Why would you marry someone
What to clarify BEFORE the wedding
What would you think if someone advised you to go for couples therapy? Inconceivably? A waste of time and money?
Why talk to a therapist when everything is going so well? We are in love, have the same goals and ideas about life, what else do you need? Why should a stranger tell us something or listen to our life story?
In fact, it works just about talking about topics that seem difficult at first but can prevent a lot of heartache and pain in the long run.
It works - to put it simply - about being open to one another and asking questions that are arduous, sometimes gloomy or even embarrassing. Just like about trivialities or the little things that differentiate us and could lead to frustration and anger for later coexistence if you don't talk about them.
Okay, professional therapy may be a bit extreme but we find that openness and honesty towards ourselves and our partners are the most important building blocks of a functioning marriage - well and that also means chewing through the unpleasant things together.
To make the way easier we have prepared a list to help you get to know each other better. It should encourage conversation and should not be worked through in one session, but gradually over a few weeks or months, otherwise there is a risk of an explosion / implosion.
Besides, there are no questions which can be asked unconditionally and only before the wedding. For happily married couples, these questions can be just as helpful - you may be familiar with some but have not yet been addressed directly. Then it's about time!
There is no right or wrong to these questions. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and it is healthy to express it. In order to understand your partner better, it is helpful to insert a “why?” Or “why not?” After each question. You will see how many valuable details can still come to light.
You may not have even asked yourself many of these questions and now you are wondering why one should rummage around here. Remember, it shouldn't be confession or psychoanalysis and if you are uncomfortable with something you can skip it or postpone the conversation.
Were you physically, psychologically, or sexually abused as a child?
Have you had any traumatic experiences?
Have you ever become suspicious of a criminal?
Did you get violent with a partner?
Could you manage a bad habit on your own? Which?
Do you or your family have depression or addiction problems?
How is the relationship with your parents / siblings / relatives?
Do you still have good contact with your exes?
Is there a person from your past who could endanger our relationship if you meet him / her again?
Do you have old love letters or memories of past relationships?
Could you live with it if I don't share experiences from my past with you?
It is incredible how much arguments can arise between a person and their partner's family when it comes to serious issues such as illness, death and inheritance. Make sure to insure yourself about the wishes of your partner so that you can also enforce these wishes against your in-laws.
When we move in together, how do we share our things?
Do we want to buy a house or an apartment?
What plans do your parents have for their retirement provision?
How do we present our retirement provision?
What is your opinion on organ donation?
Do you have a living will or would you like to have one?
Are there religious concerns about some medical procedures?
Are you worried about your disposition or future problems?
Where do you see us in old age?
Is there anyone who is against our wedding? Are we taking it seriously?
What is your biggest fear in our marriage?
Do we want to have children? How many? Who stays at home? These are the standard questions and often the topic ends afterwards. But you may also ask yourself the following questions:
How long do we wait for children and how much money do we need for them?
If we can't have children, do we want to adopt?
What do we do if the child has a disability or if one is diagnosed during pregnancy?
How does the parent who does not stay at home make sure to spend time with the child every day?
From how many years should our child go to daycare?
Do we adopt the same parenting techniques as our parents? Completely different? Or a mixture?
What disciplinary measures do we want to use?
Which sports should our child play?
Should it learn other courses / languages / instruments?
Do you like partner looks or embarrassing costumes?
How would you react if our child is gay or lesbian?
This is certainly not one of your favorite subjects. Who likes to talk about money and, moreover, about questions that would definitely never apply, such as debts and credit. Do it anyway! As with other topics, avoiding it is an unnecessary risk, because money in particular can lead to great worries that can strain any relationship.
What do we do when we don't have any money? Or get a lot at once?
Joint or separate accounts?
Would you transfer all of your money to my account?
Who pays which bills?
What do you think about taking out credit? Under what circumstances would you think about it?
Would you be willing to pay off my debts if I have any?
How much are you worried about money? How do you deal with it?
How do you want to work with budgets?
Should we save and if so, how?
Should we prepare for financial bottlenecks?
What do we do when a family member has money problems?
Who should know about our financial troubles?
This conversation doesn't always have to be sober and dry. Your partner sees a lot more in you than you do and together you can fantasize and dream big.
Are you satisfied with your job or did you actually have other wishes?
Where do you see yourself professionally in the future?
If I am fired what should we do?
Can you imagine going into self-employment with me?
What do we do if your job requires a change of location?
Would our relationship suffer if you have a lot of business trips or are on Mondays?
Couples often tend to distance themselves and withdraw - according to the motto "Us against the rest of the world!". Especially at the beginning of the relationship, in blissful togetherness, one's own opinions and needs are reduced because it makes much greater friends to see the partner happy.
But what do you do when suddenly something bothers you or you prefer to do different things or just want to be alone? It doesn't hurt to talk about it earlier, even if you can't imagine something like that at the moment.
What hobbies do we have and do we manage to keep them?
How do you deal with it when you don't like my friends?
How do we find time for ourselves when children / careers / hobbies etc. overwhelm us?
When you think about your family, who is it?
What do you think is the best thing about your parents' relationship? What's not going so well?
How does your life change compared to being a single person? Do you spend the same amount of time on hobbies, friends, family?
How much free space do you need?
How often do we go out with friends?
How did your parents interact with you?
How quickly should I express myself if something about you bothers me?
Should I pay attention to how I present such statements?
Do you find that you can talk to me about anything?
How should I act when you're not in a good mood?
Do you think I'm nagging? How do you feel about it?
What should I do if you promise me something but don't keep it?
Last but not least ... during sex we open up and are the most vulnerable. Especially here you shouldn't be shy, but talk openly about your wishes, inclinations and ideas. This can happen with a glass of wine or in bed.
Is there anything that turns you on completely? Or what you wouldn't do at all?
Will anything change if I put on weight?
If we take away physical attraction, what are we left with?
What would you do if I couldn't sleep with you for a while for medical reasons?
What do you think about porn? Open relationship? Swinger clubs?
Do you sometimes find my dealings with the opposite sex inappropriate?
Which behavior of mine could abuse your trust?
Is trust natural until something happens that destroys it?
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