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Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

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Hopes

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
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97
I just saw this on NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/17/fashion/weddings/17FIELDBOX.html?em&ex=1166763600&en=eb5457e2929f1d3f&ei=5087%0A

I wonder if some of the questions aren't a little presumptuous, but at the same time (as uncomfortable as they are) I think it's interesting food for thought. Having lived with my fiance for the past 6 years I pretty much know all the answers, but wouldn't it be more "traditional" so to speak to not know these answers? Does knowing all the answers make it a more solid marriage, or does it just mean you know the other person way too well? :razz: I have read that if a couple has a hugely long period of cohabitation, the relationship might never lead to marriage, or the marriage will be short-lived. I hope that's not the case for me.

Since for me the live-in relationship was so long, nothing will really change after we're married. I mean, nothing has changed since we got engaged! We are still our old selves, happy and content, but there's no big celebration. I wonder if the couples that marry when they are newly in love and haven't figured all these things out yet would be happier. It seems like they would at least have more excitement and have more of a "honeymoon" period. As for whatever issues that arise, tcan work it out if they compromise, are mature and truly care about the other person. For me, my relationship has more of a settled feel, rather than any kind of "newlywed" or "newly engaged" feel...
 

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TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
We actually discussed all of these questions in one way or another before we got married. Even though there is no guarantee that the answers change after you get married ("Wha? I thought we agreed that YOU are doing the ironing!") it just lays a bit more foundation before you do the deed.

I lived with my man too before we got married. After I got engaged, I didn''t feel that different and nothing really changed. But I did feel different after we were legally married...it''s a pretty cool thing to be a wife - it meant someone actually wanted to commit to me legally!!
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
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7,485
We didn''t live together before we were married but we did discuss all of the items listed. One or two remain unanswered (will we have kids? and any questions relating to it) but we''re on the same page regarding our lack of surity.

I think if couples spent more time talking about these things there would be a lot less divorce.
 

piccolascimmia

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
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342
When my fiancee and I first started talking about getting engaged, I said that I wanted to do some ''pre-work'' and so got us some books/workbooks to use to force discussions about these very questions. I used "Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts", but there are many out there.

I think its absolutely necessary to explicitly talk about things like this. It can be uncomfortable or redundant, yes. But would I rather know these things prior rather than after? Absolutely. Also, even if we think we agree on topics, I''d rather be sure that we agree on them, rather than assuming we do. Even if couples have an open line of communiation, how often do these particular topics come up for anyone to be certain of the nuances of their opinion on them? I always want to improve on communication around these things, but with the nature of the potential discomfort around these topics and my propensity to avoid conflict, it is tough. And I believe that explicitly talking about say, cheating, makes it harder for them to rationalize their way into a situation like that...and knowing what is non-negotiable is important (if you cheat on me I will leave you).

This topic makes me get on my soapbox about why so many women focus so much on the ring, the wedding, and not the marriage. But, I''m not that girl who''s dreamed about what dress I''d wear, or my father walking me down the aisle, so its easy for me to be logical about that.

And sorry, back to your point about living together...I''ve been living with my fiancee for a year now (and got engaged 6 months into that), so I''m with you that I don''t think much will change, but some ''aha'' moments might come out of these discussions where I assumed I knew what he felt/thought about a situation.

Wow, sorry for the long ramble...
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
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1,937
Thanks for that article! We have discussed some of those but not all and think it''s a good idea to start the conversation w/those questions.. which probably leads to others and further discussion.
 

AChiOAlumna

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
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1,678
Are these questions presumptious? Absolutely not...it''s too bad more couples aren''t asking these questions. Maybe if they did, the divorce rates wouldn''t be so high. If you''re going to get married to someone, then it''s important to know all these aspects of yourself and your future spouse....

I''m going to use this article for future clients....gives people a lot of food for thought.
 

snlee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
5,891
That''s a great list of questions. My hubby and I have discussed all of them in one way or another before we got married.

I don''t think those questions are presumptuous at all and wish that all couples asked each other those questions before marrying. I think the divorce rate would be much lower! Answers may change later down the line but people need to be upfront, honest, and open with each other before committing to one another.
 

sammyjoey

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
49
pretty good list. the one that gets me is #7: whether or not there will be a tv in the bedroom. this one seems so trivial since the others are so major - sex, religion, kids, finances, where to live, etc.

is it really necessary to talk about this before getting married?
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
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3,689
the tv in bedroom question might sound trivial but it''s revealing. there have been statistical analyses that say having a tv in the bedroom decreases intimacy significantly, even if it''s just bedroom chatting. so it''s something to think about.
and even if it comes off as a trivial question, that still isn''t so bad b/c some of these questions are v. heavy, and as you''re going through them w/your FI it''s nice to have one thrown in there that "sounds" lighter.
 

AChiOAlumna

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
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1,678
Date: 12/26/2006 1:18:30 PM
Author: sammyjoey
pretty good list. the one that gets me is #7: whether or not there will be a tv in the bedroom. this one seems so trivial since the others are so major - sex, religion, kids, finances, where to live, etc.
is it really necessary to talk about this before getting married?
Actually, it is important. It helps the couple understand the expectations they have in the bedroom. Too many times, couples will spend time falling asleep to the TV, when they could be spending that time reconnecting sexually, emotionally and intellectually. If one member of the couple rather spend their last daily waking moments in front of the TV rather than with their spouse, it can be very telling about how the couple will relate to each other in the future.
 

firebirdgold

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
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2,216
Since the answers wouldn''t affect wether or not we get married, I see no reason to formally go over the questions beforehand. I mean, it''s not like we would ever decide not to get married based on well.. anything.

Besides working out the answers together organically just feels more natural and fun. It''ll come as the marriage progresses. I think trying to script things not only takes the fun out of it but can create strife when a relationships natural tendencies goes against a previous agreement.
 

AChiOAlumna

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
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1,678
Indie....while I can appreciate you wanting spontaneity in your relationship, I do have another perspective on this.

As a therapist, I see many couples (it''s the majority of my practice) who end up having difficulties in their marriage because they didn''t talk about such seemingly simple issues before they walked down the aisle. Most of them haven''t even married 2 years!

I agree with you it may not stop a couple from getting married (and that''s not really the point anyway), but it will allow the couple to understand their differences, learn how to negotiate and compromise before the wedding day and have a better grasp to the areas where they may have more of a struggle so once those struggles come up, it''s not so surprising.

There is enough adjustment once a couple gets married. I wish for all couples that they would take the time to sit down and discuss such issues. Then there will be less of a chance that they will end up on my couch 2 years into the marriage.
 

ocbride2007

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
191
The tv in the bedroom thing made me giggle too... I guess it could decrease intimacy. But then again, I guess you could always use the tv to experiment and get MORE intimate... But if you are into that you definitely should discuss it before marriage, it could cause some problems.

As to the questions in general - I guess there are people who haven''t discussed these things, and they really should before they decide to get married. But in our case, we have been together for 5.5 years, lived together for 2, and already picked out our kids'' names!
 

dani13

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
6,183
Date: 1/6/2007 4:24:24 AM
Author: ocbride2007
The tv in the bedroom thing made me giggle too... I guess it could decrease intimacy. But then again, I guess you could always use the tv to experiment and get MORE intimate... But if you are into that you definitely should discuss it before marriage, it could cause some problems.

As to the questions in general - I guess there are people who haven''t discussed these things, and they really should before they decide to get married. But in our case, we have been together for 5.5 years, lived together for 2, and already picked out our kids'' names!
FI brought this up to me awhile ago- he made me promise that we will NEVER have a TV in our bedroom EVER!!! lol!!!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I read this article to my FI about a week before we got engaged - we''d already discussed everything except the tv in the bedoom one.

He was adamant that we are never having a tv there. I was less bothered. Interesting...

I think you should have discussed all these issues before marriage.

My father always said to marry someone from your own background, and in Italy the town I lived in had a saying "moglie e buie, payese toi." which translates as "wife and cows, from your own land." lol - not sure I like the wife/cow thing too much!

I''ve had serious relationships with 4 or 5 people, some from very different backgrounds to mine. However, I''m marrying a man from an almost identical background to my own. It''s just so easy - we have similar values, views and aspirations.
 
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