Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

The Marriage Checklist

Some of the stories of divorce we see are caused not by infidelity, domestic abuse/violence or addiction, but by two people having major disagreements about important life issues. It seems that when people are in love, the romance overshadows reasoning. Some couples are afraid of examining red flags and keep the denial going until they are married. Few couples take courses on marriage or visit a counselor to understand how differences in personality, worldview, interests, philosophy, political leanings, religion and goals can affect their marriage. They just plow ahead, happy to have someone in their lives and entranced with the possibility of having a nice wedding or dreams of children and a white picket fenced house.
Now enter reality. How about a checklist with questions that every couple should ask themselves before marriage, covering all potential problems? I tried to compile what these questions would be in a list. You’re welcome to suggest some more.

1) Do you want children, and how many?
2) Do you want to raise the children with religion (and which one) or without?
3) Do you want to merge finances or not?
4) How do you want to invest the family money? Do you believe in savings?
5) What kind of home do you prefer, an isolated house in the ‘burbs, an apartment in the city, a townhome, close to work or something in the countryside?
6) How much housework do you want to do? Do you have favorite tasks? Are we going to pay for an hourly cleaning person?
7) What is your idea of vacation, lying by the beach sipping cocktails or visiting new cities, museums, monuments, historical sites or shopping? How many vacations do you intend to take and how long? Do you want to visit other countries or do you prefer vacations nearby?
8) What kind of interaction and with what frequency are we going to have with the extended family? Do your parents/siblings/cousins come for long visits? How are we going to divide the holidays between the two families (or even different sets of parents in case of divorced parents)?
9) In terms of sex, what is a good frequency for you? What is off limits in terms of sex? Is pornography ok for you?
10) How do you like to spend the evenings and weekends? How many hobbies do you wish to have?
11) How important for you is it to have time with your friends alone? How often do you think you need to see them?
12) Would you move to a new city/state/country if there was a better opportunity? Would you give up your job to follow me? What areas/cities/regions you would absolutely refuse to live at?
13) Do you ever intend to change your work schedule to include working at night or weekends?
14) What kind of food do you want to eat? Healthy, unhealthy, fast food, vegetarian? Do you like to cook? Do you want to cook every day? How often should we eat out?
15) Do you intend to send a lot of money in clothes, shoes and cosmetics? Do you buy cheaper stuff or do you have to buy high quality items?
16) Do you consider ever having plastic surgery and what kind?
17) How often do you want to exercise? What kind of sports and physical activities do you want to do?
18) How many hours do you wish to watch TV every day? How much sports/reality TV, movies, and news do you watch?
19) How do you see yourself spending your evenings? Watching TV, reading, in the computer, in bars, with friends, working, at the gym, taking night classes, studying, etc?
20) Are there places or activities you would not be comfortable with me going to?
21) Would it be ok if I went on vacations without you?
22) Who’s going to be responsible for paying the house bills?
23) Are we going to share family cars or each has their own car? How are we going to pay for them?
24) How much are we going to pay for our kids’ college?
25) Do you like to have more or less contact when apart (emails, phone calls)?
26) Are you tidy or messy with your personal things? Are you a hoarder? Is your closet and drawers organized?
27) How about personal hygiene, do you take a shower every day? Do you brush your teeth daily?
28) How often do you want to go out for dinner, dancing, parties, etc?
29) When and where do you plan to retire?
30) Are you going to let your hair grow grey or are you going to dye it when you get older?
31) What would you do if you gained weight over the years?
32) Are you going to breastfeed our children or use the bottle?
33) Are you going to take time off from work when the children are little? For how long? Are we going to hire a nanny or use childcare? Who is going to take care of them when they are sick?
34) Are we going to talk about our personal problems with other family members or close friends? Are we going to have therapy in case our marriage is not going well?
35) How do you like to celebrate the holidays? Are holidays, birthdays and anniversaries important to you?

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June 28, 2011 - Posted by | Relationships

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