Friday, July 16, 2004

And the two will be one

It's my impression that many marriages sour because the husband and wife come to the marriage with different, sometimes false, unreasonable, and unspoken expectations. I think a man and woman contemplating marriage should fill out a questionnaire to see if the have the same expectations, if they both have realistic expectations, and if they can adjust their expectations to make for a happy marriage.

They should fill this out separately. Take a week or two to do it so that they have the time to give the questions some serious thought. They should then compare their answers. See how far apart they are. If they can't strike a balance at this preliminary stage, they'll never pull off a successful marriage.

1. Do you expect your spouse to satisfy all your emotional needs?

2. Do you think you'll love your spouse so much that you'll never be attracted to and tempted by anyone else?

3. Do you plan to maintain your friendships after you get married?

4. Do you plan to maintain your extracurricular activities after you get married?

5. How involved will your in-laws be in your marriage?

6. Do both of you plan to work?

7. Will you work outside the home?

8. How many hours a day/week?

9. What standard of living would you be happy with right now?

10. What standard of living would you be happy with 10-20 years from now?

11. Who makes the big decisions? The husband? Both of you? What about a conflict?

12. Does it matter to either or both of you where you live? What if you move?

13. Do you look forward to sex?

14. How much?

15. What if your spouse puts on a lot of weight after you marry?

16. Do you plan to have kids?

17. How many?

18. What if one of you changes your mind?

19. How should children be punished?

20. Who should do it?

21. Will one spouse back the other up, or take the side of the child?

22. Do you hold grudges?

23. Do you want to go out a lot, or spend most of your time at home?

24. What does your wife need to do to make you feel like a real man?

25. What should a wife not do to demean you?

26. What does your husband need to do to make you feel like a real woman?

27. What should a husband not do to demean you?

28. What do you look for in a man?

29. What do you look for in a woman?

30. Have you had a bad childhood experience that would adversely affect the marriage?

31. Do you have the same political views?

32. Do you have the same religious views?

33. What interests do you share in common?

34. How do you plan to educate your kids? Homeschooling? Public schooling? Private schooling?

35. Who should do most of the housework? Babysitting? Shopping? Transporting?

36. What is your idea of a vacation?

37. Do either of you like to drink?

38. Gamble?

39. Do either of you have problems with addictive-compulsive behavior?

40. Do either of you have irritating habits?

41. Will you schedule time together?

42. Which means more to you—time together or a high standard of living?

43. In case of conflict, who do you plan to talk to? Your spouse? Friend? Parent? Pastor? Counselor? Psychologist? Male or female?

44. Do you like your boyfriend/girlfriend the way they are, or do you plan to change them?

45. Are either of you willing to change? Or are you happy the way you are?

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