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May 20, 2019

10 Unavoidable Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

Most of us are lucky enough to spend at least a little while with our partner before agreeing to get married. We get to flirt and go on adventures and get to know one another over the course of weeks or months or years.

Despite the fact that many of us already feel extremely close to our partner as we approach marriage, oftentimes we avoid some subjects because they’re uncomfortable, or because talking about them directly doesn’t come about naturally.

Whether you’re on the verge of getting married, or you’ve only just begun to talk about the concept with your partner, there are some questions you’ve simply got to discuss with your partner when deciding whether or not marriage is the right choice for you.

To see on a deeper level whether or not marriage is a good fit for you and your current partner, check out these 10 critical questions to ask before you get married.

1. Where Do We See Our Lives Going?

5 years, 10 years, 40 years down the line, where do you and your partner hope your lives will be?

That’s right–we’re starting with a big one. If this answer to this question causes lots of disagreement or shows evidence of seriously-differing expectations from life, it’s important to take the time to work through the answer to this question.

It’s natural for there to be some minor differences in expectation–but it’s important to discuss the areas in which one partner is unwilling to compromise, or where outlooks are at odds with the other’s.

2. What Are Our Thoughts on Children?

For many, this question may come up casually on a second or third date. For others, the question of intended family life can prove vastly more complicated and stressful.

Be honest with your partner–do you hope to carry children? Do you want to adopt? Do you have little or no interest in building a family of your own?

Rarely do individuals’ desire for a family or lack thereof change after entering marriage. Understand what to expect from your partner from the beginning, and do your best to be on the same page.

3. How Do We Handle Stress?

The answer to this question may come about naturally over the course of the relationship. You’ll witness your partner when they’re stuck in traffic. You’ll see how they handle stress from work.

But taking the time to understand how stress affects your relationship and might have an impact later on is extremely important.

Remember that, in the decades you’ll spend together, plenty of pressure and stress will come along. Don’t let you or your partner be blindsided by the ways in which the other handles stress.

4. How Do We Handle Conflict?

In a similar vein, you may start to notice the ways in which your partner handles conflict as your relationship grows. This could be any sort of conflict-relevant to your relationship or not.

Are your arguments healthy? Are your tense conversations safe and productive? Has anyone ever been physically injured in an argument? Has anyone felt a lasting emotional impact from a conflict?

5. What Are Our Relationships with Gambling, Drugs, and Alcohol?

While many people throughout the world have a healthy, social relationship to things like gambling, drugs, and alcohol, an attachment to any of these things that are over-the-top or begins affecting either partner more deeply can prove detrimental to a relationship.

Signs of addiction are often easy to ignore or shrug off–but before you commit your life to another person, it’s imperative to address these problems, no matter how uncomfortable the conversation may seem.

6. How Will We Manage Finances?

Money issues are one of the leading causes of strain on modern marriage. While many couples, even those in serious relationships, maintain separate finances, marriage could likely change this fact, and it’s important to understand how.

Money is connected to our sense of security and overall wellbeing. It’s important to be open, clear, and honest when it comes to finances in order to pave a comfortable and sensible road for finances in your marriage.

7. What Would Happen If We Experienced a Change in Work Life?

Layoffs, promotions, and burnouts happen to each of us at some point in our work life. It’s necessary to understand the ways in which one another is connected to their job before entering into marriage.

Nothing with work life is ever certain, but understanding things like whether either partner would be willing to relocate for the other’s career aspirations, or whether one partner’s salary is the one on which you depend most heavily can be crucial to your marriage. Be open and honest with one another about work life at all times.

8. Do We Expect Change from the Other After Marriage?

It’s never a good idea to enter into marriage aware of a problem, but expecting a change in the other person that’ll solve it. If there’s something you’ve wished your partner would work on, tell them. If there’s a problem present in your marriage, work on it.

In a perfect world, marriage and other life changes would be just what we needed to fix those longstanding problems. In reality, they’re usually not. If you’re expecting a change from your partner, communicate it. Don’t expect it to be brought on by marriage.

9. Are We Both Satisfied with Our Sex Life?

Although sex should always be had in order to express physical affection and to boost an otherwise-good relationship, people oftentimes find themselves in situations where sex is masking other problems–or where the sex itself becomes a problem.

Be clear about your feelings toward your sex life. Is one partner more adventurous than the other? Does one have a consistently higher sex drive? Do we enjoy our time being intimate with one another?

10. How Important Is Upkeep of Physical Appearance?

Going forward from marriage, some things will change. For some couples, a major change in physical appearance comes when one partner begins to be more relaxed at times, without always striving to look their best.

An important aspect of marriage is understanding that your relationship is built on love, not on the physical and superficial elements of a relationship. Ensure that you and your partner feel the same with regards to one another’s physical appearance–and remember that love should always come first.

Want More Questions to Ask Before You Get Married?

Marriage vows are one of the deepest, most all-encompassing commitments you can make to another person. In order to ensure you’ll have a long, healthy, and happy relationship with your partner throughout your marriage, you’ll need to be open and honest with each other–even if it means asking the tough questions.

For more questions to ask before you get married, and for other great support for your relationship, check out our page.

Grant Funding

Funding for these programs was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant Number 90FM0063

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