Marriage is a major decision that should not be approached without seriousness. While none of us set out to get divorced, divorce does happen, especially in cases in which it turns out that the two people do not have enough in common, after all.
The divorce rate in the United States is around 40-50% but is continuing to decline over the past few years. Even with that in mind, it’s important to remember that every marriage is unique, so I would still make sure that the person you are choosing to marry is the right person for you. A lot of times, when we feel a super intense spark with someone, we overlook some very important aspects that are important to take into account.
And then, when that spark begins to fade, we are left with our bare selves to face off. If there is not enough common ground, this can lead to separation. If you’d like to see how much common ground you share with your partner, then make sure to check the following.
1. What are your biggest life goals?
It’s important to get clear on each of your goals. By doing this, you will make sure that your goals are not going to get in the way of theirs and vice versa. If they will, how will you work this out?
2. Do you want children?
This question is SO important, because in some cases if you have conflicting answers, this can be a dealbreaker. And it’s quite important to get this squared away now so that it doesn’t come up 5 years from now and cause divorce.
3. Where do you want to live?
Make sure that you both have the same idea about where you want to live. If one of you plans to move elsewhere in the future or wants to travel, it’s good to bring that up now, so that you can make sure that your actions align with bringing that to reality.
4. What values do you want to teach your children? (If you choose to have them.)
Everyone has a slightly different parenting approach, so it’s good to understand where your partner is at. If you are more of a gentle partner, and your partner is authoritarian, this could cause issues later on down the line. So, make sure you are on the same page now. This also goes for whether you plan to introduce spirituality to your children, what you plan to feed them, and what values you want to instill in your kids.
5. What do you feel marriage will do for our relationship?
Ask them why they want to get married. For some, marriage might just seem like the next logical step, while others may feel like it adds value to the marriage. Find out what your partner’s intention is with marriage if you haven’t discussed that already.
6. How do you suggest we dole out the responsibility in the household?
To some, this might already be obvious, but if you don’t live together already, you should probably ask. Figure out who will do what, and what roles each of you will fulfill. Will it be more traditional, or will you have a different approach?
7. How do you define infidelity?
People define infidelity in different ways, so it’s important to find out where your partner is at. For example, they might not feel like an emotional connection with someone is cheating, whereas you may. So, if there are any conflicts in how you define infidelity-go ahead and get that out in the open immediately.
8. Are you open to talking to a marriage counselor if issues arise?
This is an important question to ask because marriage problems will arise. They might not be so severe as to need therapy, but knowing how your partner plans to approach future conflicts is a good thing to understand.
9. How will we handle our finances?
In some marriages, the two parties combine their money in a shared account. In others, everything is kept separate. There is nothing wrong with either way of handling this, just make sure you are on the same page.
10. Do you understand who I am as an individual?
Sit down and have an open and honest talk about who each of you is. Make sure that your partner understands your values, beliefs, and what matters most to you, and ask them to do the same.