These are certain bare minimum basics that you should know about your bride/groom-to-be. It’s absolutely essential that you are aware of certain things about your mate, to avoid misunderstandings and unexpected surprises.
One of the reasons that people don’t have successful marriages is because they didn’t have lengthy and serious conversations about some really important issues before they got married.
The answers to a few questions can help you confirm that you truly found the right person, or it can let you know that you shouldn’t rush into a commitment, but take more time. Honesty is the real key here, and if you know these things about your mate and vice versa, it can minimize the chances of cold feet on the big day and after that.
Are you a morning person? What about your mate? How much television do they watch? Do they keep a budget, or buy everything on impulse? How much do they work? Their bathroom time, bedtime, and quality alone-time are really important aspects, and you need to know if there is a major conflict with your lifestyle timing. Handling money is also an issue that has to be agreed upon before tying the knot. You also need to discuss who is going to cook and clean.
This may not be as important as everything else but still is an essential factor. Cleanliness is more important to some people than others. Personal care and hygiene is very obviously taken care of during the dating phase, but you need to know how your partner lives. How often does he/she clean the house? What about doing the dishes and vacuuming? People are either messy or tidy. Which one is your partner, and can YOU live with it?
What Gets on Their Nerves?
If you are truly ready to marry someone, this is an easy question to answer. Believe me, if you haven’t gotten on their nerves yet, either they just didn’t tell you, or you will soon find out! No matter how much you love them, we’re sure you can think of something that you don’t particularly like about them, or about anything else. Be honest about it with them, and practice not getting on each other’s nerves as much as you can.
Their Love Language
Gary Chapman authored a great book called The Five Love Languages. Sometimes, people feel most loved when you say heartfelt things to them. Others feel most loved when they get a thoughtful gift. The way a person feels loved is their ‘love language.’ It can be physical touch, quality time, or acts of kindness, as well as encouraging words or gifts. Make sure that you both speak each other’s language so that you can touch each other with the deepest love possible.
What About Children?
Do you want children? How many? Do you and your partner want the same things when it comes to kids? It is also extremely important that you both agree on discipline methods. Raising children should be at least discussed and outlined before you say ‘I do.’
What is their family like? How do they treat their family members, and how does their family treat them? It is not necessarily true that they will treat the new family that you are creating in the same way, but knowing this can help you understand them better. Much of their personality is probably bits and pieces that come from the way they were raised, and how their family acts.
How They Handle Hard Times
Marriage no bed of roses and disagreements are synonymous. Besides minor conflicts sometimes, major problems come up. Financial safety in case of loss of a job, unplanned pregnancy, miscarriages, a death in the family, car accidents, and serious illness are all factors of life that you can’t always predict. Will your partner and you fall apart? Will both of you comfort, encourage, be committed during difficult times?
Moral Standards/Religious Beliefs
Religion can be something that is at the back of a person’s mind or the central focus in their lives. Most people are in the middle of the two extremes. If you have different religious beliefs, how will you raise the children? You don’t necessarily have to agree on every minor moral issue, but you should be able to agree on the ones that you are most passionate about.
Expectations of Marriage
From household chores to chequebook balancing, what does your partner expect you to be responsible for? What do you expect from them? Do you expect gifts and romance all the time, or do you figure that once you are married you’re past all of that? What about the frequency of sex? How does your partner feel about your opinions? Each needs to understand what the other expects from the marriage.
The first thing you should confirm about is their life goals. It is the age-old question that everyone should ask: “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Take it a little further and ask: “Where do you want to be in 20 years?” What are their career goals? Where do they want to live? Are they goal oriented or do they flow through life going wherever the wind takes them? Everyone should have a basic plan and a dream. Find out if that is really what you want to share down the road.