Choosing whom you're going to marry — should you decide to marry (and there's nothing wrong about opting against it) — is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever face. And yet it's astounding how many people walk down the aisle next to someone they don't know a ton about.
Of course, part of being in love is celebrating each other's differences and continually learning new things about your partner. Those little surprises are the stuff of great joy. But there are some surprises best not left for after the wedding.
Here are 10 pieces of information that you probably want to find out about your partner before tying the knot. We're not saying these things should determine whether or not you should marry this person — only that knowing them will generally put you in a good position for when you finally decide to get hitched.
1. Do they want kids?
We put this first because it's so important. This should be made very clear. It's not fair to mislead someone about whether or not you want children in your future. So be upfront and honest about how important children are to you. And If you both want kids, then how many? Would adoption be an option? Things like this must be discussed ahead of time.
2. How are they with money?
Money is often cited as one of the most common things couples fight about. And when you're married this doesn't go away. If anything it can get worse if your finances become entwined. It's important to know how your partner handles money and what their attitudes toward it are. It's worth talking about whether you want to combine your finances through joint bank accounts or by filing taxes as a couple. Will your debts also be married? Money can't buy you love — but it can mess it up.
3. What's their relationship with their family like?
Major life events inevitably bring people back to their families. And how people handle stressful times often goes back to their familial relationships. Having a sense of the dynamics will help you both negotiate challenging times.
4. How do they express anger?
Everyone gets angry and upset sometimes and all couples are bound to fight. So it helps to know how your partner reacts to being upset. Do they freak out and yell or sulk in silence? Knowing this will help ease tensions when things get heated, and it'll just give you a sense of how to gauge their mood and adjust accordingly.
5. Do they have any dreams or career ambitions that marriage might forestall?
For all its splendor, marriage sometimes means foreclosing on some of the goals or dreams you have. It's important to know what your partner doesn't want to give up on, whether it's traveling across Europe or going to graduate school, and how it's likely to affect your marriage.
6. How much sex?
Sexual appetites can vary dramatically from person to person. There's no right amount of sex in a relationship. It's about what feels comfortable to the people in it. But if two people have very different sexual needs, this can lead to conflict and bitterness. So talk about your expectations in this department.
7. Where do they want home to be?
People tend to move around a lot more these days than a generation ago. It helps to talk about where you want to end up down the road. Does your partner see themselves in the city or in a suburb? Or do they prefer the country?
8. Do they want to sign a prenup?
Nothing sounds less romantic than a prenup, and the decision of whether or not to sign one has caused major friction in engagements — enough, in some cases, to deep-6 the wedding. So it's best to talk about this early and figure out how you feel about it.
9. What is their spiritual inclination?
As people get older, religion and spirituality often becomes more important to them. And as we all know, relgious differences can be a major source of conflict between anyone. But it doesn't have to be. You just need to have reasonable expectations and know what you're getting into. Are you comfortable with your partner being religious if you're not? Or, if you like to pray and they don't, how will that affect your life together?
10. How will you handle the division of labor?
Will one person work and the other stay home? Will you divide up household chores evenly? There's no right or wrong way. Just be clear about what each of you expects.
Be sure to share these with everyone you know who is looking to get hitched. Click below now!