If you’re thinking about marrying someone you probably already know whether your beloved is obsessed with horses, prefers spicy food, or dreams of winter camping in the Arctic. While there is always more to learn about someone, here are seven things you should ask yourself before you walk down the aisle together . . .
1. Do we have similar core values?
Core values aren’t simply what you believe, but what you deeply value. They are an integral part of who you are and how you operate in the world. It’s important that you know your own values, as well as those of the person you’re considering a future with. For example, if one of you thrives on constantly having guests and people around and the other values a lot of privacy, that could present a problem after marriage. Best to know and discuss beforehand.
2. Does this person bring out the best in me?
We can love people who do not bring out our best selves, but it’s better to marry someone who does. When you are together, do you feel that your best qualities come forth? Does the other person help you to make good decisions, seek what is true, and focus on what is beautiful in life? Be honest with yourself: If this person doesn’t inspire you to be the best you, don’t choose them as your life partner.
It’s important that you not only love the person you marry, but that you also like them.
3. Can I tell this person my deepest secrets?
Trust is extremely important in marriage. Can you entrust yourself to this person? Do you feel comfortable sharing your weaknesses, faults, and mistakes? Are you able to confide in him or her? If you are doubtful about any of this, beware – trust builds intimacy in a marriage and you need to be able to share yourself deeply with a spouse.
4. Do we truly enjoy each other’s company?
It’s important that you not only love the person you marry, but that you also like them. Is this the person you would choose to be with on a desert island? Do you have fun together? Laugh together? Are you a good team? Having shared interests is key, but so is just being together when there’s nothing much to do.
5. Have we discussed how our past experiences might challenge our relationship?
Each of us has a past and we bring all of our past experiences into marriage – the lessons we’ve learned, scars we’ve acquired, and wounds that still need to be healed. Before you decide to marry someone, be sure to discuss how your past may affect your life together. It’s especially important to know if there are significant issues either of you have deal with, such as addictions, past abuse, health problems, etc., as these things can greatly impact a marriage.
6. Have we talked about our attitudes towards money?
Money is one of the biggest things married couples fight about so it’s important to discuss beforehand. How were each of you raised to think about and handle money, and how do you do that now? What are your expectations for how a spouse should make money and spend it? Discussing these kinds of questions will go a long way in helping you decide on a suitable life partner.
7. Do we know each others’ families and friends?
Since our family of origin impacts us so greatly, you should spend some time getting to know the family of someone you might marry. When children come along, we often become more like our parents so it’s good to know what to expect when it comes to your potential spouse. Likewise with friends… our friendships say a lot about us. If you don’t like your beloved’s friends, this should give you pause.
There’s a great deal that goes into deciding whether someone is “the one” for you, but these seven questions will help you get the right conversations going so that when the time comes, you’re sure to walk down the aisle with confidence.
Want to continue the conversation? The Better Together Marriage Prep Inventory is a free program designed to spark incredible conversations between dating and engaged couples.