Like all things in life, marriage or relationships aren't perfect. Of course, it's only natural for you to not notice any of the red flags up until much later in the relationship. Once the spell breaks and you come off the honeymoon phase we start realising who we truly are in a relationship with. While we might truly be in love with our partners it is really important to get a clear understanding of one's deal-breakers.
So make sure that you find the time and the right place to have a discussion about important subjects that will be awkward. No two people are alike and it takes hard work and dedication to make anything worthwhile work out. So be prepared to not get some answers when you ask the question, be patient with your partner and allow them the time to come back to you with the answers. Not all answers will make you happy and the outcome may not be what you imagined at all. However, while this might cause you temporary discomfort, once you have the blueprints you can go ahead and design the relationship the way you like.
Just don't get stuck on problems or the things you disagree with, take some time, ponder on their responses, figure out if you can live with their choices and support them even when you can't stand their guts because trust me it will boil down to those instances and eventually you'll learn when to fight and when to back down.
Here's a list of questions that you not only have to answer yourself but need to have answered by your partner as well:
Before I go on with these questions, I want to add that human beings evolve every single day, so it's important to find time to discuss and reevaluate your goals once every few months. It will only help strengthen your bond and iron out any issues that might crop up in the foreseeable future.
1) If you or your partner have had an active sexual history it is important to be open when discussing sexual well-being, likes and dislikes? Ask if you need them to get an STI test for extra security.
2) Ask your partner about their preferred love language? Often we treat our partners the way we would like to be treated and this could create an imbalance in the relationship. Pay attention, ask how they would rather be spoken to or treated under particular circumstances. This will give you a clearer picture of their needs.
3) Figure out your long-term goals in life? Where would you live once married? 10 years into the future would you like to be in the country you are or would you be open to shifting to a different state in the country? What kind of house/home you are looking to build together? In India, it would benefit you to figure out if you will be living in a joint setting or will it be a nuclear household?
4) Get a clearer picture of each other's financial's. Debt, bills, loans etc. What are one's long term financial goals? How will the both of you work towards those goals? How would you split expenditure in a fair way? Find a solution to get an equal share of assets. If one of you or both are wealthy and want to safeguard your wealth, discuss the possibility of signing a prenup.
5) Define the kind of relationship the two of you want to build together? How you would feel supported in the partnership? What happens if one of you falls seriously ill or meets with an accident? Explain if you are currently battling any ailments, it is no good to lie to your partner about your health, they will only feel cheated and it could potentially damage your relationship for good. State your strengths and weaknesses, expectations, how to resolve conflict respectfully. You also want to be clear on your definition of infidelity or what constitutes cheating to you.
6) Make sure you're both aware of how you want to take care of your ageing parents. Discuss how you want to lend support to them and if financials are involved make it abundantly clear about the sums of money that will be dedicated to their care from your earnings.
7) You also want to discuss if the two of you want to bring children into this world. What if you are faced with fertility issues and cannot conceive naturally, would you be open to IVF, surrogacy adoption? Talk about how you would want to raise the child, how you would discipline them? Would they be raised religious or not? Talk about what kind of parental responsibilities you would be open to and how you both would manage household responsibilities equally? Discuss the possibility that your child could have disabilities and what happens under those circumstances? How would you respond to your child's queries on their own sexuality?
8) Once you bring children into a partnership, the dynamic is bound to change. Find out how the two of you will find the time to work on your relationship? Consider all options openly and honestly, even if that means inviting a third person into the bedroom to spice things up. Understand how you and your partner will divide your time amongst friends, family or hobby time without ignoring other facets of one's life.
9) And lastly, what happens when the going gets tough as a family? Discuss the changes and sacrifices you'd be willing to make to keep your family together.
Sometimes I feel like you might only get a better understanding from living with a person before you marry them. You get to truly witness them at their best, worst, ugly. All their micro-aggressions will stare you right in the face and it would be hard for you to ignore those red flags. But not everyone can live with their partner, find a way to get some travel time together. This too will reveal certain facets of their lifestyle choices, thus helping you make a smarter and better-informed decision.
What are some questions you feel one must ask their partner before agreeing to marry them? Let us know in the comments below.
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