Let’s be honest, relationships can be tough! I celebrate 19
years with the same woman this year, and though we’ve been blessed (fortunate)
to have a really good relationship, there have still been those times it’s a
lot of work. But I can say, from the heart of my bottom, it’s worth the effort!
When we meet someone we are attracted to, we can often
forget to really make an effort to get to know them, like really know them. Our
attraction (feelings, passion) to (for) them sometimes overshadows taking an
honest look at our compatibility with each other. We essentially love the idea
of them, what we think we know, based on feelings alone. Not that strong feelings are wrong, I had and still have strong feelings towards my
wife, but I also took a long hard look at how compatible we were before I made
all those life-long commitments at the altar (she did as well). Because neither
of us wanted to ever get divorced!
The questions below are not going to guarantee a life-long
happy marriage, there are many factors to that happening, but they sure will
help you to take a real look at just how compatible you are to this person you
just love so much.
The LOVE that every relationship must have is the COMMITTED-love,
which is based on a DECISION to love, forever! A FEELING-love will not carry
you through. I will say this though, usually when there is the COMMITTED-LOVE,
feelings follow! Because when your feelings are attacked, threatened, or
tempted … your COMMITMENT pulls you through, in spite of what you are feeling.
o Talk About Money1. Am I a spender or saver – and what's my partner? Are we comfortable spending money on the same things (such as organic food), or do we argue about money on dates or vacations? Another important premarital question about money: Will we have joint or separate accounts, and who will pay the bills?
2. Are we in debt? What are our plans for getting out of debt, and do we have retirement goals? Have we taken a money management course for couples? Who's responsible for our financial investments?
o Talk About Physical Intimacy3. Have we discussed our sexual health? Do either of you have a STD, and are you taking measures to prevent it from spreading? Can you comfortably discuss your intimate body parts and functions? Here's a premarital question about body image: Does your weight or appearance affect your ability to be intimate – and can you be honest about that?
4. What do we know about our preferences for intimacy? Have you talked about the preferred time of day for intimacy, number of times per week (or day), place, lights on or off, length of contact, foreplay, or how adventurous you want to be?
o Talk About Household Chores5. Who cleans the bathroom, does the laundry, vacuums, and maintains the lawn/garden? Who cooks the meals and does the dishes? A good premarital question that's not often discussed: Who buys the groceries and maintains the car? What will your division of labor look like, especially if you have kids?
6. What are our pet peeves? Does it bother you if the toilet paper is on "upside down" or are you usually completely out altogether? Do you leave the cap off your toothbrush, the toilet seat up, or the fridge door open? A practical premarital question: Can you handle another person – even one you love – in "your space"?
o Talk About Children7. Have we, individually and as a couple, decided whether we want children? If so, have we considered how kids will affect our careers, lifestyle, recreation, privacy, social interests, money, and plans for the future? Figure this out before the wedding day.
8. What about infertility, unplanned pregnancies, or fostering or adopting? Premarital discussion that build a healthy marriage need to include honest discussions about having children.
o Discuss Your Careers9. Are we both professionally established? Should we both work full-time? Have we discussed whether one of us wants additional training, education, or experience? A typical premarital question: Can we afford changes in income, and does it mesh with our life goals as a married couple?
10. How do we deal with job stress? Are we grumpy or emotionally unavailable because we bring our work home – or work from home? Is our health affected by job stress? A practical premarital question is: Do we carry pagers or cell phones; if we have shift work does that impact our personal lives?
o Talk About Religion11. Are we both committed to a relationship with Christ? How important is Faith, Religion, Church, God, Spirituality? Will we attend church? What denomination? Will we give financially (tithe)? How involved will we be?
12. Will you be okay to have a spouse who is uninterested in faith? Would you go to church alone?