Why fret about things to discuss before marriage when you’ve found the one? Doesn’t it make a relationship transactional? When you love someone, can’t you find ways to make a relationship work?
All of these questions and concerns are both natural and valid. Dulling the exciting of a new beginning with an elaborate QnA session may well be the last thing on your mind. But it bodes well for your future to know what to discuss before getting married.
Here’s why: Falling in love is easy, staying in love takes hard work and commitment. Of course, marriage is the biggest seal of commitment you can put on a relationship. But tying the knot isn’t enough to guarantee a happily-ever-after. You need to be sure that you and your spouse-to-be share the same values and belief and are on the same page about what your future looks like.
You may not agree on 100 percent of things. These discussions can help ascertain to what extent you’re both willing to adjust and compromise. When life throws its many curveballs at you, the clarity about each other’s ideas, hopes, values and dreams might well prove to be a savior for your relationship.
50 Things To Discuss Before Marriage
So, what are some things couples should talk about before getting married? These discussions extend beyond topics such as children, conflict resolution, family and setting up a home.
Here are 50 suggestions for things to discuss before marriage to steer your pre-marital conversations in the right direction:
Talk about finances
Financial infidelity can deal as serious a blow to your marriage as physical or emotional cheating. That’s why clearing the air on the division of assets and liabilities, savings, investment, spending, splitting finances and the like becomes imperative before starting a new life with your partners.
Here are some financial things to be discussed before marriage:
1. Do you believe both partners should share expenses?
When it comes to financial things to discuss before marriage, this should be addressed first and foremost. It helps in determining what your financial planning will look like. Also, helps in ensuring that the entire burden on running a household will not fall on one person.
2. Can you live on a shoe-string budget?
Is your prospective life partner high maintenance or are they flexible enough to adjust as per the circumstances? You need to find out because you can never be sure what turn life may take. God forbid, if you end up in financial distress, the ability to adjust and cope is what will see your marriage through it.
3. Do you have any debts?
This is yet another crucial discussion to have before marriage as it gives you a reality check on the financial health of a potential life partner. When discussing debts, you must also clarify how these debts will be settled post-marriage. Will your individual debts become a shared liability?
Or would you each continue to pay them on your own? In either of these scenarios, how would these payments affect your savings and investment plans? Without a doubt, a talk before marriage after engagement on the topic is warranted.
Related Reading: Does it help to talk about mutual finances before marriage?
4. What is your take on savings?
Savings are an important aspect of adult life. It is what saves you from financial stress and sees you through tough times. So, add it to your list of financial things to discuss before marriage to understand how you’d save money as a couple.
Will you prefer joint savings or building your assets individually? If you do decide to club your savings and investments, how will the returns be divided? Will both partners have an equal say in how these savings are used?
When you’re planning to get married, discussing your financial future as a couple becomes a necessity, no matter how awkward these conversations may seem.
5. How will we handle mortgages, credit cards and other financial liabilities?
Another critical aspect to discuss is financial liabilities. What kind of mortgage do you think you will be able to afford? How will it be paid? Would you split the monthly repayments? Or will one spouse take care of it while the other shoulder remaining expenditures? If so, will that impact the ownership of the house?
Likewise, how will credit card bills be handled? Will you put a limit on monthly spending? How much debt can you incur without your finances spiraling out of control?
If your views of these issues match, it can become a sore point in your relationship.
Discussion about children
A discussion about marriage cannot be complete without touching upon the topic of children. You have to be sure that you both are on the same page on this matter or at least have the will to find common ground before tying the knot.
Here are some crucial questions about children that cannot be left out:
6. Do you want to have children?
You cannot presume that your potential life partner will want to have children. That’s why it becomes one of the most crucial things to be discussed before marriage.
Does your partner see themselves as becoming a parent at some point or would they rather be childfree? Diverse views on the issue of children can become a contentious issue. Make sure you are on the same page or willing to adjust to accommodate the other person’s view.
7. If yes, how many? And How would the kids be raised with both parents pursuing their careers?
Do they want one child or two? Or do they want a big family? Or are they flexible about it? You must include this in the list of questions about marriage and family to ask your partner to avoid mismatched expectations in the future.
At the same time, it’s important to discuss how these kids will be raised. And how parenting duties will be divided. Does your partner believe that at least one of the parents should stay home to raise the kids?
Or are they okay with daycare? If not, are they willing to put their career on hold to care for the children? Or will that responsibility fall on you? What do you feel about that possibility?
8. Are you willing to undergo treatment to have kids?
With infertility becoming more and more commonplace, it’s vital to address this issue upfront. Do you and your partner want children at any cost or is your approach more on the lines of ‘if it happens, it happens’?
If having children is an important life goal for you, you cannot let this question slide. What if your partner doesn’t want to go to such great lengths to become a parent?
If your heart really desires it, not being able to become a parent can leave you grappling with feelings of inadequacy. This can lead to resentment in the marriage over time.
Related Reading: 20 Questions To Ask Your Partner To Build Emotional Intimacy
9. What about adoption?
Giving a child in need a new lease on life is noble and admirable. But it is also a bigger responsibility than raising your own kids. Is your partner open to this possibility? Are you?
10. Do you expect to raise children as per your beliefs?
This is an especially important conversation in case of a cross-cultural match. As well as in cases where both partners have diverging beliefs and religious views. If you’re an atheist or agnostic and the other person devout, deciding what values to inculcate in your children can be tricky.
Talk about the role of the extended family
The extended family is another one of the things couples should talk about but most don’t. When you tie the knot, you automatically become linked to your spouse’s family and vice-versa. These relationships are often tricky and it takes a great deal of effort and patience from both sides to make it work.
Setting expectations realistically beforehand can make the process a lot simpler. Some of the key questions about parents, extended family and their involvement in your life include:
11. How involved would our families be in our marriage?
Yet another one of the essential questions about marriage and family to ask a prospective life partner. Will your partner share every little detail about your relationship with their mother or siblings? How do they feel about you doing the same?
12. How often would we see our families?
When talking about the involvement of your families in your married life, do ask about the frequency at which you’d both like to see them. How often would they visit? What is the appropriate duration of the stay?
13. What about special occasions and holidays?
Would you be expected to spend holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas with family? Yours or theirs? Can both families get together on such occasions? Or can you both spend them with your respective families? Perhaps, you can mix it up and spend some holidays with one set of the family, some with the other and a few on your own.
There is no right or wrong approach to this. What’s important is that you can devise a system that works best for you as a couple. That’s why it is among the things couples should talk about. After all, you don’t want to spend your holidays and festivals bickering and arguing.
14. Is it okay to discuss relationship problems with the family?
This becomes one of the most crucial things to be discussed before marriage to make sure neither of you will be airing dirty linen in the public. While there are certain exceptional circumstances when family intervention can save a marriage, not every argument, fight or disagreement needs to be discussed with one’s mother or siblings.
15. Which of your beliefs were inculcated during your childhood?
The belief system we imbibe in our formative years is often the strongest. If you want to understand the inner working of your partner’s family without being upfront about it, asking this question can help you gain a lot of insight.
Related Reading: 10 Family Values That Help You Forever In Life
Questions about sex and intimacy
Sexual compatibility and intimacy are key components of a functional and healthy marriage. A mismatch on this front can lead to frustration, detachment and even expose your marriage to the risk of infidelity.
A discussion about marriage is incomplete without these intimate questions:
16. How would you describe a healthy sex life?
Sexual intimacy is going to play an important part in your relationship dynamics. You can’t keep sex off-limits from the marriage topics for discussion. Talk about sexual expectations, the extent of experimentation in beb and how much action is good enough for you both.d
17. What if our sex drives don’t match?
Mismatched sex drives between partners are commonplace. Biological changes, the stress of professional and personal demands, and myriad other factors can take a toll on one’s libido.
These phases of low sex drive can affect both partners at different times. This can mean long dry spells sexually. Will this lead to tension in your marriage? Or can you both handle a sexless marriage tactfully? These eventualities must be addressed before you walk down the aisle.
18. How open are you to experimenting in bed?
If a person who is uncomfortable with getting intimate unless the room is pitch dark ends up with someone with a penchant for BDSM, it’d undoubtedly spell doom for the couple’s sexual compatibility. Doesn’t hurt to have an honest conversation about sexual preferences and expectations beforehand.
While you’re on the topic of experimenting in bed, ask whether your partner has ever tried a threesome. This is definitely what you should know about your partner before getting married. Have they had such unusual sexual encounters? Do they wish to indulge in it again? Will you be expected to participate? How do you feel about it?
19. Have you ever paid for sex?
It can be one of the most awkward conversations to have with a potential life partner. For the sake of honesty and transparency, you must ask and find out. The future of your relationship can ride on their answer. If they are honest and say yes, and you are not okay with that choice, you both have some serious introspection to do.
20. Do you have a history of STDs?
Among the things couples should talk about before getting married, transparency about sexual health is paramount. By concealing such information, a partner can expose the other to risks of STDs that can have life-altering consequences.
Discussion about personal life
Marriage means sharing a life with someone and getting to know them on the most intimate level. It’s only fair that personal life, habits and preferences are included in the things to be discussed before marriage.
Here are some serious and fun questions for engaged couples you can delve into:
21. How important is personal space for you?
A lot of people thrive on personal space. They need that little ‘me time’ and ‘me space’ to unwind and rejuvenate.
A space in a relationship or marriage isn’t a bad thing or an ominous sign. But it’s important that both partners on the same page. You must discuss where you both stand on this, and how much is good enough.
22. Do you suffer from any medical condition?
Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease – medical conditions such as these can significantly impact the lifestyles of the patients and their families. It’s best to clear the air about this rather delicate topic so that you know what you’re signing up for.
23. Is there an ex you’re in touch with?
If your partner has one foot in the past, you cannot possibly build a holistic future with them. So when you consider what to discuss before getting married, factor this in.
If your partner answers this question in the affirmative, ask them how would they feel if the equation was reversed. Would they be comfortable if you were friends with an ex?
Also, be honest about whether you are friends with an ex? If so, how important is that friendship to you? What is your partner’s take on it? Discuss it openly to prevent it from becoming an issue in your marriage later on.
24. Have you ever been verbally or physically abusive?
Abuse in any form is unacceptable in a relationship. Your partner may or may not be comfortable with this question, but it’s still a good idea to bring it up to assess if they have a temper.
If the person gets squeamish or agitated by your question, it is a red flag.
25. What are your political views?
If one of you is a right-winger and the other a leftist, battlelines can get drawn on the home turf quickly. Politics may not exactly be a romantic topic but you’ve to cover as much ground as possible to eliminate unpleasantness from your married life.
Related Reading: 36 Relationship Building Questions To Ask Your Partner
Talk about future plans
Since your futures will become aligned, it’s only fair that discussion about marriage touched upon your individual visions for the future. Include these questions in the things to be discussed before marriage for greater clarity on what your life together will look like:
26. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This may sound like a question out of a job interview but if you give it some thought, you’d see why this is among the crucial things couples should talk about before tying the knot. Your visions for the future have to align on some plane for you to be able to build a life together.
This question will give a clear view of whether or not that’s the case in your relationship.
27. Will you quit a secure job to follow your passion?
When you’re planning to get married, the matter of financial security cannot be taken lightly. Asking this question will allow you to understand whether your potential spouse likes to stick to a plan or are they driven by whims and impulses.
In case of the latter, you need figure out how such an eventuality will impact your life and if you’re prepared to deal with the pressures and stresses it may bring in its wake.
28. What is your retirement plan?
Marriage topics for discussion should include such distant eventualities too. Yes, their – or your – plans may change over time, but it will give you an insight into the person’s vision for life.
29. What kind of life do want post-retirement?
Will you both just lounge about your home? Do they want to pursue a hobby or a passion? Or would they like to work for a social cause? It’s nice to talk about what your golden years will look like.
30. What is your idea of a perfect home?
This is one of the essential discussions to have before marriage, as it will impact your immediate future. What if you want to live in the quiet suburbs and them in an apartment right in the heart of a bustling city like New York? If your choices are poles apart, it can lead to arguments, discord and disappointment.
Related Reading: 100 Questions To Ask Your Boyfriend
Talk about resolving conflicts in marriage
No marriage, no matter how perfect, is immune to a few bumps and rough patches along the way. When your relationship hits rocky waters, how you pull through determines the odds of making it through.
Topics such as divorce, separation or rules of fighting may not make for fun questions for engaged couples but addressing them is necessary:
31. How do you think a couple should resolve conflicts?
Some people want to avoid confrontation at all costs. Others lean in favor of honest and straightforward communication to address issues. Where does your partner fall on this spectrum?
32. Get divorced or stay in an unhappy marriage?
Yes, yes, we agree, talking about divorce even before starting your life together sounds both anticlimactic and ominous. But a potential life partner’s views of divorce, and what their reasons for ending a marriage could be, are among the important things to discuss before marriage.
33. What about alimony and child support?
Among the legal things to know before getting married, this is without a doubt the most crucial. Knowing where the other person stands on these issues can help you determine how ugly or smooth divorce is likely to be if it comes to pass.
Related Reading: Is premarital counselling necessary for both men and women?
34. Do you think prenups are necessary?
When you think of legal things to know before getting married, a discussion on prenuptial agreements simply cannot be left out. Primarily because it can often prove to be a touchy topic. You must find out if your partner thinks it is a necessity.
If yes, do you feel the same way? If not, can you find a way to agree on the issue?
35. Would you be open to seeking counselling?
Marriage counseling or couple’s therapy can mean the difference between a relationship surviving a rough patch or crashing like a house of cards. However, some people are rigidly opposed to the concept of counseling. That’s why you should add a serious discussion on the topic to your list of things to discuss before marriage.
Views on infidelity
In a monogamous relationship, crossing the lines of faithfulness can prove near-fatal. Even if a couple decides to stay together, total reconciliation after an incident of cheating is rarely possible.
A discussion about marriage, faithfulness and infidelity can help you establish boundaries clearly and concisely:
36. What are your views on infidelity?
When it comes to things to discuss before marriage, infidelity simply cannot be left out. How seriously does the person view a breach of faith? This can help determine if your marriage will be safe from the risk of transgressions. If at all such a thing comes to pass, will it threaten your marriage or can you find a way to forgive and stay together?
37. What, according to you, constitutes as cheating?
The idea of what amounts to cheating can be different for different people. For some, emotional infidelity may be an act of cheating. For others, cheating maybe when you cross the line of sexual fidelity. So, discuss and find out where do you both draw the line.
Related Reading: 10 Questions Every Girl Should Ask A Boy Before An Arranged Marriage
38. Have you ever cheated in a relationship?
It may sound like one of the weird things to discuss before marriage. But if your partner has cheated in the past, it can be a red flag about their commitment to monogamous relationships.
39. Have you ever been cheated on?
Being cheated on can be a scarring experience. One that can cause a person to develop trust issues or an inability to commit to future relationships fully. That’s exactly why you must bring up this rather tricky topic in premarital discussions.
40. What are your views on open marriage?
While you’re on the topic of discussing boundaries in a marriage, it can’t hurt to inquire if your partner has ever considered the idea of an open marriage. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, it’ll give you a chance to rethink your decision.
Open up about professional dreams and aspirations
Professional aspirations and dreams are definitely among the things couples should talk about. While professional decisions are considered personal prerogative, once you’re married, these decisions have a bearing on the spouse’s life too.
Being stuck with a workaholic, for instance, can make personal life unfulfilling. Similarly, unmet expectations and aspirations can make a person bitter, and this bitterness inevitably spills you’re your personal life too.
Here are some work-related questions that you must address when planning to get married:
41. How important is your job for you?
What you should know about your partner before getting married? Well, knowing how committed they are to their career makes the cut. Are they just keeping a job to pay the bills or pursuing a career they are passionate about? This can be a determining factor for a lot of your life decision, so it’s important to talk about it.
42. What is your dream job?
This may seem like a casual thing to discuss before marriage but it can shed a lot of light on what your future with this person may look like. And also, if your futures will align.
43. Would you describe yourself as a workaholic?
It is among the important things to know before marriage. Can someone married to their career make room for a relationship in their life? You need to think this over to rule out being lonely in marriage later.
44. Has your work interfered with your past relationships?
If a person has been unable to sustain a long-term relationship because of their commitment to their career or their work has been a factor in a serious relationship not working out, it says a lot about the quality of life you can expect in your marriage.
45. If you’ve to move for a job, would you expect me to relocate?
Uprooting your entire life just to be next to your spouse isn’t easy. If a person is not ready for such a transition, it can lead to resentment in a marriage. On the other side, a long-distance marriage can take a toll on your bond. These are the things couples should talk about before getting married to avoid surprises later.
When discussing the expectations around relocating for professional pursuits, do ask: if the situation was reversed, would you move with me? A person’s response to this question can speak volumes about their take on marriage being a partnership of equals.
Discuss handling the marriage
Unlike a romantic relationship, a marriage is not a bed of roses. It marks a departure from days of heady romance to a more settled and rhythmic pace of life. Routines, chores, errands, balancing social, personal and professional obligations are the dominating theme of day-to-day married life.
Your bond as a couple definitely plays a part in helping you sustain your relationship through it all. But an understanding of how to handle these mundane realities is also equally important. You can develop that understanding with a detailed discussion about marriage and handling of responsibilities:
46. How involved will you be in setting up a home?
Is your partner someone who’d want to take charge of certain aspects of doing up a home? Would they like you to take all decisions big and small together? Or would they much rather leave it you to take care of it all?
47. What’s your take on splitting household chores?
What you should know about your partner before getting married? Definitely this! You don’t want to end up with a lazy husband or wife who’d just sit on a couch while you go about cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and so much more.
48. Would you ever consider taking a time-out in marriage?
If your marriage hits troubled waters, will your partner stay by your side and fight or the relationship? Or would they just up and vanish to focus on their own well-being?
49. What is one of us loses our job?
Will your future life partner support you if you lost your job? Would losing theirs affect their sense of self-worth and self-esteem? Is this an eventuality you should factor in in your financial plan as a couple? It’s among the important things to be discussed before marriage.
50. Would you honor the ‘in sickness and in health’ vow?
Loving and cherishing someone in sickness and in health is easier said than done. A prolonged illness or living with a terminally ill partner can take a toll on even the strongest of marriages. A frank and honest conversation on what the expectations and responsibilities would be, should such a situation arise, is certainly one of the things couples should talk about before walking down the aisle.
An elaborate and honest conversation around these things to discuss before marriage can give you a clear idea about what your life together will look like. As well as help you decide whether you’re a good match for each other. If you feel hesitant in bringing up these questions on your own or don’t know how to broach some of these delicate topics, you can consider pre-marital counseling.
The measure of the most important things in a marriage can vary from couple to couple. By and large, love, respect and trust are the cornerstones of a wholesome and healthy marriage.
Married couples who can forge a true partnership based on mutual respect, friendship and love are the happiest. In such marriages, both partners have the freedom to pursue their individual goals and passion yet find common ground to grow as a couple
Questions about finances, family, children, personal life and professional goals, sex and intimacy, conflict resolution and handling the day-to-day goings-on of married life must be asked before tying the knot.
If the idea of marrying that person fills you up with hope and happiness rather than dread and apprehensions, you know that they are the right fit for you. Even so, if you’re not sure or have some lingering doubts, pre-martial counseling can be extremely helpful.