3 Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Marriage


3 Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Marriage

Marriage is a big step, there are a lot of things to think about before you say “I do.” Not sure where to begin? Here are some questions to ask before marriage. Consider asking these marriage questions before marrying your partner.

When I was a teenager, I learned that three other men, in addition to my dad, had proposed to my mom. She turned them down. At the time, this was a real surprise to me. Multiple marriage proposals brought to mind Scarlett O’Hara flirtatiously holding court on the front porch at Tara – not my straight-ahead mother. I imagined that my dad must have really swept her off her feet.

One day I asked her, “What made you say yes to Dad?” I was expecting a story of head-spinning romance. Instead, she said, “Well, I knew he was someone I could figure things out with.” At the time the answer fell flat. How boring! But now, many years into my own marriage, and having sat court-side to many marriages in my work as a couples therapist, I see that her answer was profound.

Life is essentially one long problem solving exercise, so the person you choose to partner with better be someone who can help you figure things out. Here are three questions to ask yourself before you decide if you want to spent the rest of your life figuring things out with this person.

3 Questions To Ask Before Marriage
3 Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Marriage

3 Questions To Ask Before Marriage

1. Is This Person’s Happiness And Growth As Important To Me As My Own? (And Is The Opposite Also True?)

As much progress as has been made around gender roles and expectations in recent years, it is still true that women are typically socialized to put everyone else’s happiness above their own. At the same time men are taught that as long as they fulfill their role as the provider, everything else will fall into place. The cracks in this particular arrangement often don’t show until years in, with one person seething and the other bewildered. Both feeling like the wronged party because they had held up their part of the bargain.

We are each responsible for our own happiness and growth, both personally and professionally. Blaming your partner that you never reached your potential professionally or had the life you’d hoped for is an excuse. That said, the best partner on the marriage journey is someone who is invested in your success and happiness and you in theirs. This requires a lot more talking and compromise than a marriage following the old gender norms did, but this new paradigm leads to a dynamic, connected and fulfilling relationship.

Related: 10 Upfront Conversations Before Getting Married

2. Do We Share Expectations About What Our Life Together Will Be?

This is an obvious one, but it is shocking how often big issues, often around money, family and sex, are ignored until after life commitments have been made. When we’re first falling in love, we focus and delight in what we have in common. Differences recede into the background and are minimized. Once we get to know each other better, the difference surge forward, demanding to be dealt with.

What do you expect your life and relationship to look like in 5 years? How about 10? If you had envisioned moving closer to family after having kids, but your spouse swears she will die in the city you live in now, what are you going to do about that? Is being in a relationship with this person worth it to you to make this compromise? If so, what are the two of you going to do as a couple to make this work for both of you? What will you get in return? Marriages are built on these agreements. If you and your partner are feeling stuck around these issues, couples counseling can help enormously.

3. Really, Is This Someone I Can Figure Things Out With?

People who scream, throw/break things, hit or push, give the silent treatment, drink too much, withhold love and intimacy if they don’t get what they want, disappear unexpectedly, or break commitments, are not people you can figure things out with. They are people who cannot manage themselves and are not good problem solvers. Often times a partner who engages in this type of behavior is dealing with unresolved trauma, or underlying emotional health issues, and can absolutely change with the right therapy and support. That said, as adults we are responsible for our own behavior, all of it, regardless of our childhoods or past hurts.

Trying to build a life with someone who has not learned to manage and take responsibility for their behavior is like buying a car knowing its brakes only work intermittently. You want a fully functioning car. Marriage to the right person can immeasurably enrich your life. Most of us want to partner up and face life’s challenges with a great person by our side. But if you can’t answer the above questions affirmatively, the institution will feel like an albatross, not a support. Choose wisely.

Related: 30 Characteristics of Happy Couples

We all have relationship questions before marrying the love of our lives. Did you find the right questions to ask before marriage? Share your thoughts.

Written by: Tonya Lester
Originally appeared on: TONYA LESTER, LCSW
Republished with permission
Want more? Check out Tonya's Instagram: @tonyalesterpsychotherapy
questions to ask before marriage pin
3 Questions To Ask Your Partner Before Marriage
  • Lack Of Individuation: From Codependent Chameleon To True Self
  • The Rise in Armchair Psychologists on Social Media
  • 30+ Inspiring Quotes About Forgiveness To Let Go Of The Painful Past
  • When You Are Your Own Abuser: 7 Ugly Signs Of Self Abuse That You Ignore
Up Next

5 Reasons You Are Feeling Unstable After Your Husband Walked Out

Feel Unstable After Husband Walked Out Marriage

It's incredibly painful to find out that the person you planned to spend your life with has decided to walk away. If you feel unstable after your husband walked out on marriage, here are the reasons why and how you should deal with it.

If you are feeling unstable after your husband walked out on you, know that you are not alone! Having someone you love leave you suddenly would rock even the strongest woman’s world.

The end of any relationship is horrible, especially a marriage where finances and children are often involved. And, when a husband walks out, the woman is usually left in the house, with the kids, trying to figure out how to keep life normal while she and her husband figure out next steps.

Up Next

5 Things To Consider Before Marriage If You’re Having Doubts

Things To Consider Before Marriage If You're Having Doubts

When we think about settling down, sometimes, we rush our decisions and don't think about the worst possible outcomes. Here are things to consider before marriage if you are confused.

Having doubts about getting married is common, so don't hold yourself back to consider asking real questions before you tie the knot,

Good for you for looking for things to consider if you are getting married but unsure.

Getting married is easy but staying married is harder and very few people consider this fact before they get married. They are picturing the wedding and the honeymoon and the babies but not what it would truly look like to be married to their person forever.

And, in order to stay married, it’s important to take a good look at those things that are making

Up Next

Why Being Unfaithful to Your Spouse is Being Unfaithful to Your Family

Unfaithful to Spouse Being Unfaithful to Family

Cheating in marriage, also known as infidelity, is the act of being unfaithful to your spouse and failing to uphold your commitment to each other.

Are you being unfaithful to your spouse? Have you crossed a line that you never thought that you would cross and having an affair?

Are you feeling incredibly guilty, knowing that you shouldn’t be doing what you are doing, even though it feels so great in the moment?

Are you devastated that you might hurt your spouse, the parent of your children? I totally get that. No one wants to hurt the person they vowed to love forever or betray what they believe in.

Unfortunately, when a parent has an affair, it is not only the marriage that gets damaged but also the family unit. I know that you don’t think that this

Up Next

Is Your Marriage Doomed After an Affair?

Is Your Marriage Doomed After an Affair

Can a marriage after an affair survive in the long run? Can you save a marriage after an affair or is there any chance of fixing a marriage after an affair? People who have been cheated on have often found themselves asking these questions.

Courtney came to my office after her husband had an affair. She wanted counseling to help her decide whether to forgive or divorce him. She was concerned about her three young children and worried about being able to support herself financially. She’d loved being a stay-at-home mom, and didn’t want to give up time with her children.

She’d heard from a friend that she would be forced to go back to work. Courtney was open to doing some intensive couples therapy to see if the infidelity wounds could be healed, but she wasn’t sure her husband would be willing.

Falling in love and getting married to the person you love, sounds like a dream come true, isn't it? But there is one nightmare that can make that dream a scary one - your mother in law. Although she may not intend to do it, but mother-in-law problems can actually damage your marriage.

When I got engaged, I remember so well when a friend of mine told me that there are many ways that your mother in law can damage your marriage– even if she doesn’t want to. I remember thinking ‘Yeah, sure, but that won’t happen to us.’ Boy, was I wrong.

Mother in laws are not inherently evil and has developed a bad rep. But I know that my mother in law did play a role in the health of my marriage and I wish I had known then what I know now!

Here are 5 ways your mother-in-law can