This post contains affiliate links, to see my full disclosure policy, click here.
After talking about lies we were told about marriage, I feel like I need to give some hope to those out there who deeply desire to marry some day. I came up with a list of seven things to ask before becoming engaged. This list is not prioritized, rather just important questions that should be asked before settling down.
#7 Do either of you have any outstanding debt? If so, how do you plan to pay it off? If you do not have any debt, do you plan on gaining any debt?
OK, I hit you with three questions here, but they all pertain to one thing: debt. This is huge. Money is one of the top causes of divorce and separation. Do you have student loans, credit card debt, home mortgage, or a car loan coming into the engagement? If you answered yes to any of these, the next question is crucial, how do you plan to pay it off? Do you work full time? Part time? Is it enough? Will you have to get another job to help supplement? Take the time to sit down and list out your expenses and debt you are currently paying off. Then estimate, the best that you can, what your monthly household income it. This really helps you compare what is coming and going in your budget. If you do not have any debt yet, will you gain any after marriage? This could be anything I listed above: student loans, credit card debt, home mortgage, car loan, etc.
#6 Do you or the other person have “baggage” to work through?
What is baggage? This is past experiences with friends, family, or exes that could hinder your future relationship in marriage. Anything bad that happened: abuse (emotional, physical) rape, friends with benefits, being bullied, etc. If you have gone through any experiences that I listed off, please seek out professional help. Taking that step is NOT a sign of weakness. This is the first step into healing from these experiences. Honestly, everyone can benefit from individual counseling before entering into marriage. We did and we do not regret it at all. It was quite eye-opening and enlightening for both of us.
#5 Does this person have any “bad” habits?
What do I mean? Not leaving the toilet seat up, or not unrolling their socks before putting them in the hamper. I mean, do they have an addiction? Drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, thing like that? Also something to consider, do they get angry easily? Have you seen them get upset? How do they cope with it? If they hit things or go into a screaming rage, you may want to rethink your relationship, however, they can get help for that too if they are willing.
#4 Have you had an argument yet?
To piggy-back off of the bad habits, mentioned above, have you had an argument with this person yet? If not, that may be a red flag. Arguing, believe it or not, is healthy to a certain extent. It is perfectly fine to disagree with your future spouse, but the outsome and the actual fight is all about how you respond to each other. Fight fair. Mechanic and I have a few rules when it comes to fighting fair:
- Don’t discuss the issue at all if one or both of you is upset. This just leads to yelling and saying things that you could regret later.
- Take time to cool off, but NEVER go to bed mad, EVER.
- When it’s time to talk, don’t do it in front of your kids in case you get upset again. Choose a time when you can talk freely without little ears around. They hear you and they listen whether you think they do or not.
- LISTEN to what the other person is saying. Be respectful. Don’t interrupt until they have said what they need to.
- Come up with a resolution that you both are happy with.
#3 Can you see yourself waking up next to this person every day for the rest of your lives?
Close your eyes and really think long and hard about this one. Are you actually in love with this person or do you just like the idea of getting married? Too often people are in love with the idea of being in love. This leads to heartbreak and resentment during your first year of marriage. It can also lead to a divorce because society today says it’s acceptable to throw away something that’s broken instead of fixing it like generations before us did.
#2 Can you see yourself having children with this person?
Do you want kids? How about your future spouse? If one of you do, and they other does not, that could create a problem later on in your marriage. Having common goals and always being on the same page helps a marriage work properly. Kids are great. We have two and another on the way. I always saw myself having kids. Thankfully, Mechanic always wanted kids too. We have been blessed with two very busy little boys so far. I don’t really remember talking about kids, but I knew during our first year of marriage we always talked about “when kids come along”. We also waited 3 years before we were surprised by our first son. #noregrets
#1 Do you share the same religious beliefs?
Sharing religious beliefs or not can make or break a marriage. Being with someone who shares my religious beliefs helps me to stay on the right track and grow in my spiritual walk. It also keeps me accountable in my actions. We have to work together to raise our children so that they, too share our religious beliefs.
I’ll leave you with this..
Eccelesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.