we form a new name and how will our children, if any be named?
Are we both professionally established? Should we both work full-time? Have we discussed whether one of us wants additional training, education, or experience? A typical premarital question: Can we afford changes in income, and does it mesh with our life goals as a married couple?
How do we deal with job stress? Are we grumpy or emotionally unavailable because we bring our work home – or work from home? Is our health affected by job stress? A practical premarital question is: Do we carry cell phones with the expectation of being available at any time; if we have shift work does that impact our personal lives?
Premarital Questions About the Household
Do you have the same expectations and standards? Make the bed every day? Wash clothes once a week or just when you run out of clean ones? Who cleans the bathroom, does the laundry, vacuums, and maintains the lawn/garden? Who cooks the meals and does the dishes? A good premarital question that's not often discussed: Who buys the groceries and maintains the car? What will your division of labor look like, especially if you have kids?
What are our pet peeves? Does it bother you if the toilet paper is on "upside down" or are you usually completely out altogether? Do you leave the cap off your toothbrush, the toilet seat up, or the fridge door open? A practical premarital question: Can you handle another person – even one you love – in "your space"?
Premarital Questions About Friends and Family
Do we like and respect each other's friends? How do we feel about having friends of the opposite sex? Are friends welcome in our home anytime or only when invited? Who else will have a key to our home or know where the spare one is hidden? What if there are no friends?
Do we like and respect each others families? Does your family visit when invited or do they come too often an unannounced? When one of you wants or needs to make a decision, is the other consulted? or do you consult your family instead?
Take an unsentimental look at your families and you'll learn a lot about each other, for example attitudes towards women, money and ownership. Is there a history of divorce in the family? An atmosphere of racism, sexism or prejudice in family homes?
Premarital Questions About Religion
What are your religious beliefs? Do we share the same desire for religion? Do we want to belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?
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?