Is getting married right for you? What do you need to know about your partner before you walk down the aisle? If you're thinking of getting married, it's time to ask yourself some questions. Remember, you don't want to just be married; you want to be happily married. If you've already tied the knot, it's not too late—your answers to these five questions can help you, too!
1. Why Are You Getting Married?
Be honest and evaluate the reasons behind your engagement. Sit down and write a pro/con list about your partner and your relationship. Your list will reveal your true feelings. Don't get married to escape something in your life like fear, loneliness or insecurity. Make marriage a positive move.
2. Do You Know and Trust Your Partner's Personal History?
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. How has your partner behaved in past relationships? with you? You should also be familiar with how your partner learned about marriage from his or her parents.
3. Did You Plan Your Marriage Instead of Just Your Wedding?
Cake, flowers, and fine china are all exciting aspects of a wedding, but there's more at stake than one day. Don't forget to think about the next 50 years! With your partner, develop an "emotional prenuptial agreement" that outlines how you'll handle children, money, trust issues, and division of labor. Make sure you are putting the same amount of time and effort (if not more) that you are using to plan your wedding into planning for your marriage.
4. Are You Investing More Than You Can Afford to Lose?
What is this relationship costing you emotionally, socially, and healthwise? If you have to give up your friends, career, or family, the cost is too high.
5. Have You Identified and Communicated Your Needs and Expectations?
Know yourself. You can't determine if somebody is good for you if you don't know your own needs. Express these needs and expectations now, not when you're already involved in the marriage.
Published on September 16, 2002