menu/ THE BIG QUESTIONS

Here are some areas that any love-struck couple should want to discuss and be clear about ...

GOALS

What are you hoping this marriage will bring? A friend? A sense of belonging? Is it a family?

Will you have kids? How many?

How will you divide the time between family and career?

Whose career comes first?

Are there any conflicting career demands?

What does your partner need in terms of work?

How important is your career to your partner?

What can you do to make the other's work easier?

COMMUNICATION

How will you resolve an impasse?

Do you know the other person's style of communicating?

Their stuck places?

How is anger dealt with?

What if one wants to talk about the relationship and the other refuses?

Whose job is it to keep the lines open?

If you get really bogged down - will you go for help?

FRIENDS

Where do they fit in the scheme of your life?

How much time will spend with them?

What about friends that the other dislikes? Are they welcome?

Boys' night out, girls' night out?

Confiding in friends, helping them out -- what are the boundaries?

MONEY

What's the philosophy about money?

Who decides where it is spent?

Does each of you have discretionary cash?

What if there's a great job offer 2000 miles away?

How will you pay the bills and apportion the income?

How much to save?

Is indulgence important?

FAMILY

What is their role?

Who will call them to keep in touch?

How does your partner feel about your family?

How do they fee about theirs?

Are one or both of you going to have to help out a parent?

How will you do that?

What if there is a family disagreement or feud?

SEX

If there isn't enough of it, how will you deal with the feeling?

Birth control?

Attractions to other people?

What if sex becomes boring?

Limits on experimentation?

What is sex to both of you?

How does your partner feel about sex?

How important is it in a relationship?

How important is it to make time for it?

KIDS

What is your philosophy around bringing up children?

Punishment and consequences?

Who will caretake them?

How many?

What if there is a child who has mental or physical problems?

What about children from other marriage?

RELIGION

Can you both respect each other's beliefs even if they are different?

If there are children, how will you deal with this issue?

How will you handle your respective families around religion?

Do you have any opposing beliefs?

Counseling provides a template for conflict resolution that can be drawn on when needed. A couple that knows how to fight fairly and how to compromise is going to have a head start on a couple that makes up the rules along the way.

You'd spend the time and money to ensure a satisfying Caribbean cruise - why not invest the same energy into a much more precious adventure?

See the index for more information ...

Author unknown 2004

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