Ask these questions and start a dialogue with your future spouse.
1. Do you want children? How many? Are you willing to try other ways of having children (IVF or adoption)?
Does your partner prefer to just have one child, or do he or she feel that it is important for a child to have siblings? Would you and your partner be willing to try in vitro fertilization (IVF) or adopt if you have fertility issues? Would you like to adopt instead of having biological children?
2. What makes someone a “good” parent?
What are each of your views on parenting issues such as consequences and giving allowance? Is spanking and/or time out an acceptable form of consequence? How were each of you raised? Do you want to emulate or avoid your parents’ parenting style? You might want to discuss the three main parenting styles: laissez-faire, assertive, and aggressive. The laissez-faire parenting style tends to have fewer rules and less structure than the other parenting styles, and aggressive parenting tends to keep pretty strict rules and has less flexibility. Assertive parenting style falls in the middle.
3. What’s your credit history and your current debt?
Your spouse’s poor credit history can change the interest rates you qualify for on loans, and can even change whether you get a loan. Find out all your partner’s debts – credit cards, student loans, car payments. It is also important to know if your partner has filed bankruptcy or had a home foreclosure. If so, it is important to talk about what led to those issues. You may also want to consider consulting with an attorney to find out how your partner’s debts, bankruptcy, or home foreclosure would affect you if you got married.
4. Who should do which household chores?
This is where some find their partner has rigid gender roles. This means that the person has a set idea of “this is what women do” and “this is what men do”. If you’re used to that and it works for you, no problem. However, if this is an issue for you, time to talk it out. Also talk about which chores you don’t mind doing, and which you want to avoid. You may find your “don’t mind/dislike” lists complement each other pretty well.
5. How often would you like to have se.x?
Even if you’ve been having s.ex for a while, the answer you get to this question may be different than your current frequency. It is also important to talk about your boundaries with sex – things you are willing or want to try, and things that are off-limits.
6. Where do you see us after being married five years?
This can be a tough question to answer, but it gives each of you an idea of your goals for your relationship (and marriage). One of you may want to have at least one child in the first five years of marriage – the other may not even have a child on the radar yet. One of you may want to have a larger home within five years – one of you may want to save up more money first. You may also have pictured yourself living in different cities. Time to start talking.
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