Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Notebook - Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying

For many years, we have had a notebook in our waiting room aptly labeled "Waiting Room Reading." It is a collection of articles about mediation, divorce, and us and other material of interest to our clients. I don’t sit in the waiting room too often and had not read it lately. I recently read the notebook and discovered the articles again. It is a source of lots of material for our blog which will be under the heading of "The Notebook." Keep watching for them. The first article that caught my eye was an article from the December 17, 2006, New York Times entitled "Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying." The article can be seen at but it is not long so I am reprinting the entire article here.

"Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:
1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?
2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?
3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?
4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?
5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?
6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?
7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?
8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?
9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?
10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?
11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?
12) What does my family do that annoys you?
13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?
14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?
15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?"

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