23 most important questions you should ask yourself before getting married
1. What are your reasons for getting married?
It’s one of the most important decisions anyone will ever make. Not having the right motive can be fatal. Why do you want to get married? Do you want to get
married for the right reasons and what are the right reasons?
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Reasons and their level of importance can vary from person to person. From being pushed by parents? Traditional expectations, to the ever ticking biological clocks & losing lustre in short term relationships.
There are endless reasons and only you can judge the other person's reasonings against your values.
Give this question around 5 minutes.
2. Ideally when would you like to get married?
This can be a deal breaker. Maybe you want to get married now, and maybe they don’t want to get married for another 5 years. Find this out before spending valuable time asking the other 99 questions. This is something you must be compatible with. I recommend a time frame of 1 to 6 months. This is enough time to make appropriate arrangements for your marriage but not too long as to fall into the dating trap. Remember, I am against dating. Your aim is not to try before you buy; you’re going straight into marriage. Watch out for someone who has reservations, excuses that will prolong things into years. No one is forcing anyone to get married to someone they don’t know yet. But in principle agree that if the marriage meeting process goes well, then they will be able to commit to marriage within the ideal time frame I have stated above. You should have as many marriage meetings as you need. There’s no limit to the number of marriage meetings you can have.
3. Ask about: Previous Marriages and Relationships Find out how many previous relationships the person opposite you has been in. Find out how long they were in these relationships and the reasons they ended. This requires full disclosure so make sure you are honest when you’re asked too. You don’t want any surprises from the past coming back to bite you. Some people aren’t comfortable if the other person has had
too many previous relationships.
Just as some people can’t stick to one career, there are
others who can’t stick to one relationship. Are you
comfortable being the next in line, the next victim?
Remember, we are here not for a short stint, but for the
definite long haul.
Perhaps the reason they broke up is a reason why you might
also break up in the future.
● What is the longest relationship you have ever had?
● What lessons did you learn from previous
4. What Amount of Interaction is Acceptable With Past
If the person opposite you has been in a previous
relationship it is important to find out how involved they
were and determine how comfortable you are with this.
Maybe they were just dating, perhaps they were married,
and maybe they now have kids also to look after. Only you
know what you’re comfortable with. Remember, full
disclosure here. You must be honest with them also.
Think about the following...
● What if they had children together?
● What if it was parents evening at school or parents
and children activity day?
● How should they interact with each other during the
time they get to see their children?
● Should they be allowed to exchange jokes? Make
each other laugh?
Talk about your true feelings and discuss boundaries NOW.
5. Do you want children? If yes, how many?
I know it may sound like you are jumping into this question
too quickly but it’s going to come up at some point so it’s
important to get it over and done with.
It is no good if you want children within the next year and
they don’t want children for another five. Maybe they aren’t
even sure if they want children at all. Are you okay with this?
You both need to be honest. Some, perhaps for medical
reasons, are not able to have children. Possibly, you yourself,
aren’t able to sire children and if you know this for a fact, you
need to inform them right away.
It could be you already have children and/or they already
have children. So in this case are you prepared to take on this
responsibility. Be honest with yourself, there is no shame in
not wanting to bring up another person's child. It is a huge
responsibility so you must be fully willing and able.
6. When do you want to have children?
People live in different ways, different lifestyles, have
different goals and aims in life. Somebody may want to start
a family immediately after getting married. Maybe because
their biological clock is ticking fast and they’re pressed for
You, on the other hand, might be planning on waiting for
four or five years. So this question is very critical. There might
be an age gap between you and your potential partner.
Perhaps they had a previous family and they are adults now.
It is important to enquire if they are willing to go through the
whole experience again.
Can they take the early mornings and the sleepless nights
again? Some may not want to take a break from their careers
since a newborn may hinder their progress.
So discuss this before wasting each other’s time in something
7. Let's talk birth control.
It may seem uncomfortable to discuss now and you may
want to revisit this question later. But when you’re in a
marriage this is very important and can have implications you
may not be prepared for.
Discuss the following:
● Would we be practicing birth control?
● If so, for how long?
● Who will be responsible for birth control?
● What would we do if there were an unplanned
● Would you ever consider getting a male/female
● What will be the method of birth control?
What if one won’t practice birth control, for religious or
medical reasons. What if your partner won’t be intimate with
you unless there is a form of birth control in place, but you
refuse any type of birth control. Can you deal with this?
8. Talk about raising children.
In some cultures it might be a given that the mother will take
the lead in raising and nurturing the children and the father
will be the provider & disciplinarian.
For some it is a big deal to know what exact role they will
play and what is expected of them. Some fathers are hands
on whilst others may see it demeaning. Attitudes vary
according to cultures and their own upbringing.
If it is important to you who changes the nappies and helps
with the homework etc. Now is your opportunity to speak or
forever hold your peace.
9. How will you be disciplining the children?
It has been proven again and again that disciplining children
is really important for their successful upbringing.
I want you to discuss, who is more comfortable in taking the
lead and for the other partner to support the decisions
Also important is to discuss and agree on how the children
will be disciplined. Do you believe in spanking children?
Putting children in time-out? Standing them in the corner or
Taking away privileges, etc.
10. What religion will our children follow?
Only applicable if you both subscribe to different religions
and plan on having children. I need you to assess and discuss;
● How your religious beliefs affect your family?
● Whose religion are the children going to follow?
● Are they going to have a bit of both faiths?
● What if by doing so there’s a conflict in belief
In the case of a Hindu and a Muslim, there definitely is a
conflict in beliefs since one follows a multitude of Gods while
the other only one God; one follows idols, the other
something that you can’t physically touch or feel the
Such situations are not ideal; what kind of family is divided
on religious basis? If following your religion is important to
you, I would highly recommend you don’t take chances with
this or you will regret later.
11. Would you feel unfulfilled if you were unable to have
About 6-10% of the world, depending on region cannot
become parents due to infertility.
It is very important that you both discuss this unfortunate
situation as a team. Ensure your expectations and action
plans are known to each other. A lot of marriages die a lonely
lingering death because no one want to sit down and tackle
this heartbreaking situation head on.
● How would you react?
● Would the relationship end?
● Would you seek medical help?
● Would you consider polygamy?
● Would you consider adopting?
12. How would you react if you had a seriously ill or
Disability is a fact of life which I wish upon no one. Being a
parent of a disabled child can be really stressful especially
when one feels like they are the only one taking care of the
Below are some of the questions you should definitely ask
and talk about:
● What would you do if you found out during early
stages of pregnancy?
● What is your view of abortion?
● Should a husband have an equal say in whether his
wife has an abortion?
● Have you ever had an abortion?
● God forbid you had a disabled child, would one
parent leave employment to take care of the child?
● Would you be accepting of outsourcing care to a
specialist centre or facility?
13. Do you have any existing children?
I want you to talk about the situation at hand openly without
the fear of being labeled as a monster or fiend of a kind.
If either of you are bringing children into the relationship.
The following questions need to be addressed for the well
being of the relationship and children. Remember they will
also become stakeholders in this relationship and might have
a lot of mistrust/broken family issues etc. All they want is
love and stability.
● How old are they?
● Whom do they live with?
● How often do you see them?
● How come you are no longer with their
● What is your relationship with them?
● How do you see your relationship with them in the
● Do you pay alimony or child support?
● Have you ever failed to pay child support? If so, why?
● Do any of the children have special needs?
14. How we’ll manage relationship with children from a
If either of you have children already whether biological or
otherwise. You need to get each others opinion and thoughts
about the situation.
Raising a child who’s not your own flesh and blood can be a
challenge and it is of utmost importance that you discuss this
in great detail.
Points to discuss:
● How do the children feel about this relationship?
● Will your partner treat them as their own?
● Will your partner be able to create a bond?
● If both of you have children, can they get along?
● What are the logistics of these children, remember
they need to be housed, fed, clothed, educated etc.
● Should only birth parents be in charge of making
decisions for their own children?
● What authority do step-parents have over your
15. How do you spend your free time?
I encourage you to expand upon this question. The more you
talk, the more you will learn. It could be that you don’t agree
with the other person’s hobbies or vice versa, or maybe you
will find the person’s passion for something an attractive
quality and make you like them.
If you share the same hobbies then it will help in spicing up
your marriage. If not, you’ll definitely need to give each other
some time. Hobbies are meant to help people relax. Some go
to the gym, some take piano lessons, whilst others choose to
spend time with their friends, etc.
Also be sure to confirm if you and your partner would wish to
be together during your spare time. Sometimes people like to
be alone or with their friends and this isn't always a bad
thing, but if you aren’t in agreement this will cause doubt
and conflict within your marriage.
Points to ponder:
● Do you share the same interests?
● Will you still be able to continue with your hobby
● Will their hobby affect the family's finances?
16. Do you believe in any of the following?
● Fortune Tellers
● Spiritual Healing
● Life after death
● End of the world planning
As funny as this sounds, imagine if you consider everything to
be going well and get married without asking this question.
Then one day your partner turns around and claims to have
been abducted by aliens or is preparing a doomsday bunker
in the back garden? Would this be a deal breaker?
People have very different views regarding ghosts, mediums
and psychics etc. To the point where they can offend or get
offended by others who disagree with them. It’s best to
know the answers to this now just on the chance that it may
cause a crack down the road in your marriage.
17. Do you have any long term goals or ambitions?
Many of us have life goals or ambitions and they can often
play a significant role in a person's life. At times, we need
people’s support and encouragement to keep reaching for
something better. It’s really depressing if your spouse
doesn’t believe in your dreams and ambitions.
Talk about each other's goals and ambitions in depth. What
are they and why do you have them. Can you be your
spouse’s number one fan? If you support them in whatever
they do you’ll get immense love in return.
18. Do you like travelling?
People travel for many different reasons and there are many
types of traveling to consider. Some people take up seasonal
contracts abroad, and others take frequent short inter-city
trips. Maybe you love package holidays, or maybe you hate
them. So this is a valid question to find out each others
● How often do you both travel out of the country?
● How are finances affected by travelling?
● Have you both considered your family life? Especially
if you’re away often.
● What is your motivation for traveling? Leisure,
Exploration, Work, Education, etc.
● If you don’t like travelling would you mind if your
partner does it alone?
19. Where have you travelled & Why?
Get to know of the travel experiences your partner has been
through and talk about yours also. When traveling to a new
place there are unique experiences that one gets and this
sometimes can change a person.
Find out what type of traveller the person is. Did they go just
to party? Was it a lads’ weekend away? Maybe it was a
cultural exploration. You can find a lot about a person's
character by simply talking about where someone has been
and their reasons for going.
Try to ask each other the following:
● Where did you travel, with whom and why?
● Would you travel back to where you have been and
● What did you learn from it? Did it change you as a
20. Talk about your education?
With this question you want to find out about each other’s
education level and your attitudes towards different types of
education. Find out if they were home schooled or if they
went to a public or private school and how that moulded
them into the person they are today.
People’s opinions on education can differ hugely so talk
about your own views and debate. Think to yourself if you
can accept the other person’s outlook even if it differs from
Try talk about
● What is your current education level?
● Do you plan any further education?
● If you do how much time and resources will this take
up and will it cause a problem in your marriage?
● How do you feel about your education and that of
the person opposite you?
● Do you agree with each other’s view on education?
● What priority is education is your life?
● How would you educate your children? And to what
level. Public or private school etc.
21. Are you an academic or a practical person?
The main difference between an academic and a practical
person is their approach to life.
The academic takes on a more theoretical way of handling
situations whilst a practical person tends to take on a more
hands on approach.
So think about what type of person you are.
Differences between you both isn't necessarily a bad thing
but be aware of it. Someone who is practical is more likely to
be okay with a similar practical person than an academic,
similarly, someone academic may prefer another academic.
Talk it out and judge this question's importance to you. How
will your differences affect the relationship?
22. What core characteristics are important to you in a
spouse? What are you looking for?
Choosing a life partner is the most important decision you
will ever make and you have to find a person whom you can
put up with and who, more importantly, can put up with you.
This question is important because you get to know your own
expectations and also share them with your potential life
Considering the many things people look for in a partner,
different people will have a different idea of what’s
important. Some may be drawn to physical characteristics,
while for others it may boil down to more specific traits like
honesty, openness, supportiveness, creativity etc.
It is worth thinking about
● The type of spouse you want? A housewife? A
househusband? A go getter… etc.
● Should the husband be a manly man? The wife a girl
Everyone should be happy being who they are but you must
be suitable for each other. And of course don’t forget to talk
about what compromises are you each willing to make fore ach other. This is important.
That said, don’t agree to make too many compromises as character based changes are often ingrained into us so deeply that most people rather forgo the relationship than to change character, so don’t fool yourself.
23. What is unacceptable from a spouse?
This question is meant to establish the ultimate deal breakers in your marriage. It will provide a basis on which you and your partner can identify possible problems that may lead to breakdowns in your marriage. It is very important to find out red flags and if possible, solutions to them.
In this discussion talk about:
● If they have had any addictions - gambling or
● What has made other relationships fail.
● Boundaries with people of the opposite sex. What is
acceptable. What isn't.
● What is considered as betrayal.
It is worth going into detail, as what you may find
insignificant others may hold a lot of value to. For example, is
what you are wearing acceptable to your spouse? (more
detail in q25) What about the relationship between friends,
do you consider it too intense or flirtatious? Work out any
issues now before you become invested in a relationship that
isn’t making you happy.