It’s not a secret that some serious relationships lead to marriage. What may surprise you, however, is that some engaged couples have yet to ask each other some key questions, the answers to which may indicate whether they’ll survive as a couple over the long term.
Communication is vital to the survival of any relationship and asking your significant other a few questions before you say “I do” can be the difference between you proudly uttering those words or walking away from what might be a doomed relationship. With that in mind, you should familiarize yourself with the most important questions to ask before getting married.
Keep Your Relationship Fresh With New Adventures
One of the most important things to remember after you’ve walked down the aisle is that the work doesn’t stop there! It’s crucial to keep things fresh and interesting, and continue to enjoy date nights just as you did when you first met. Sometimes, the most difficult part about that is coming up with ideas.
Never fear—get yourself a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition. This interactive scratch-off book has over 50 activities, tear-out cards, conversation prompts, and other interactive elements. Written by exploration experts and couples who have been together for years, it’s sure to give you tons of inspiration for your journey together. It also makes a great gift!
When and How to Ask Your Future Spouse Questions
Whether or not you use our list of questions, you might wonder when and how you should talk about pre-marriage questions with your partner. In general, it’s best to reserve your list of questions for times when you’re in a serious relationship. If your relationship is new, enjoy getting to know your significant other and spending time together before you start pelting your love interest with deep, thought-provoking inquiries about your future shared life.
Once your relationship has matured and before you get engaged is when you should pull out your list of tough questions. Let your partner know that you want to discuss the topics on your list before you start asking questions so your SO doesn’t feel ambushed. You can set a “date” to cover all the questions on your list, or you can divide your list into different topics and cover each subject on separate days.
If you’re concerned about your ability to communicate openly about certain topics with your partner, you may want to ask a neutral family member to moderate the discussion. Alternatively, you might want to work with a relationship therapist as you and your SO work through the challenging issues covered by your list of questions.
Relationship experts are trained in love languages and a host of other things. As a result, they have the ability to facilitate communication between lovers even when topics may make one partner feel uncomfortable. A lot of couples use a marriage therapist even before they exchange nuptials, and you shouldn’t hesitate to do the same when you’re preparing to ask your SO tough questions. When it comes to marriage, you are potentially talking about the rest of your life, after all.
Dividing Your Questions into Categories
As they consider taking the “next step” and proposing to their SO, some people involved in long-term relationships divide the sensitive questions they want to ask their partner into categories. You may want to do the same to ensure you don’t miss a hot topic as you talk to your potential life partner. Dividing your questions into separate subject areas will make discussing your questions much easier if you’re going to cover them over several days instead of just one session.
Here are some categories of questions you may want to consider:
- Sex life
- Relationships and Commitment
- Financial goals
Sex is an important ingredient in the recipe for any healthy relationship. While many couples engage in sexual activity more frequently when they first get together, that activity can wane over time in some instances. To work through the ebbs and flows of sexual activity, it’s helpful to ask your partner some questions upfront.
What are your expectations regarding sex after we tie the knot?
It’s common for people to joke about the infrequency of sex in general and certain activities in particular after they get married. While some couples find they don’t have sex as often as they used to once they get married, that’s often because their relationship has expanded to include kids, more responsibilities at work, and additional activities.
Before you get engaged, ask your significant other about her expectations regarding sex and be willing to share your own. You need to know what your SO’s needs are, and she needs to be familiar with yours so you can both be on the same page. Having a conversation about this can increase the odds that you’ll both remain satisfied with each other and, therefore, reduce the odds that either of you will cheat.
Will you tell me if you’re not sexually satisfied?
Happily married couples should have an ongoing conversation about sex. In some cases, that conversation will involve one person telling the other that they’re not satisfied with the sexual side of their relationship, and that’s okay! It’s only by bringing up a problem that the two halves of the couple can work together to fix the issue.
You can start an ongoing conversation with your partner by asking him if he’ll tell you when he’s unhappy with the sexual aspect of your relationship. To make it more likely that he will, assure him that you’ll do the same and that you are and will remain open and receptive to his feedback.
What’s your favorite part of having sex with me?
Asking this question can help you develop a better idea of what you can do to satisfy your partner. Just remember that your SO’s sexual preferences and desires may change over time. With that in mind, you should ask your partner this question every so often as part of your continued conversation about sex.
Do you have any sexual fantasies or kinky behaviors?
This question may lead to you discovering some shared sexual interests, or it might allow you and your partner to share some laughs. Depending on what your partner says, you may discover that your significant other has more of a sex game than you ever imagined. While you might not make it to the land of “50 Shades of Gray,” you may still be pleasantly or orgasmically surprised by your SO.
Will you tell me about any romantic feelings you develop for someone outside of our relationship?
Just because someone develops feelings for someone outside her relationship doesn’t mean the person is destined to be unfaithful or that she’s a deviant. In fact, finding other people attractive and innocently flirting are perfectly normal and healthy things. To prevent them from becoming problematic, it’s vital that you discuss your feelings and your behavior with your partner.
It’s equally crucial for your SO to talk to you about these things. If either you or your SO develops serious feelings for someone else or realize you can’t control your flirtatious behavior at some point, you may want to enlist the services of a marriage therapist.
Are you willing to engage in some adventures to keep things fresh between us?
Couples must work together to keep the romance going, and the “Adventures from Scratch: Couples Adventure Book” was made to help out. This book includes 55+ scratch-off challenges that couples can do together. Whether you’re planning a date night or an evening of romance, ask your significant other if he’d be willing to complete an adventure with you on a regular basis.
Relationships and Commitment
Relationships mean different things to different people. Some people take their intimate relationship for granted after saying “I do” while others continue to prioritize the relationship they share with their spouse. Similarly, certain individuals think marriage is forever while others think of their marriage certificate as disposable property.
Prior to popping the question, you should talk about what your relationship means with your SO. To get the conversation going, ask your partner what marriage means to him. Based on his answer, you may also want to ask him:
- Which of the traditional marriage vows are the most meaningful to you?
- Will our union remain a priority in your life throughout our marriage?
- Would you consider working with a relationship therapist if we run into problems down the line?
- Do you have any doubts or fears concerning our marriage?
You should also ask your future spouse about his commitment. Does he intend to stay with you if you suffer a serious or life-changing illness? Will he remain by your side if you have an affair? Is his commitment strong and lasting enough to stay with you as you both age, and the ravages of aging become more obvious through the years?
From career goals to credit card usage, debt, student loans, and a whole more, a lot of topics fall into this line of questioning. Finances are one of the leading causes of strife among married couples and unwed people involved in long-term relationships. To avoid the financial squabbles that plague a lot of couples, you should make sure you and your partner are in synch about your finances by asking some poignant questions right from the start.
Do you have debt? If so, what kind of debt do you have?
Prior to getting married, you should ask your SO if she has any debt. You should also inquire about the type of debt she’s carrying. If, for instance, your partner has thousands of dollars of unsecured debt due to personal loans or her serial use of credit cards, it may indicate she’s not responsible with money. On the other hand, your SO’s debt might be an investment if she has a mortgage or outstanding student loans.
How are we going to pay off existing and future debt?
If you or your significant other have debt, the two of you should discuss how you’re going to pay it off. Will you help your SO pay off his debt or do you consider it his singular responsibility to repay his debts? If the two of you incur debt together by purchasing a home or an automobile, will you each contribute to paying off the related debt or will one of you be saddled with that responsibility single-handedly?
When it comes to debt, how much are you comfortable with?
This question is sometimes difficult to answer because the answer is often relative given how much money a couple makes. While that’s true, it’s still a question you should ask your partner. Your significant other’s answer and your own debt limits can influence various factors, such as the type of home you buy, when you purchase it, and where you’ll live. If, for example, your SO isn’t comfortable with debt at all, you may have to wait years to save up enough money to purchase a home outright.
Are we going to make financial decisions together, especially big ones?
Before you make a potentially lifelong commitment to another person, you need to discuss how the two of you will make financial decisions. Although it’s not uncommon for one person to take the lead on major decisions, both lovers should still be involved in final decisions to ensure they’re each behind those choices. That joint buy-in will prevent resentment if investments end up going awry.
Do you want to share a bank account, maintain separate accounts, or both?
Whether you’re going to have a joint bank account, maintain separate accounts, or have both is really a matter of personal preference. If you’re only going to have a joint account, however, you need to consider how you’ll shift things around when you want to surprise your SO with an expensive gift.
Will we follow a savings plan?
Every couple, even young ones, should save for their future. Ask your partner if she’ll be willing to make regular contributions to your shared savings just like you will. Even if your SO can’t contribute as much as you can, you should still involve her in your savings plan so she’ll take as much ownership over saving as you do.
Who will pay the bills?
Does your life partner pull double-duty as your best friend? Even when that’s the case, it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable to pay bills. While paying bills isn’t fun, it’s a necessary task for most couples.
To avoid late payments and problems with your credit history, you and your SO need to decide who’s going to pay your household bills. If you assume responsibility for making payments, remember that late or missed payments on a joint account can ruin both your credit history as well as your partner’s.
Just because you might be responsible for paying the bills, it’s not an excuse to keep your SO in the dark about your shared obligations. It’s crucial that both you and your partner know what your monthly obligations are because your SO will have to pay your household expenses if something happens to you.
While it’s disturbing to think of your own demise, it’s also necessary so your husband will know exactly what he needs to do if you’re not around. You don’t want him to end up homeless or sitting in the literal dark because he doesn’t know the name of your electric company, after all.
Will you sign a prenuptial agreement?
When one partner has a significantly higher net worth or earns a lot more than the other, it’s not unusual for the wealthier individual to ask their SO to sign a prenuptial agreement. While some see a person’s refusal to sign the agreement as a possible red flag, you shouldn’t be quick to judge your partner. Instead, you should talk to your partner about her reluctance to sign the document and put her at ease with an explanation about why you think the contract is necessary for both of you.
What are your career goals and projected retirement age?
Ask your partner if he plans to climb the corporate ladder or if he may want to change career paths in the future so the two of you can make plans to support his ambitions. Don’t forget to share your professional plans so they can factor into the preparation equation, too.
You should also ask your SO when he plans to retire. If your partner says he wants to retire as early as possible, but you plan to work longer to maximize your retirement benefits, the two of you need to iron things out early on while allowing for a change of heart down the line.
Discussing your current and future family is an absolute must if you’re thinking about getting married. With a growing number of adult children caring for their parents, you may want to start talking about this subject with a discussion about your future in-laws.
Will your parents move in with us?
There are many reasons why parents may move in with their adult children, such as the loss of income, the death of a spouse, or a progressive illness, among many others. You need to ask your SO if your in-laws will move in with you, or if you’ll move in with them, if a need arises at some future point. Knowing that your in-laws might move in with you in the future will influence decisions you make today, such as whether you’ll buy an ADA-compliant home and install grab bars or a bench seat in the shower.
If you want kids, how many would you like to have?
Doing some family planning early on is a good idea. Ask your SO if she wants kids. If she does, inquire about the number of children she’d like to have. Share your thoughts with your significant other so she knows how you feel about children. Kids are expensive, so it’s vital that you and your partner agree on how many little ones you’d like to have so you can save accordingly.
How far are you willing to go to have children?
No matter how badly they want kids, some couples struggle to conceive. In the event you and your partner run into issues with conception, ask your SO how far he’d be willing to go for you to conceive a baby. Would he be willing to have his sperm count tested? Will he consider IVF? Inquiring minds want to know!
Do our parenting styles align?
Ask your SO how she plans to raise your kids and see if her projected parenting style aligns with yours. If your parenting styles are worlds apart, discuss how you’ll be able to co-parent successfully and where each of you might have to make some compromises and adjustments.
Will you tackle fun-filled challenges with the kids?
No parent wants to hear “I’m bored” as their children get older. To keep your kids engaged and entertained, you can use the Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition. This book includes more than 50 challenges that are great for kids of nearly all ages. Ask your SO if he’ll participate in some fun-filled adventures with you and your children when they’re old enough to get a feel for how involved your partner will be with the kids.
Are you going to help out with the household chores?
Even if you don’t mind scrubbing toilets and mopping floors by yourself now, doing all the household chores might get old once you and your SO move in together and have kids. Ask your partner if she’s going to change diapers, fold laundry, or do any other chores so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Do we share similar political views and religious beliefs?
Your faith or lack thereof and political viewpoints can have a powerful influence on your family life, including the way you and your SO render childcare. Ask your significant other about his beliefs and political stance to see if they’re things you can live with.
Frequently Asked Questions
This list of questions to ask before getting married will help you to ensure that you’re on the right path before you head down the aisle.
That’s a question only you can answer, but you should get answers to these important questions before getting married. They’ll help you determine if you and your partner are aligned on core ideals.
It’s best to put feelings of awkwardness aside and go deep in conversations as soon as you know a relationship might be serious. Consider these important questions before considering marriage.