In my marriage class in my first semester of college, our teacher gave us a handout (or should I say packet) with these questions. At first I was like “Holy shnikeys! This is way too many questions! I am NOT going to go over all of these with my fiance!”
But we did. And I’m so glad we did.
At first it started with asking the interesting questions, but then we asked them all, wondering if maybe the answer would be different than we expected. And we were very surprised by some of it! Then about a month ago, I pulled out these questions again and we talked about how some of the answers have changed or that we have more solid answers to give. It was really nice to talk about this as a married couple and know that we are still on the same page. I think we’ll give these answers a go at least every year to make sure things are still good!
From answering these questions we talked about how we plan on raising and disciplining our kids, who will manage the bills, what our parents should and shouldn’t know about, what we believe our flaws are. We had some great discussion! These question sparked conversation that really set a great foundation for our marriage.
Here’s some of the questions I think are really important to have an understanding on in your marriage. I’ve condensed the list my professor gave me, which was condensed or adapted (I’m really not sure) from Don’t You Get Married Until You Read This! The Book of Questions for Couples by Corey Donaldson. If you’re engaged, I highly recommend you buy the book so you can go over every question together and have a good time communicating with one another. Consider this a preview. But seriously. Buy the book. Have some fun with it.
I don’t necessarily believe the answers to these questions will make or break your marriage, but I do believe that opening up the lines of communication and honestly talking about the important things these questions bring up IS important. So just give it a shot. Be open and honest. You never know what can happen.
PRINT the questions if you want…
If we eliminated physical attraction from our relationship, what would be left?
What is the best way for me to show that I love you?
If I put on weight, will it affect our sexual relationship? How?
Is it important for you to know that I’m a virgin? Why or why not?
What do I do that causes you to question my love?
What turns you off sexually?
How would our relationship be affected if for medical reasons we could not have children?
Do you think being in love means: (1) Never having to say you’re sorry, (2) Always having to say you’re sorry, (3) Knowing when to say you’re sorry, or (4) Being the first to say I’m sorry?
Which childhood experiences influence your behavior and attitude the most?
Could any feelings of affection and romance be revived if you met a previous boyfriend/girlfriend even though you feel strongly committed to me?
Is there anything in your past I should be aware of?
What did you dislike the most about your previous partners?
If your past boyfriends/girlfriends listed your most negative characteristics, what would they be?
Do you keep letters and memorabilia from past relationships? Why or why not?
Are you comfortable continuing this relationship if there are things in my past that I am not willing to share with you?
Have you ever been involved in any criminal activities? What were they?
Did your mother or father abuse each other or you in any way- sexually, emotionally, or physically?
Have you ever been able to overcome a bad habit? What was it?
Have you ever been violent in past relationships?
Have there been times when you were uncomfortable with the way I behaved with the opposite sex? If so, when and what did I do?
What do I do now or what could I do in the future that would make you mistrust me?
Would you be comfortable transferring all your money into my bank account?
Who comes first, your spouse or your children?
Is trust automatic until something occurs that takes it away, or does it evolve over time?
Do you trust me with money?
Is it permissible for us to open each other’s mail?
How are we different? Could this be a source of future conflict? Do our differences complement each other?
Do you anticipate maintaining your single lifestyle after we are married? That is, will you spend just as much time with your friends, family and work colleagues? Why or why not?
How did your family resolve conflicts when you were growing up? Do you approve or disapprove of that method? what will you change or not change to resolve conflicts in your future family?
Is there anything about marriage that frightens you?
Would you prefer to live in the city, the country, or by the beach? Why?
If I wanted to move away from our families for work, would you support me?
How would it affect you if I travel on my own frequently to (1) visit family, (2) earn income, (3) pursue a hobby, or (4) deal with stress?
Suppose we are experiencing trouble in our marriage. In what order will you seek help from the following to resolve our conflicts: (1) divorce lawyer, (2) your parents, (3) a brother or sister (4) a marriage counselor, (5) me, (6) a church leader? Why?
How will you support my hobbies?
How do you feel about having our parents come to live with us if the need arises?
Is there anything you would regret not being able to do or accomplish if you married me?
How will we schedule holidays with our families?
Do you want children?
If we are unable to have children, should we adopt?
Do you anticipate raising our children (1) the same way you were raised (2) completely differently from the way you were raised (3) a mixture of both?
How long would you like to wait before having children?
Other than formal schooling, what types of education will our children get and how will they receive them?
When we have children, who will change the diapers, heat the bottles, prepare the meals, do the housework, bathe the child, get up in the middle of the night when a child is crying, take the child to the doctor, buy clothing, and dress the child?
What types of discipline would you implement to correct a child’s or a teenager’s behavior? Were these practices you experiences or are they new ones you have developed on your own?
If I had bad breath or body odor or wear dirty clothes, will you tell me? Should I tell you? Why or why not? How should we do it?
What is nagging? Do I nag? How does it make you feel?
DO you approve without reservation of the way I dress?
What does my family do that annoys you?
Would it bother you if I made body noises all the time, like passing gas or burping?
Is there anything you do in your line of work that I would disapprove of or that would hurt me?
Do you believe that you should stick with a marriage if you are unhappy all the time?
When do you need space away from me?
Whenever we have difficult feelings about each other, should we (1) remain silent, (2) say something as soon as the difficult feelings arise, (3) wait a certain amount of time before raising the issue, or (4) do something else? If so, what?
If you always say you are going to do something but never do it, what is the most effective way to bring this problem to your attention?
What did you admire about the way your mother and father treated each other?
What is the best way for me to communicate difficult feelings about you so that you are not offended?
Who should know bout the arguments we have?
What makes you not want to talk to me?
Do you feel you could communicate with me under any circumstance and about any subject?
What justifies going into debt?
What are all your current personal debts?
Do you feel stress when facing financial problems? How do you deal with that stress?
How often do you use credit cards, and what do you buy with them?
How should we prepare for a financial emergency?
Do you feel that lack of money is a good reason not to have children?
When our child is born, will he or she go to daycare or will one of us stay home to take care of the child? Who will it be?
Will we have a budget?
Who will pay the bills?
How do you feel about helping me pay my debts?
What are your feelings about saving money?
Do you prefer separate bank accounts or assets in different names? Why?
How would you rank all the priorities in your life: work, school, family, spouse, friends, hobbies, and chuch? Does your ranking reflect the amount of time you spend on each?
Are you closer to your mother or father? Why?
Do you prefer a set daily work schedule or flexible work activities and timetables?
What do you fear?
What influence, if any, do you believe my family should have on our relationship?
Do you believe that our parents should know our financial condition, whether good or bad, just because they want to? How far should this go?
What are your views on pornography?
How would you react if our son or daughter told us they were gay?
Do you harbor any racial prejudice?
How do you feel about having guns in our home?
Is there anyone close to you who feels we should not get married? Why? Should we discuss this?
What health problems do you have?
Have you ever had any psychological problems?
When you are in a bad mood, how should I deal with it?
Do you like pets?