Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Stuff You Wished You Asked Before Getting Married

1. What are you not prepared to give up for marriage? 2. What happens if one spouse gets a job in another city? 3. How are we going to split up housework? 4. Do my friends and close associates annoy you?

Those are a few of the questions many people wish they had asked before getting married, according to this article in the New York Times. The questions touch on financial, personal and family issues.

Here's a sample:

1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?

2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?

3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?

4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?

5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect? --Source: NYT

It's an excellent list and a good read. To that list I would add:

1. Do you believe in lying to children about the Tooth Fairy? Do you believe in paying market rates for lost teeth?

2. What's your idea of a vacation?

3. Do you like camping? What do you consider camping?

example: My husband likes the idea of a sleeping bag in the woods.
My version of camping is a cheap motel in Orlando.
Compromise: We've gone camping in rented, rustic cabins.

4. How do you save money? Do you save money?

5. What's your idea of frugal living? What's your idea of luxury?

6. How often do you go shopping? Do you like sales?

7. What's your approach to technology? Do you have to have the latest gadget?

8. What's more important: personal/creative satisfaction or job security and health benefits? Define financial security.

9.What's your opinion on changing baby's diapers? What kind of division of labor? How often are you willing to change messy diapers?

10. Do you need to live in a clean house? How do you feel about a clean house that is disorganized? Are you willing to pay for a cleaning service?

11. Do you need to live in a house? Do you like apartment/condo living? Are you willing to clean up a lawn?

12. Do you have a talent for grocery shopping? Do you like shopping in bulk? Define bulk shopping.

13. How often do you eat out? What do you consider food?

14. Do you like pets? Define pets: fish? hamster? little dog? large lab? pony?

15. Were you spoiled as a child? Do you plan to spoil your children? Define your idea of a spoiled brat?

In August, I wrote a post featuring tips for saving a mixed marriage: a saver & a spender.



The Frugal Duchess Boutique


HC said...

I would love to know the stories behind #1 and #13. When you have to ask someone what they consider food to be, there must be some big disconnect in acceptable cuisines.

That said, these make up a very good list. One of the things that I like about my faith tradition is that pre-marital counseling is required, which should offer the opportunity to ask these questions in a more-or-less neutral setting.

Wealthy Geek said...

One other question you might consider asking a potential partner: how you best describe your risk aversion level when it comes to investing? It tends to cause grief when a cautious Karen marries a daring Dan.