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10 Questions you need to ask yourself before you get married

Updated on October 08, 2013

1. Are you after a wedding or a marriage?

Yes, since childhood all we’ve ever heard and seen about the institution of marriage is that pivotal moment in fairy tales when the prince drops to his knees and proposes to the princess, upon which they kiss, marry and live ‘happily ever after’. Naturally, many people as we were growing up also spun a number of old wives tales, traditions, stories and folklore that created a swirl of mystery around the institution of marriage.

Fast forward to adulthood and the pressure of messages from parents, society, culture, romantic movies, novels and songs can all have us programmed to looking forward to the day that we toss our bouquet or the garter into an audience full of cheering people before sail off into the sunset.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Time for a reality check, if you had to seriously set aside the tux and the tulle for a moment, are you checking all the boxes on your way to the season’s hottest wedding or are you setting up some solid building blocks and the foundation for a good strong marriage? Remember that the wedding cake, the dress and suit and the pomp and ceremony are all temporary and fleeting. Ideally the frills and the fancies should add to and enhance an already existing relationship. The real question that you should be asking yourself here is if you and your significant other are actually in it for the long haul.

2. Can you imagine being with the person for the next 40 + years?

When you’re old, creaky and cranky with more thoughts of the type of rocking chairs that you would use rather than knocking orthopedic shoes, do you see yourself able to be with the same person?

When all is said and done, when looks and passion fade as they will and as they must, can you imagine the two of you having spirited conversations sitting on the porch or by the fireside?

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

A true marriage should be as much a marriage of the minds as it is the joining together of two physically compatible people. When all is said and done, the marriage ripened and mellowed, children and grandchildren had you really want to be looking forward to some rocking, ‘off the hook’ porch conversations.

3. Are you ready for marriage financially and emotionally?

It is all well and good to say that you are ready for marriage, but are you really well and truly ready for it in every sense of the word. Ask yourself serious questions about the messages you have been raised with when it comes to finances and emotions. What was the financial dynamic in the home in which you were raised- did you witness financial stability between two parents who contributed equally? Did your mum stay at home while your dad worked or vice versa? Was your situation different from the traditional assumption of having two parents that took care of you financially in your formative years? Ask yourself how your early life exposure to the financial and emotional relationship between your primary caregivers influenced you. Now ask yourself what it is that you expect from your own marriage financially, emotionally and spiritually.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Being with another human being on a somewhat 24/7 basis in a marriage calls for a great sense of commitment and dedication. Let’s be real, no marriage is able to sustain itself purely on sunshine and roses. Moolah, ka-ching, Dollars, call it what you like, plays an integral role in a union, like it or not.

Early in the relationship, hopefully before you decide to tie the knot, you will have to establish if your spending and saving styles relate to each other at all. If one is a wild spender and the other a more sedate saver it may not be cause for alarm, but if common ground isn’t reached you could be in for tricky emotional upheaval.

Equally ask yourself if do have enough money not just to have a wedding, but to start up a new life with your spouse and that means disposable income for groceries, day to day costs, expenses and living. In the grander scheme of things, both partners will want to be reasonably financially stable and functional people before entering into union.

On an emotional and spiritual note it always helps to be prepared to share a life with someone. Share being the operative word. Being with someone on a day to basis calls for a level of no holds barred sense of sharing from amenities in the home to thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams. While one can never be entirely ready and complete you do need to know what the emotional implications are before you enter into a union. Are you mature enough to want to share commit and grow together and more importantly is your partner willing to do the same?

4. Do you have enough common ground?

While you don’t necessarily have to be two peas in a pod, after all variety and diversity is the spice of life, it does help for the both of you to see eye to eye on the major things. Do you share grand world views on finances, values, communication styles and most importantly how you want your children to be raised? These are all the types of questions that you need to be asking yourself. There is no point in fooling yourself through your engagement and relationship that you do in fact have oodles to talk about, if you are the one that’s been doing all the talking and none of the listening or vice versa.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Agreeing about the basic ideals and foundations upon which your relationship will be based would have been one of the first few steps in order to ensure its success. It is perhaps perfectly okay to not like the same style of pizza or the same type of movies but having a common ground on acceptable behavior in marriage, children, religious or spiritual beliefs all play an important role in keeping the relationship and future marriage on stable ground.

5. Can you hold a spirited conversation?

Yes there is something to be said for verbal chemistry. Never underestimate the power of a good spirited conversation and the ability to laugh hale and hearty over a few jokes and stories. You need to be able to hold your own in topics of discussion. Even if you don’t always have an opinion on a matter, a person does need to have a voice and be a stimulating and interesting presence.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Communication is a two way street. One of the true acid tests to ascertain if you have enough common ground is if you ever catch yourself in a room unable to tolerate the silences that exist between the two of you and if you feel at all silly, inadequate or all thumbs when it comes to communicating with them. You need to be able to spot this and ask yourself some serious questions about the future if this is the scenario. If you would expect more in the stakes of communication and rapport from a friend than you would your S.O at the moment, it is perhaps time to ask yourself some serious questions

Here’s hoping that the beginning of your marriage starts out in high spirits something like this!

Take a look at these fun wedding flash mobs and entrance songs:

Black Eyed Peas - Dirty Bit wedding flashmob

LMFAO - Party Rock wedding entrance

Justin Bieber - Baby surprise wedding dance

PSY - Gangnam Style wedding dance

6. Do your personality styles and conflict resolution styles complement each other?

When it comes to conflict resolution, do you have similar styles of communication? When it comes to relationships and marriages it is all well and good to appreciate the good times, but think ahead to when the chips are down. Entering into a healthy marriage calls for being able to discuss how you deal with the bad times when they do arise. Once again whilst it isn’t necessary for both parties to be carbon copies of the other, a level of mutual respect and understanding is vital.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Enter into discussions about how you will manage and resolve conflict when times are calm. When you’re in the heat of arguments and disagreements, it then often too late to be as calm as you would ordinarily be having discussed matters first. You can’t discuss content of arguments before they have even happened but what you can do is, discuss how you will disagree in moments of tension.

Grab a pen and write a little manifesto if you have to:

  • List the no-go areas in fights
  • If you can decide a time limit upon which you will disagree so that it doesn’t become an all out war fest. Arguments and disagreements, if they happen at all, should be constructive and NOT destructive.

Decide how you would broker peace if needs be- maybe you would need to implement a time out on your argument.

7. Do you really know your partner?

Ask all of the important questions beforehand. If you are entering into a union with someone you need to be honest. Sharing is the name of the game. Aside from knowing the basics about the person that you are marrying, you do also need to be able to discuss the effects of their upbringing, their views on relationships and marriage and the most important aspects of their relationship history. Over time and after trust is built, it is hoped that you would come to a point where sharing all of the important things come naturally.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Being real and serious about entering into a marriage calls for a great degree of honesty, you need to be able to lay the building blocks and the foundations of trust in your relationship.

There are instances in life where you would have to tell a few glossed over truths in order to spare your spouse’s feelings. For example you wouldn’t want to unburden the contents of your soul to your partner about the office drudgery. Even on a bad day, you can still share your feelings while not giving them all the unnecessary details. Focus more on couple time.

8. Could you imagine procreating together?

Consider yourself with all of your idiosyncrasies and personality quirks; now consider all of the things about your partner that you love, along with all of the things about them that drive you a little mad. If afterwards you find that you still love the idea of a combined ‘mini-me’ running about, chances are that you are on the right track.

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Being together as a couple is enough of a commitment, having a child thrown into the equation will only magnify the quality and the condition of the marriage. Be sure before you decide to marry that you do indeed want to have babies together and that your outlook on how to raise children share somewhat of a common ground, if not for your own sanity, then at least for the sake of the mental and spiritual wellbeing of your as yet unborn children. Give it some thought.

9. What are your instincts telling you about this decision?

Sometimes all you can really do when it comes to taking such a big decision is to carefully and intuitively listen to your gut instincts. You know that feeling, the one that you get in your solar plexus that usually tells you if you’re on the right track or not. Usually there is a sense of wellbeing and a general sense of calm and ease that comes from taking the right decisions that your body will simply communicate to you. On the other hand however, think back to a time when you simply knew that you were barking up the wrong tree and yet you chose to ignore the feeling. How well did that situation end?

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

At times our bodies and our state of health and being does a lot to give us signs and show us exactly what we need to hear and see, and yes we would be wise to listen up and pay attention. Our state of health and state of wellbeing is best when we learn to take our innate voice seriously.

10. Why are you getting married?

Throughout the course of this article we have come to understand some of the questions that we should be asking yourself ahead of popping off to the altar and tying the knot. Now perhaps the most important question of all when it comes to taking the decision is ‘why are you getting married?’

Beyond the rose tinted lenses

Only you can really truly answer this question. At the end of the day, one would hope that the answer would read something to the effect of:

  • Being in love
  • Truly and sincerely caring about the wellbeing of someone else.
  • Wanting to share your life and a greater quality of living with your significant other.

Getting married is supposed to be one of the highlights of a person’s life. While there is a certain measure of uncertainty and risk involved, remember that marriage is not a prison. A union is most definitely based on the idea that two people like each other, if not, love each other and that should be the premise upon which two people decide to base a marriage.

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    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 3 years ago from Indiana

      "Are you able to hold a spirited conversation?" Love this...so true. Marriages can be killed by boredom as well as the usual factors.

    • Cloudlee profile image

      Cloudlee 2 years ago from Vietnam

      Just think about it carefully when it comes to a wedding!

    • profile image

      Yeah Nope 2 years ago

      The #1 question every man should ask himself before getting married is:

      "Is it worth the 50/50 chance of losing your children, losing 50% of your assets, and losing 20-60% of your income for the next decade or more?"

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