At the Mustard Seed Wife, marriage is a key topic of discussion here. I’ve been married for a little over a year now, and before I got married there were many things my now husband and I discussed that prepared us for marriage. These questions asked were invaluable in our now marriage. Discussing these things not only prepared us for our future together, but they also helped us better understand each other.
Where are We at Financially??
This is an extremely open-ended question that can be answered many ways. Here are some more questions in the realm of finances:
· How much is your total debt (i.e. credit cards, car loan, personal loans, student loans, etc)?
· What is your current job and what job do you want to have in the near future (and will it require further schooling?)
· How much do you save?
· How do you budget your paycheck?
· Do you have a future savings plan (i.e. 401k, life insurance)?
· Where are we gonna stay after we get married?
· How much will we both be making together in marriage?
Finances are a HUGE aspect of marriage. It’s so important to talk about this as money problems are one of the top reasons for divorce according to clinical psychologist Elizabeth Cohen. You don’t want to have financial disagreements in marriage. Disagreements are bound to happen, but how you handle them is what matters most; which leads to the next question.
How do We Handle Conflict and Disagreements?
Since none of us are the same, we are bound to disagree on something. With disagreements or arguments, its important to keep a few things in mind:
· Is this an argument or a debate?
When you have a disagreement, there should be an end goal in mind: reconciliation and understanding. Try not to have an argument with the goal of coming up on top or being the winner. There should be two winners after an argument not one. Because a marriage is a partnership and if one person loses, everyone loses.
· Do we both feel respected and heard?
In disagreements, its important not to look down on the other person. This is a form of disrespect that can also translate to contempt. No one wants to feel looked down on, especially by your spouse. Contempt can also cause feelings of loneliness and make you feel unsupported by your spouse. Which sucks and according to Dr. Elizabeth Cohen is another reason for divorce.
Effective communication, especially during an argument is crucial to a successful marriage. If a partner makes you feel like they’re looking down on you or not making you feel heard, those are some red flags.
Are There any Red Flags?
This is more of a question to ask yourself. And to ask your family and friends who have met your partner. And to pray about: What do these people (and God) think of your partner? Keep in mind, that the decision to be with someone is ultimately yours to make: not your friend’s or family’s decision. But if you or anyone in your life notices any red flags, its important to consider them.
Are We On the Same Page with Key Topics?
Yes, you gotta bring up the juicy stuff before you get married!
· Do you want kids? And if so, when and how many?
· Do you want pets? What kind and when?
· How do you feel about weapons in the home?
· How frequently will we have family or friends over?
· What do boundaries with family look like?(side note: check out my post on boundaries with family here.)
· How do you feel about going to church? And what is your relationship with God like?
These questions are key topics that should definitely be discussed sooner rather than later. Trust me, it’ll save you some awkward moments and difficult disagreements in the future. When you’re done asking those questions, then you can get onto the exciting questions regarding: the wedding!
How Long do You Want to Wait Before We Get Married?
· How long between engagement and the wedding day?
· How much money should we spend on the wedding?
· How many people should we invite? And who?
These questions are very important. Some folks are okay with a short time frame between getting together and getting married. While other people may want to wait years before getting married. Citing financial reasons, or school reasons, etc. while I believe you don’t have to wait too long before you get married (which I’ll speak on in my next post), its important you and your partner are on the right page in regard to this. Also, weddings are expensive! So make sure you guys are on the same page in regard to a budget for your special day!
Unity is the goal in marriage. While it may feel awkward or cringe to ask some of these questions to your partner, asking them will ensure unity and a healthy marriage through communication and discussion of these key topics.
Plus, you never want to assume you and our partner are on the same page about anything. Again, you two are completely different people with different life experiences and thought patterns. Although you two may have a lot in common, its important to consider yo will disagree on certain things and discuss it sooner rather than later.