What Saying Yes Means: The Questions All CouplesShould Ask Themselves
When it comes to the decision to get married, many hope to avoid becoming another divorce
statistic. Considering that marriage is one of the biggest choices a couple will make, there is a
lot to consider before tying the knot. How do you and your partner react to stress? Does one of
you have to sleep with the fan on at night? What about having children someday? What about
pets? Do you have any financial goals?
These kinds of questions, even some of the lighter ones, are often viewed as taboo or heavy
topics. However, they are necessary to ask to work out the finer details of your future lives
together. Conflict is a normal part of life. The key to surviving clashes with one another is to talk
about the sensitive and touchy subjects before they become an issue.
If you and your partner are preparing for marriage or just thinking about it, here are a few
important questions to answer before moving onto the "happily ever after" chapter of your lives.
Don’t Pay the Price of Financial Stress
While all relationships are unique with unique situations, humans have been living together for
centuries. Because of this, we have a lot of resources and information that can help couples
navigate a happy and healthy union — if they’re willing. However, even the best therapists,
relationship tools, and advice can’t turn us into mind readers. This is why good communication
is vital to a long-lasting and happy marriage for most couples.
Having communication in your relationship isn’t just about deciding what to have for dinner.
Typically, when you marry someone, you marry the good and the bad — and this can include
things such as bad finances. One prime example is if your partner has bad credit, it can affect
both of you when working towards things such as purchasing a new car or home. While it may
not be the most romantic conversation, for the sake of your future you’ll need to ask some
questions about their financial situation.
One way to start this tough discussion is by asking, gently, how this situation came about. From
there, you can dig deeper into financial habits and whether or not your partner has tangible
goals to correct and improve the situation. The same can be said for gambling addictions and
credit card debt. By having these conversations before marriage, you can assess if your partner
has any intention to change their harmful and even dangerous habits. Finding out your spouse
isn’t receptive to change on issues that are important to you can be enough to make you think
twice about those wedding bells.
Handling Life’s Curveballs
Stress is a natural part of life. Whether it’s work, kids, or school — life will inevitably throw you
into some difficult situations. In many ways, marriage (or any other long-term commitment) is
the beginning of two lives coming together. As the two of you go through life, there are going to
be some ups and downs that can put a strain on your marriage, as well as your own mental,
emotional, and physical health. Without the right coping mechanisms and communication,
stress can cause arguments, resentment, and more.
Stressful moments that can test your marriage aren’t always major disasters like a loss of
unemployment or a death in the family. For example, moving to a new place, deciding where the
in-laws will stay when they visit, or if the family dog should sleep outside or not. While
something like losing a job is certainly stressful for couples, too, it’s easy to look over the
“simpler” moments in life that actually have a lot of room for contempt and stress to bloom.
Both of you should be asking each other and at times, yourselves questions like:
● “When you’re stressed, what can I do to help? Is there anything I shouldn’t do?”
● “What are your fears in life?”
● “How do you handle disappointment?”
● “How do you react when you’re frustrated?”
You can get even more specific with your questions as well, such as:
● “If I shrunk your favorite shirt in the dryer, how would you react?”
● “How would you react if I embarrassed you?”
● “If I didn’t answer my phone the first few times, what would you do?”
Answering these questions can be tricky but they can help us understand our partner better. It
also means we can plan and utilize stress management resources and hopefully, react
differently. Search for stress management guides online before a particular day you know could
holiday conflict. And of course, if you’re able to, visit with a therapist about how to manage
stress within your relationship and outside of it as well.
Leading up to the big day, you and your partner are likely going to be having those typical
wedding day jitters. However, to help stop those jitters from turning into regret or uncertainty,
take the time to sit down and assure yourselves you’re ready to start this new journey together.
Guest Writer: Noah Rue