6. What role does religion play in your lives? During courtship, religion is often off the table. But once people get married, the future and your respective upbringing in religion, along with your family of originís religion and their desires for tradition become more influential on your relationship. How will the holidays be handled? What family do you celebrate with? If you are from different religions and traditions, then you will need to talk about this before the nuptials and before children are born.
7. Do you want a traditional or non-traditional marriage? Different ideas about what kind of marriage you want can be very divisive, if you donít agree. If the wife sees her role as the home-maker but the husband sees the wifeís role as another income, you will be in trouble. What do you want to do after children come or when parents become sick or elderly? What is your relationship to money, saving, spending and investing? Making these decisions early on is critical to relationship harmony.
8. How much do you want our families involved in your lives? How much families are involved in your lives is a very important to understand from the beginning. Having Mom or Dad over every weekend or daily and how the quality of those relationships will affect lifestyles is important to know going in. Do you like the family of your spouse? How involved are they? How often do they want to get together? What are the relationships like with other siblings? All these questions will influence the outcome of your marriage.
9. How would you resolve a disagreement? The most important skill for any couple is how well they resolve conflicts. The most important elements in a happy marriage are: Are they willing to look at their part in a conflict? Do they need to be right? Are they defensive, critical, sarcastic or do they turn off during arguments? Are they forgiving, tolerant, understanding, tender and empathic? These are the most critical elements for long-term happiness and contentment in a marriage. If you have these qualities in a mate, you will find your way through any difficulty.
10. Is there any history of difficulty with drugs, alcohol or infidelity? Courtships are one long party so we can easily overlook drug and alcohol problems. Have you asked about their history before they met you? People with issues like these will have problems with intimacy, holding jobs and being faithful. These are deal-breakers. If you think you can change the other person, think again. For sure, we canít change anyone. We better accept them for who they are, because more than likely itís not going to change much unless they decide they want to. Even then, itís not easy.
After you have found out the answers to these questions, make up a few of your own. If you find the answers to your liking, then it may be time to start planning your future together. Forewarned is forearmed. Take nothing for granted and keep your powder dry. Marriage isnít for sissies, but if handled with love and care, itís the only real game in town.