You don’t need to ask all 65 of these premarital questions before getting married, but you should at least talk about these topics while you’re engaged. Don’t make the mistake of getting so wrapped up in wedding plans that you forget to plan your marriage.
In Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married, bestselling author and marriage counselor, Gary Chapman, shares his wisdom and tips for a healthy, happy, “til death do us part” marriage.
“Men should keep their eyes wide open before marriage, and half-shut afterwards.” ~ Madeleine de Scudery. Women, too – especially if you think you’ve found the perfect boyfriend for you. One way for engaged couples to keep their eyes wide open before marriage is to discuss these premarital questions…and vow not to try to change their spouses after they get married.
Here are 65 ways to discover things you never knew about your future spouse…
Premarital Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
All good marriages requires preparation. No matter how great your fiance or love relationship is (or how gorgeous your diamond engagement ring), there are a few things you need to discuss and even negotiate before you get married.
These questions will get you started…
Money and Marriage
Am I a spender or saver – and what’s my fiance? 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?
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 engaged couples? Who’s responsible for our financial investments?
You might also consider the pros and cons of signing a prenuptial agreement.
Will we live in the city or country? Apartment, condo, or house? Big or little? Will we live overseas or in the home we grew up in? Will we move regularly or plant roots for good?
What’s our ideal neighborhood? Do we live near schools and parks, or in a highrise downtown? Do we get involved with the larger community? Do we know our neighbors well, or do we prefer our privacy?
If you’re planning the wedding, make sure you get an organizational guide like The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Family Members and Relatives
How much time do we spend with our families? Do we see our parents or siblings every day, or every five years? An important premarital question to discuss before getting married is: Are we happy with the way it us now, or are we hoping for changes? How often do our parents visit, and for how long? Do we let our parents give advice or make decisions for us?
How do our families and childhoods impact our lives now? Are our familial expectations, culture, traditions, and financial obligations similar? If not, will we invest time, energy, and an open mind in exploring our different family circles? A seemingly “little” premarital question: With whom do we spend holidays?
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Recreation and Socialization
How do we want to spend our time off? On weekends, do we want to watch movies or go skydiving? In the evenings, would we prefer taking continuing education classes or doing Yoga? Another premarital question is, Do we engage in activities together, or can we separate for the evening or weekend?
Do we take vacations? If so, do we go on safari in Africa or camping in Colorado? On a cruise or road trip? Do we spend thousands or hundreds of dollars? This may seem like an easy question to discuss before getting married, but it can cause friction later! Do we take vacations for a month or two, or a day or two?
Are we part of an organized faith? Do we go to church, synagogue, mosque, or the top of a mountain to pray or meditate? Are either of us marrying outside our faith? If so, will the other convert or not get involved?
Can we discuss God, the universe, faith, and our souls? Do we have thought-provoking conversations, not arguments? An important premarital question to discuss before getting married is: do we seek to understand our partner’s beliefs – not change them? Will we agree on how to solve problems in our marriage?
Sex and Intimacy
Have we discussed our intimate lives? 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? Does your weight or appearance affect your ability to be intimate – and can you be honest about that?
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?
To build a great sex life together, read His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage.
Who cleans the bathroom, does the laundry, vacuums, and maintains the lawn/garden? Who cooks the meals and does the dishes? Who buys the groceries and maintains the car? What will your division of labor look like, especially if you have kids?
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? Can you handle another person – even your spouse, who you love– in “your space”?
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.
What about infertility, unplanned pregnancies, or the “best” age to have kids? Premarital conversations that build a better marriage need to include honest discussions about having children.
Jobs and Careers
Are we both professionally established? Should we both work full-time? Have we discussed whether one of us wants additional training, education, or experience? An important premarital question to discuss before getting married is: Can we afford fluctuations in our financial earnings? Do our money personalities mesh with our life goals as a married couple (such as creating financial abundance)?
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? Do we carry pagers or cell phones; if we have shift work does that impact our personal lives?
Remember that you’re supposed to have different answers to these questions before marriage because you are two different people. If you agree on everything, then someone isn’t being authentic!
Your wedding lasts a day. Your marriage will change your life…so make sure you know who you’re marrying!
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.