Huffington Post – 7 Crucial Questions To Ask Yourself (And Your S.O.) Before Marrying
Couples thinking about marriage can often feel unsure about how to know if their relationship is strong enough to withstand the test of marriage. Knowing what to ask each other can be an important step in sorting through whether you are truly, long-lastingly compatible. Huffington Post asked me to weigh in on the big conversations and crucial questions to ask before marriage in order to avoid problems later on and divorce. I was pleased to share three of my favorites: family expectations, money, and energy.
To read the full article on Huffington Post, CLICK HERE.
Do I want to have kids and if so, at what point in my life?
Maybe you’re so excited to have kids, you’ve already figured out what schools you want to send them to — or maybe your feelings are more along the lines of, “thanks but no thanks.” Whatever the case may be, don’t wait until after you’re super committed to tell your partner, said Alicia H. Clark, a psychologist based in Washington, D.C.
“While your feelings can change over time, people’s expectations about family are generally deeply held and stable,” she said. “Discussing expectations about family really is a discussion of values, and marriages are most successful when partners share similar values.”
What’s my approach to personal finances?
No issue is as potentially problematic as having different approaches to spending. That’s why it’s essential to have ongoing, completely open conversations about money, Clark said: how you value money, how you spend it and to what extent you want to combine your finances. (Shared bank accounts aren’t for everyone.)
“While it is unlikely that you will agree on every aspect of money, it is really helpful to be able to discuss what can be a tricky, conflicting topic,” she said. “Like with the family discussion, money taps our values and how we think about and use money will reflect them.”
Clark recommends talking to each other about how you prefer to save and spend money, what expenses you prioritize most and how you can budget more effectively as a team.
Am I an extrovert, an introvert or something in between?
This question may seem like small potatoes compared to others on the list but determining where you (and your future spouse) fall on the introversion/extroversion spectrum will have a huge impact on how you spend your shared down time, Clark said.
“After a long day at the office, an introvert may need some time alone to regain their energy before engaging with a partner, whereas an extrovert will gravitate toward conversation” she said. “This can cause conflict in a relationship if two partners have different energy needs and don’t understand how to work around them — or worse, take their partners rebuff or seemingly endless engagement personally.”
To bridge the introvert/extrovert divide, have an open discussion about it — and in the meantime, don’t take it personally if your S.O. needs his or her space, Clark said.
“It is helpful to know that these needs are generally stable traits and have to do with fatigue — something that can be mitigated through rest and planning time together that allows for both parties to meet their energy needs.”