I know, I know, I am about to sound like the relationship Grinch. If you already have a ring on your finger, the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you there are questions you should ask before heading down the aisle. But as much as you knew your answer to, “will you marry me?” was yes, there are some other questions you need to know the answers to so you can have a happy, long-lasting marriage.
1. Do You Want Kids?
This one is obvious but it’s also important. Debbie Martinez, a relationship coach, tells The New York Times that you have to answer this question honestly and not just say what you think the other person wants to hear. It’s also important to ask follow-up questions like how many children you want and when in your life you want to have them, if at all.
2. How Important Is Religion To You?
The New York Times also talked to Dr. Scuka, the executive director at the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, for questions to ask before you get married. He said that it’s important for couples where each practice a different religion to honestly work out how that will affect their relationship. This especially comes into play when raising children and visiting family for the holidays.
3. How Will We Budget Together?
This is a huge aspect of a relationship that you may have never experienced before together. Up until now, you may have been relatively separate on things like how much rent you’re willing to pay or what sort of splurge is justified to you. Once you share a budget, it’s important to be on the same page of how you will manage your finances. It also can be a tough conversation if one person makes a lot more than the other. If that is your case, working out stuff in advance helps mitigate a power dynamic in the future where one party makes the other feel guilty for spending money like they used to before marriage.
4. What Are Your Long-Term Goals And How Will That Affect Us?
Employers aren’t the only ones who should be asking you, “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” In our relationships, it’s important to know where each person sees themselves down the line with their relationship and career. Some dream of starting their own business, retiring early, or trying to go freelance. While it seems so far away, that could affect how you budget now! Talk about where you both see your careers in the future, if you are willing to move for opportunities, and anything else that would be important down the line.
Planning out and talking about the logistics of your sex life pretty much sounds as unsexy as it gets, but you need to do it. Sex is a huge part of any relationship and it’s important to figure out what you both want. How often do you both expect it? How will you balance it if you have kids? Do you have any fantasies that you want to explore? New York-based sex therapist Sari Cooper tells Brides.com, “Partners can be hesitant about sharing what kinds of sexual activities they would like to do because they don't want their partner to know what they have done in the past with others, they have embarrassment over their desires, or they think their partner will think critically about them.” You need to have those conversations ahead of time so you both are physically getting what you need out of your relationship and no one is emotionally hurt by admitting what they want down the line.
6. What do we define as cheating?
This one is a tough question but it’s better to answer it now than later! For some people, watching pornography or going to the strip club would be considered cheating. For others, what one person considers flirtation may come off as an emotional affair to the other. Some couples are okay with having an open relationship! There are many ways you can fall on the spectrum. The important thing is you agree to where your relationship can fall on it.
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