Thursday, January 24, 2013

Love Lounge: What do you need to know before you get married?

My mom always said that the true test of a relationship is what happens after the wedding -- once all toasts have been made, the cake has been cut and the bridesmaids have scrambled for the bouquet. She maintained that it was the nitty-gritty of life post-honeymoon that helped to define your marriage and your coupledom.

And I agree with her -- almost. Justin Halpern, author of I Suck At Girls, says that there are just some issues you can't put on the back burner until you've settled into married life. He recently outlined eight key questions everyone should ask themselves before walking down the aisle (questions like "How much money do they associate with the phrase "I just treated myself to a little something?" and "How often do they want to see their family?" and "Did they have sex with one of your friends before you started dating?"...). I've paired my questions down to a mere three, but they are nonetheless important ones...

Can I see myself raising kids with this person?
I know, I've said before that I might not ever want children, but it's probably a good idea to at least keep the window of possibility open. Who knows how I'll feel a few years from now, so I'll want someone who will be as equally open to those possibilities too. Someone who loves kids. Someone who is responsible. Someone who cherishes family as much as I do.

Am I doing this because I'm truly in love, or because I feel like I have to?
I'll be the first to admit that I've been in love with the idea of love more than an actual person a time or two. I can only imagine how confusing things must get when you apply those blind folders to marriage. Who wants to be walking around like a zombie bride, merely going through the motions because you think you have to or that you don't have a way out? In love -- and in life, I'm learning -- you can always say "no."

Do we agree on major issues?
The worst thing in the world is spending the rest of your life with someone who differs from you entirely. That's not to say that opposites don't attract, but when it comes to things like money, family values and even life goals, it helps to have someone in your corner.

I even posed this question to several friends, and their answers were pretty revealing and eye-opening...
*Why am I doing this?
*Can I handle dealing with his mother for the rest of my life?
*Will there be further education for either of you?
*Can I live with their political views?
*Do I like this person enough to have them by my side for the rest of my life? (Might sound stupid but I truly believe you have to like someone before you can love them).
*Close friends and family know you best. Discuss your plans with them. Do they approve of thus person you plan to bring into the family?
*Is this person your best friend? A lifetime is a long time.
*Would I enjoy having a son who turned out like a mix of his father and mine?

And someone even suggested playing a strategy game with Monopoly first and talk about kids, life expectations, fears and concerns. I love that idea!
Now it's your turn, friends: What questions went through your mind before you got married? If you're not married, do you have some questions in mind? What's important to you? I'd love to hear! xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]


  1. This is kinda exactly what I needed to read right now. One thing to ask is will your significant other have drive to pull themselves out of stuff situations. Or If they lose their job, will they fight for a new one? Or What religion do you want to raise our future kids?

    I recently asked a friend why she was getting married and she shrugged. She told me she thinks her groom is more excited than she is. I can feel there is something wrong there...She needs to read that book!

    Ergo - Blog

  2. Oh, this was fantastic! I also love that you went out to your family and friends to get some questions too. I would also ask:

    1. Can I travel with this person? Do I feel safe being in foreign places with them and do we have fun?
    2. Do we have some interests that we can share?
    3. Can we openly share our feelings and opinions, and feel encouraged to share more?
    4. Do they encourage me to learn and grow, or do they stay silent?
    5. Do we like each other's friends? (This is a big one for me because none of my friends liked my ex-boyfriend of 5 years. Literally NONE. I wish I had listened to them!)

  3. I got married at 23, about five months after I graduate from college. We've now been married for 10 years, and we have three kids.

    These questions are great, and it's important to ask them, but it's also important to remember that people change and grow in marriage and the things you think now are likely to be different in however many years. Flexibility is important, and a realization that you want to grow together.

  4. When John and I first met, we had absolutely opposing political views and religious beliefs–nothing was more important to me in a long term partner, and I was terrified that I was falling for the wrong guy! In time, John's views shifted, slowly and then strongly, and these days he's more liberal than I am! I can't imagine avoiding those conversations, but as scary as they sometimes were, they were definitely critical to our relationship.

  5. I currently feel that if I married my boyfriend of 6 years, that I would be suffocated by his mother. For me, it's the financial part of the equation I can't handle. He relies on his mum for financial support a lot of the time. I like to keep my money close and save whilst he can earn and spend like there's no tomorrow. His mum expects me to take over from her if and when we marry, but that won't be the case and if she keeps pressurising me into basically handing over my life savings, it will be a dealbraker - no matter how much I love her son. And I really hate that :/

  6. I think it's important to live your own life before you get married & know you can be independent so you don't spend your whole life relying on someone else. That way, if things don't work out, you aren't completely lost. My parents got married when they were in their late 20s. This was smart, because they were there own people before they got together & this only strengthened their relationship. They've been together for over 20 years. I admire them greatly for it.

    Flounces and Hubbub

  7. Within the first year of my marriage (We have been married 14 1/2 yrs now), I had a major health issue. I have to deal with this health issue on a daily basis now. But that can be a testing ground to a relationship. My husband and I had dated for over 4 yrs too before we married. Shortly after my health issue my sister was diagnosed with stage four cancer and given a 10% chance of living. She needed blood transfusions and platelets. I could not do it because of my health but my husband dove head first in and donated directed platelets. My sister always said she felt like having Italian food after she received his platelets (my husband is half Italian). He did this without asking. I have reciprocated in kind in a different manner.
    Will you be able to give your all to the marriage? Will you be there for the person in a time of need?
    My husband lost his father 2 yrs after we married. It was not easy on my husband. My mother-in-law has Parkinson's so there are health issues of the in-laws too that need to be taken into consideration. The last year my mother has had two emergency 14 hour heart surgeries and my father a stroke. My husband and I have been there for the other.

  8. I know that I'm quite young to be thinking about this (I'm 15) but I personally agree. Marriage is a big commitment of love, for eternity. I would love to marry my best friend honestly because of how well we know each other, how we finish each other's sentences and how I trust him with everything. I don't know. We'll see in ten years. But I personally think that if I am going to get married to a guy, we would need to be open with each other about *everything* and share a sense of faith that everything will be alright as long as we both persevere.

  9. I don't know if I'll ever get married, but if I will - there won't be many questions in that point anymore. I want to marry a guy whom I have lived together under same roof for years, who I know like my own pockets. The questions have had answers already in the beginning if the relationship, not at the point if getting married.

    People get married too early, in their 20's. I'm turning 30 this year and still feels early for settling down. What's the hurry?


Your lovely comments make my day so much sweeter! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!


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