Congratulations! You’re getting married.
Your wedding day is bound to be one of the most wonderful days of your life, and by now you’re probably knee-deep in plans, plans, and more wedding plans.
But before you walk down that aisle, take a step back and ask yourself a few questions. It could save you a lot of heartache later on!
1. Why do you want to get married?
It seems like a simple enough question, but really examine what comes to mind. Sure, you’re marrying him because he loves you and you love him”obviously”but are there other reasons? Are you afraid of losing him? Are you afraid to be alone? Are you trying to escape something”will getting married offer you a chance to stop working, move out of your current apartment, or some other opportunity?
If there are underlying reasons behind your desire to say I do, you should think carefully about getting married.
2. Where will you live?
This question isn’t just about you moving into his place or vice versa. Will you buy or rent? Do you want to stay where you are now or move somewhere completely different? It would be a shame to discover, after you get married, that you thought you would always live in your hometown on the East coast, whereas he has always dreamed of living in Vancouver.
3. What do you argue about?
This is a big question. All couples fight, whether it’s about leaving the toilet seat up or the cap off the toothpaste.
But if you fight seriously about money issues, his (or your) drinking habits, or you hate all of his friends, this could be a real problem.
Seriously. Do you agree on how much, where and when? Is he okay on the nights you have a headache? Are you okay when he does? A healthy sexual relationship is a big part of a good marriage, and you should have an understanding of what each other needs (and wants).
The time to find out that he has always wanted to be a swinger is before you get married, not after.
5. Do you both want children and if so, how many?
After you have kids, do you want to go back to work or not and does he know about this and agree with you? Again, you need to know if he has always wanted eight or more children before you get married, especially if you really don’t want any!
6. How will you handle your finances?
Will you have separate or joint bank accounts? If one of you makes substantially more than the other, will you split all the bills or pay them in proportion to your salaries? You can’t just assume once you’re married your husband will pay all the bills, or vice versa! So have some open, honest discussions on this topic before you get married.
7. How will you split the chores?
It’s a sad fact but most women, even those who work longer hours than their spouses, still do the majority of the housework. Can you live with that, or will it make you crazy? Can you afford to have someone else do the cleaning?
Understand what his idea of cleaning is anyway, since you’ll probably find it differs vastly from yours. (His idea of doing the laundry may very well be just placing it in the same room as the washing machine.)
It may sound silly, but so many couples fight viciously about this topic, so get a handle on it now, before you get married.
8. How much time will you spend with your in-laws?
We’ve all heard horror stories about in-laws who interfere in their children’s marriages. If you suspect that in-laws could cause problems, gently set some ground rules before you tie the knot. Create clear boundaries for visits, phone calls, children and finances.
9. How will you spend your leisure time?
Maybe your idea of a good weekend is staying at home, watching a movie marathon or cracking open a good book. It could be a problem if he’s more the party animal type and prefers to be out on the town with his pals.
Figure out if this is going to be a problem for you or if you can work out a compromise between shared and separate interests.
10. Do you share the same views on religion?
What role, if any, will religion play in your relationship with each other and in your children’s lives? If you don’t share the same religion, you’ll need to decide before getting married if you’re each okay with the other practicing a different faith. Will your children have the same religion, and if so, which one?
If you ask yourself these questions and answer honestly, it will go a long way toward ensuring you have a long, happy marriage. And don’t you deserve that?