Image: Ruslan Grigoriev / 123RF Stock Photo
1. “Why do I want to get married?”
Newsflash: People actually do get hitched for the wrong reasons. If you’re marrying to make your parents happy or to avoid being left on the shelf, you’re better off returning that diamond ring, says Jasmine Siang, a psychotherapist at Heart-to-Heart Psychotherapy. “Because I’m in love” is not a strong enough reason, either. You marry someone because you want to create a future with him even after the lovey-dovey feelings fade.
2. “What are my expectations once I’m married?”
This is important, so start listing your topmost wants and needs in a marriage. Be realistic – “My husband must chauffeur me around everywhere” shouldn’t necessarily be top of your list. However, you can think about how you want your husband to treat you: Are you expecting him to give up certain habits, like his Saturday soccer dates with the boys? Would you expect him to reconsider overseas job postings if it meant a long-distance marriage?
3. “Is he someone I can see myself growing old with?”
The thought of the two of you being 80-year-old lovebirds may evoke an “Aww, how sweet” reaction. But before you get there, you will have to contend with a multitude of ups and downs – and no, it’s not just about waking up one day and discovering your hubby is bald. Be prepared for changes in his health, goals and expectations, and even crises such as a retrenchment, says Jasmine. Can you handle these?
ASK YOUR MAN
4. “Why do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?”
If he mentions superficial qualities, such as your looks, sex appeal, social or financial status, run like the wind. Better answers: He wants to build a home and a family together, to grow old with you, or because he simply can’t imagine a future without you, Jasmine points out.
5. “Do you want kids, and what kind of parent will you be?”
Don’t wait until after you’re married for your man to tell you that he never intends to be a dad, or that he expects you to be the disciplinarian, warns Jasmine. If you both want children, you should also have similar beliefs about how to raise them.
6. “What are your expectations of me as a wife?”
Does he hope that you will put his career before yours? Does he expect you to sacrifice your lifestyle – such as nights out with the girls and solo holidays – for him? Discuss these, and also tell him your expectations of him as a husband.
7. “Will you be with me till the end?”
What happens if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness? Will he stick around to care for you? How does he feel about your possibly not being able to fulfil your duties as a wife and mother? Nobody likes to talk about death when they’re selecting wedding favours, but your man’s answer will speak volumes about his devotion to you, says Jasmine.
ASK THESE AS A COUPLE
8. “How will we deal with disagreements?”
Problems with kids, in-laws and money… these are all issues you may face. You can’t pre-empt every one of them, but you can set guidelines for tackling disagreements. If you know that you’re prone to lashing out when you’re upset, you could explain to your man that you’ll need a time-out after every argument to collect your thoughts. Or, you might agree to never go to bed angry at each other
9. “What do we believe makes for an ideal marriage?”
This is a biggie. The point of this question is to see if you share similar core values and beliefs about marriage. Ease into the discussion with this exercise: Write down the top three things that you think make for a happy union – sex? Financial stability? A big family? Then compare your answers.
10. “How will we keep our romance alive?”
Date nights and holidays may not always be possible, especially after you have kids. Think of practical ways to keep the romance going. And though these may be the furthest things from your mind as you select wedding lingerie, discuss how you will deal with a relationship or sexual rut.