No matter whose statistics you use, the odds of success in marriage aren’t great. However, there are ways to put the odds in your favor, and one way is by knowing your partner as well as possible beforehand. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Consider discussing these topics while you’re still getting to know each other:
- Children. Do you both want kids? How many? Are you willing to adopt if necessary? Do you prefer to adopt?
– Who is going to take care of the kids? Will one of you stay home and not work? What if the one of you that wants to stay home has a significantly higher salary than the other?
– Will you get a nanny? Use daycare?
– Public school? Private? Will you home-school your children?
– Will you be strict in how you raise your children? What are your feelings about discipline?
- Finances. How much will you save? Is one of you a big spender? Are you both on the same general page when it comes to handling money?
– Do you or your partner have a lot of debt? Will that person handle that debt themselves, or do they want, need, or expect help with it?
– How will the bills be split? 50-50? Or will the bigger earner pay more of the bills?
- Long-term goals and plans. Do you want to live in the country, have five kids, and be a homesteader? Does your future spouse want to live in the city and go out to a fancy dinner every night at 9PM?
– Do you want the same things and the same lifestyle?
- Religion. Do your religious beliefs mesh? Can you find middle ground that works for both of you? Will you alternate churches each week? Will you find a church that works for both of you? Does one of you hate going to church? How will you handle that?
- Responsibilities. Will one of you take care of the house while the other does the outdoor chores? Will you split all the work right down the middle? Is one of you going to have a job while the other stays home?
- Space. Do you want to play poker twice a week without your spouse? Do you and your best friend go to the movies every Saturday afternoon? How much space do each of you want and need?
- Secrets. It’s better to get all the secrets out prior to getting married. Here are a few possibilities.
– Bankruptcies, huge debts, wage garnishments, and legal actions related to financial issues.
– Criminal legal troubles. Stalking, murder, drunk driving, child abuse, and any other legal issue that would give you or your partner concern.
– Negative habits. Drug addiction, gambling, excessive use of porn, excessive spending, and so on.
– Past pregnancies. An uncle in the mob. Alien abduction. And anything else you think your partner might want or need to know about.
- Sexual compatibility. Are your libidos on the same level? If not, how will you compromise? Is one of you more interested in activities that are more plain vanilla and the other likes to get crazy?
- Ask a lot of questions. You learn a lot by asking questions. Ask your partner every question you can think of. Here are a few interesting examples.
– What would you do if you found a stray puppy at the front door?
– What would you do if you found a bag of money in the woods?
– Would you commit a crime if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?
– Would you ever have sex with two or more people at the same time?
– Would you rather be a lion or an eagle? Why?
– What historical person do you most admire? Why?
How well do you know your partner? Not as well as you could, unless you’ve put a lot of effort into it.
It’s great to be excited about the future, but not at the expense of being well-informed. Learn everything you need to know about your partner before getting married. You’ll be glad you did!