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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Questions We Ask

Even before Chris and I got engaged, we were talking about marriage; we were very clear that we were going to get married and when. Since our families knew this, they suggested that we begin checking in with ourselves and each other in a way that resembles pre-wedding counseling. That is, they encouraged us to start talking to one another about important topics that inevitably arise during the course of the marriage.

To us, this seemed like a good idea - not with the idea that we were checking or testing to see if we were right for one another but so that we had covered these important topics before they come up as a problem. To that end, we searched through reviews of books that purported to do exactly what we wanted it to do. We came up with this book:


So, more than a year ago now, we ordered this book and started making our way through the hundreds and hundreds of questions that cover just about every topic you could think of:

  • Hopes and Dreams for the Future
  • Histories
  • Education
  • Life Experiences
  • Career
  • Ethics/Values
  • Love and Commitment
  • Sexuality
  • Children and Family
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Past Relationships
  • Money
And more.
It lists questions to ask your future spouse, along with elaborations of the questions, like, why it is important to talk about these things.
We haven't gotten through all of these questions yet, but we're plugging away.

And it has been......terrifying satisfying explosive hilarious enlightening.
Some questions we sped through; wham, bam, we got that bizness DOWN!  These are questions where we already knew what one another's answers would be, and there were no surprises.

Other questions....not so much.  
A few were non-issue sorts of questions (e.g. about experiences in college; we were in college together, so I mostly got to see them all or hear about them early on).  
There were also questions where we were surprised by one another's responses; generally those went well, but didn't make us feel amazing about how well we knew one another.

The final subset, well, I have to admit that there were some questions that did not go smoothly.  I don't want to go into too much detail, but some questions led to disagreement on particular topics.  Sometimes this also led to an inflation of how important that topic is...or how relevant it is to our lives as a couple.

In all, though, I think this is one of the smartest moves we've made about the wedding.

What I'm really looking forward to, as well, are the OTHER sections:
  • Questions to Ask Your Friends and Family
  • Questions to Ask His/Her Friends
  • Questions to Ask Your Future In-Laws
  • and
  • Questions to Ask Your Lawyer
(They also have questions for your children and religious leader, but on both it's N/A for us.)

It's an extraordinary experience to, so explicitly and thoroughly, explore these topics with one's betrothed.  I don't think that any of the answers would have changed our commitment to one another, but it has definitely helped us feel like we're entering into this endeavor with a lot of great tools and knowledge under our belts.

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