Questions to discuss with your partner before you say ‘yes’ to marriage

For all those considering marrying – be it the first time or another time – it always makes sense to understand fully what you’re signing up for when you say ‘yes’ to marrying someone. This applies to both love marriages as well as arranged marriages. Most couples learn this the hard way and it need not be that way.

  1. Do you love each other?
  2. How long have you and your partner been in a relationship together? Have you known them long enough?
  3. What does marriage mean to both of you?
  4. What kind of wedding would you both want to have?
  5. Do you agree about where you should live after the wedding?
  6. Have you or your partner lived on your own before? Do you both understand what it means to live independently and run the household?
  7. Have you considered getting important medical tests done for both of you?
  8. What do you admire about each other?
  9. How do you prefer to deal with conflict or disagreement with your partner, when you find yourself in one?
  10. Where do you draw boundaries with your ex?
  11. What are the non-negotiables or deal-breakers for each of you?
  12. Have you discussed having children and how you’d like to raise them? How would you approach parenting?
  13. What parental responsibilities are you willing to take on as individuals?
  14. What religious beliefs or values do you want to pass on?
  15. How do you want to go about disciplining your children?
  16. Have you talked about your finances and how you want to handle them (i.e. – joint bank account, separate accounts, any debt/savings)?
  17. What are your long-term financial goals?
  18. What kind of spending habits and preferences do you both agree on?
  19. Do you both share similar goals and dreams for the future?
  20. How honest are you with each other? How open do you expect your partner to be with you?
  21. When an issue comes up, how do you and your partner deal with it?
  22. What kind of things are you ok doing without each other’s company?
  23. How do you define infidelity?
  24. How would you take your partner flirting with other people?
  25. Have you met each other’s family and do you think you can get along with them? Do you like each other’s parents?
  26. What do you think your obligations to both of your parents should be?
  27. How important is religion for you? How do you wish to celebrate religious holidays, if at all?
  28. Do you share personal information about your partner with your best friends? Would your partner approve of it?
  29. Have you discussed your career goals and where you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
  30. Have you discussed what kind of lifestyle and home you want?
  31. Do you respect your partner and his/her opinions?
  32. Have you discussed what each of you likes and how you’d like to be treated?
  33. Have you discussed pregnancy and later?
  34. Have you discussed the challenge of time management and the distribution of household responsibilities?
  35. Do you want to have some kind of a prenuptial agreement written or otherwise with regard to safeguarding each other’s future and interests?
  36. What is your love language? How do you best express your love and how do you best receive love?
  37. How important is physical intimacy to each of you?
  38. How will you make time for your relationship after becoming parents?
  39. What value system do you want to adopt in your marriage?
  40. How do you see yourself as a couple 10 years from now?
  41. What sacrifices or changes are you willing to make for your family unit, in the event of a rough patch?

Very few people who marry have an inkling of what they are signing up for and that is why many marriages do not stand the test of time, conflicts and disagreements. Having candid discussions around these questions will surely help you minimize your risk and also help you get to know each other better. There is no guarantee however that answering these questions will be enough but you are surely better off discussing them than not. You may not agree on everything but you will at least know where you disagree and have further discussions on how to manage it.

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