21 Key Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

So you're about to get married. Congratulations! This one of the most exciting times of your life.

But it also can be a little scary.

You may be wildly in love, but you still wonder if you're making a fully-informed decision — one that will change the course of your life. 

Marriage is intended as a lifelong commitment, but statistics show that divorce rates remain high. And you don't want to be a statistic. 

Couples can often avoid potential disputes and the risk of unhappy marriages by asking the right questions of each other.

Asking probing questions before marriage helps you know that you have found the right partner.

It gives you a chance to ensure that you are on the same page when it comes to child-rearing, finances, and other essential aspects of marriage.

Tips on Asking Intimate and Personal Questions

Asking personal questions can be awkward, even when talking to your potential mate.

Here are a few tips to ease the tension:

  • Don't surprise your beloved with a long list of questions. 
  • Plan a day or evening in advance to sit together and discuss your future.
  • Discuss together why these questions are important for both of you.
  • Ask the questions when you are both in a positive frame of mind.
  • Choose a quiet setting without any distractions or interruptions.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol during your discussion so you both have clear heads.
  • If you encounter challenging or triggering questions, put those aside and consider discussing them with a counselor
  • Plan a date night out after your discussion to reduce the stress.

You and your future spouse may find it uncomfortable to discuss these issues, but the answers may help prevent future disagreements.

21 Questions to Ask Before Marriage

The main questions to ask your significant other are related to important issues that typically arise during a marriage.

You will need to discuss opinions related to finances, children, communication, and conflict.

Ask the following marriage questions before committing to your guy or girl for the rest of your life:

Questions About Finances

Financial disagreements are a common cause of divorce.

Disputes related to spending often lead to resentment. Make sure that you discuss finances using the following questions:

1. Do you have any debt?

Some people may withhold certain details about their past, including previous debt.

While you may know that your fiancé has debt, you deserve to know the total amount as it will impact your future finances as well.

You should also review each other’s credit reports. This provides full disclosure of past debts and the ability to obtain loans, such as a mortgage for a house.

2. Should we have separate bank accounts?

Find out where your beloved stands when it comes to bank accounts. Couples sometimes maintain separate bank accounts along with a joint account while others get rid of their individual accounts.

The answer depends on your preferences. For example, some individuals may feel suspicious if their partners intend to keep separate bank accounts.

Sometimes it is simply easier to keep your existing accounts.

A typical recommendation is to use a joint account for household bills and expenses. This allows both parties to monitor transactions.

3. Who will handle the finances?

Will one of you handle paying the bills or do you plan on sharing the duty? This question could help you avoid major conflicts later in your marriage.

In many marriages, one spouse is naturally better at managing finances than the other.

However, some people prefer to remain more independent and may want to handle their own financial obligations.

If handling finances separately, decide who will pay which bills and who should cover emergency expenses.

4. How should we decide on major purchases?

Major purchases are often sources of disagreements between couples. Should you discuss all transactions over a specified amount? Can one of you veto the other person’s buying decision?

Find out how your future husband or wife feels about large transactions. You may also want to decide on a budget and set a spending limit for individual purchases.

5. What will happen if one of us losses our job?

Determine how you plan on dealing with financial emergencies, such as the loss of a job.

Does your guy or woman expect you to find another job immediately? Are you expected to take money out of your savings to cover costs while you look for work?

You should also discuss career changes. What will happen if one of you wants to quit a job and pursue a dream? Make sure that you are on the same page as the decision impacts both of you.

6. How much do you plan on spending on a home?

If you and your fiancé plan on buying a home together, determine how much you can afford to spend.

Spending too much on a home can limit other priorities like travel or furnishings.

You and your lover also may have different ideas on the type of home that you want. Discuss what you both envision and how you can reach a compromise if necessary.

Along with a price range and style of a home, you should discuss the types of neighborhoods, locations, and features that you want.

7. What do you want to do when we retire?

Though retirement may seem like a long way off, it's important to discuss your financial future before marriage.

For example, do you want to save aggressively toward retirement to retire early or work into your golden years?

Do you want to relocate when you retire? Do you plan on taking long vacations or sailing around the world?

You may need to discuss whether you both need to work full-time for the long term in order to reach your financial and personal goals for the future.

Questions to Ask About Children

Raising children is often a part of marriage and can be a source of frustration if you have different views on child-rearing.

Use the following probing questions to discuss your future as a family:

1. Do you want to have kids?

Many people go into relationships assuming that the other party wants kids in the future. However, some people do not want the responsibility.

If your lover does not want kids, and you always imagined yourself as a parent, you should determine whether you still want to make a lifelong commitment.

Never assume that the other person will change his or her mind down the road. 

2. How will we handle work and childcare?

Does your future life mate plan on staying at home and raising the children or do you both want to continue working?

If you both work, are you equally responsible for all of the childrearing responsibilities?

Not discussing these marriage questions beforehand will lead to conflict and resentment.

Two-income families are more common these days. So if you both plan on working, you should decide how to pay for childcare. If one of you stays home with the kids,  how will you decide who stays at home?

3. When do you want to start having children?

Do you want to start trying to get pregnant during the honeymoon or do you want to wait? If you and your future husband or wife are at different stages of life, this may be more of a concern.

If you plan on waiting to have children, how long do you want to wait? Some couples set a specific time frame or milestone.

For example, you may want to achieve a career goal or buy a house. You may also choose to wait for a set number of years to test your bond.

4. Would you consider adoption or fertility treatments?

If you and your sweetie have trouble conceiving naturally, you should determine if you are willing to spend money on fertility treatments.

Think about how much you are willing to spend on treatments and how long you would wait before considering other options, such as adoption.

If your fiancé is willing to adopt, learn more about his or her feelings on the topic. Other details include age ranges for adopted children and local or foreign adoption.

5. Do you plan on teaching our children your spiritual beliefs?

When your future husband or wife has different spiritual beliefs, you need to know if he or she desires to raise your children with the same belief system.

If you disagree with his or her desire to raise your children following a particular religion, how can you reach an agreeable solution?

If you and your partner follow the same spiritual beliefs, you should still discuss how you plan on introducing those beliefs to your children.

Will your children attend church or services? Will they go to a school affiliated with a religion? Do they need to be baptized?

6. How do you feel about disciplining children?

Another potential contentious area is child discipline. If you had strict parents, you may opt for a more laid-back parenting approach.

If your parents did not implement a lot of rules, you may feel the need to maintain a stricter household.

Do you want your infant in the bed with you? Are you a “let them cry it out” or a “pick up at the first whimper” kind of parent? Or somewhere in between? Do either of you believe in spanking? 

Determine how your beloved feels about setting rules and dealing with your kids when they break the rules. And discuss how you can present as a united team as parents. 

7. Should we save money for our children’s future?

Do you plan on setting aside money for our children’s education? Should our children pay their own way through college?

Depending on your upbringing, you may have strong feelings when it comes to paying for a college education.

You may also want to discuss paying for public or private education before college, and how you'll pay for the inevitable extracurricular activities for your kids as they grow. 

Questions to Ask About Communication and Conflict

After discussing finances and children, ask your beloved questions related to your relationship.

You should gain a better understanding of how you plan on dealing with conflict with the following marriage questions:

1. How do you prefer to deal with disagreements and arguments?

Couples should openly discuss their feelings. However, everyone has his or her own way of dealing with heated arguments.

Does your significant other prefer to resolve disputes immediately or does he or she need to sleep on it?

Some people find it easier to resolve issues the next day while others do not like going to bed angry.

Understanding this now will help you know whether your other half needs space after a disagreement.

2. How should we communicate our needs in the bedroom?

Sex is another important part of a successful marriage.

If you and your partner have different interests in the bedroom, it is best to get them out in the open now. You should discuss your boundaries and how best to communicate your desires.

You may also ask how often he or she thinks you should have sex.

If one of you needs sex more often that the other or has differing preferences in the bedroom, you should discuss how to deal with intimacy issues now before it causes marital tension.

3. How often should we discuss our relationship?

Keeping communication open is not always easy. During a marriage, you may have times when you shut yourself off from your spouse.

Your future spouse may prefer to discuss the state of your relationship on a regular basis even when things are good. But you may feel the need to talk only when there's an issue.

Should you bring up problems immediately and openly or set a future date to talk things through once you've calmed down?

Discuss how you both can keep the relationship healthy and how to best deal with relationship issues.

4. What would you do if I asked you to change a habit?

Everyone has bad habits but some habits may impact the health of your marriage. For example, drinking, smoking, gambling, and gaming can get in the way of your relationship.

Find out how your  would feel if you asked him or her to stop one of these activities — even if he or she does not currently have one of these habits.

Is your beloved willing to change to please or accommodate you? What are your non-negotiables when it comes to bad habits?

5. Is there something that you want me to change?

If you expect your sweetie to make changes based on your wishes, you should be willing to make changes yourself. Marriage is about compromise.

Find out if he or she has any issues with your current lifestyle or behaviors.

For example, if your girlfriend dislikes the amount of time that you spend playing video games, she may resent you for continuing to play video games once you're married.

Determine the expectations you have of each other now when it comes to your daily activities and behaviors. Try to craft compromise solutions so you both get your needs met. 

6. What would you do if we hit a rough patch?

Every marriage has its ups and downs. You should determine if your life companion is willing to seek outside help to deal with future conflicts.

If your guy or woman would never meet with a marriage counselor, find out how he or she plans on resolving major issues, such as falling out of love, affairs, and financial concerns.

These are some of the hardest questions to ask your soon-to-be spouse, but they help determine how you will deal with issues that often result in divorce.

7. How do you feel about jealousy and closeness to others?

If you are naturally flirty, you should find out how your fiancé will feel about your flirtatious behavior after marriage.

You should also discuss relationships with others. For example, it is important to understand each other’s feelings when it comes to spending time with co-workers or friends — especially those of the opposite sex.

Be clear with each other about what you find hurtful or inappropriate so there are no misunderstandings in the future.

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How will you use these questions to ask before marriage?

When you are in love, you may not think to ask some of these questions. It is easy to assume that your future mate has the same beliefs and desires.

Instead of taking things for granted, you need to ensure that you and your partner are compatible for a long-term relationship.

Staying married for the rest of your life may come with major changes including houses, children, and careers.

Open communication is the key to a successful marriage. While asking these questions before marriage may make you both uncomfortable, the answers may help you avoid future conflicts.

If these questions create tension, consider visiting a counselor together. Work with a professional to explore communication techniques and additional concerns that you can't work out on your own.