Premarital: Questions to Ask Before Saying "I Do"
Before you say, "I do," you need to make sure you know your potential mate well. You can probably learn a great deal about them just by noting how they live their life. But whether it's by observing or by discussing, you want to make sure you have a clear picture of their character, their lifestyle and their expectations. Here are some questions to get you started. The answers can help you determine in what areas you mesh, and what areas are "red flags."
Ethics and Character
- Do they have clear-cut ideas about right and wrong or do they subscribe to situational ethics?
- Will they lie if it makes things more convenient for them? (For example: Calling in sick to work when they're actually well, cheating or misleading in business deals, saying they never got a request for something when actually they simply forgot to follow through.)
- How would they describe a person of good character?
- Are they willing to do hard work or do they want instant success and quick money?
- Do they accept responsibility when they've made a mistake or try to blame others?
- Do they have a quick temper? How do they show it? Screaming? Pouting? Walking away? Throwing or breaking things? Driving fast? Physical violence?
- Are they open to discussing sensitive subjects or do they get defensive and withdraw?
- Do they take prescription drugs for mental illness? Would they be open to taking such medication? Would they be open to counseling?
- Do they hold a grudge or are they forgiving?
- Do they complain often about people, work, or other things?
- Do they criticize others — pointing out their flaws and shortcomings?
- Do they like to stay up late and sleep late or are they an "early to bed early to rise" type?
- Are they neat or messy? Do they pick up after themselves?
- Do they expect the bed to made everyday? Who do they expect to make it?
- Can they relax when there are chores to be done or do they prefer working first, then relaxing?
- How often will they want to go out socially as a couple, on their own, or with their friends?
- Where will they want to spend the holidays? With their family or yours?
- How often will you spend time with each other's family?
- Do they like to exercise? How often? Do they expect you to exercise too?
- Do they drink alcoholic beverages? How often?
- Do they have the ability to make and keep friends? Do you like and respect their friends?
- Do they want to live in the same town or are they open to relocating?
- Do they get along with their parents?
- How many children do they want?
- How do they want to handle childcare? Who would they consider as a provider?
- Do they want their wife to stay home when the children are small?
- How do they want to handle discipline?
- Would they be open to adoption?
- What are their religious beliefs?
- How often do they attend worship services?
- How often do they plan on attending services once you are married?
- Do they plan on giving financially to their place of worship? If so, how much?
- What faith will you teach your children?
- What role will faith play in your day-to-day lives?
- What are their views on divorce?
- In what circumstances would they consider divorce?
- Would they attend counseling if requested to by you? At what point would they consider that an option?
- What steps will they take to "affair-proof" your marriage?
- What are their views on socializing with opposite sex friends?
- Would they be open to seeing a marriage counselor, if their wife suggested it?
- Do they currently have a savings plan? Do they actually have money saved?
- Do they have a retirement plan?
- Do they have debt? What kind of debt? Credit card debt? Student loans? Car loans?
- Have they borrowed from family and friends? Do they still owe them?
- Do they pay their bills on time?
- Who will handle the bill paying in your marriage?
- How much will you spend on gifts for family and friends?
- Do they have a budget plan for married life?
- Do they expect their wife to work? If so, what will the money she earns go toward?
- If their wife stays home, what value do they put on that job?
- How often do they envision having sex?
- What are their expectations of their wife in this area?
- What are their views on pornography?
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