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Ask Team Practical: Questions To Ask Before Marriage

It’s Friday, and normally that means it’s Ask Team Practical with Alyssa. But this week, I was gripped by a question that I personally wanted to ask all of you, so today you get me (our resident sassy Texan will be back next week).

A few months ago, we ran a brilliant post from Sarah about being pre-engaged, where she said this:

Please encourage me to talk to my boyfriend about our future and delete the word “pressure” from your conversations about that. Call me new-fashioned, but I believe that as an educated woman in my late twenties with my own assets, ideas, experience and opinions, I shouldn’t be waiting on my partner to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives on his own. What if I have expectations about marriage based on my religion, values or traditions?  Shouldn’t he know that before he proposes? What if I want to be the one to propose? What if I don’t want to get married? What if I have some debt that I want to pay off before we make it legal? What if he does? I fully believe that if this is someone that I legitimately want to spend the rest of my life with, I should be able to talk to him about anything. Talking about marriage is not “pressuring for a ring.” It is creating a sustainable relationship. I am not a coy, blushing girl waiting for my over-the-top surprise proposal. I’m ballsy and strong and independent. He loves me because I’m opinionated, so why would I hide my opinions about our future?

As I re-read this post this week, I kept thinking about what an amazing message this was, and how little this message is heard. In fact, I sort of want to get a bullhorn and yell it from the rooftops. You know, as a public service announcement.

And I got to wondering; If the APW community were going to put together a list of questions to discuss with your partner before marriage, what would those questions be?

Here are some things David and I discussed before marriage, to kick off the discussion:

  • Faith: What did we each believe on a personal level? How did we view spirituality? Did we pray? What belief structure did we want in our household? What would that look like on a theoretical level? What would that look like on a nitty-gritty level? What holidays would we celebrate and why?
  • Money: How did we feel about debt? How did we feel about savings? What were our financial goals? What sort of life did we want to build?
  • Goals: What sort of careers did we want? How did we see family fitting in to those careers? What sort of totally non-career goals did we have (see: going to Italy)?
  • Divorce: What the what? How did we feel about that?
  • Family: Did we want kids? How many? What if one of us changed our mind?

But really, I want your feedback. What sort of questions did you ask your partner before you got married and/or engaged? What were the serious questions, and what were the “no one will tell you to ask this, but you should seriously ask this” questions? What questions did you wish you’d asked? Did you ask any questions that you regret? Dish.

(And of course, we’ll totally pull together a Team Practical approved list of questions when all is said and done.)

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