Think You’re Ready to Marry?

Getting married is a very exciting thing. The proposal, the ring, the big party!

It’s natural to get excited and focus all your attention on the “big day”, but, what will your life be like after the wedding? Interestingly, this is an area that’s often ignored by engaged couples… or even couples who are just starting to talk about getting married. I promise you, marriage needs just as much planning as a wedding celebration (probably more).

When we got engaged, my husband and I paged through the book 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married on a long road trip (it was a great way to have a fun conversation about this – plus you are both captive and focused).  It’s a great book that provides ideas of things to discuss and negotiate about your future life together. Things like – who will pay the bills? How much do we save? Who will do the housework? How do we feel about religion? Do we want children and how many?

Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that they share the same perspective with their partner regarding the big questions, only to find out way too late that there are some pretty big deal breakers on the table. How will you resolve things or negotiate if you differ in opinion about money, sex and children? Imagine getting a couple of years (or just months) into a marriage and finding out that you want three children and your spouse wants no more than 1. Or that you feel it’s ok to spend the money you have, but your spouse has a strict financial savings philosophy? Better to negotiate and resolve these important issues now. Or decide that you’re not compatible.

Well, money, sex and children might be the “big three” issues to talk about, but what about other things? Sometimes lifestyle issues, pet peeves and preferences can wreak havoc in a relationship.  If you’re going to live a lifetime together, I say leave no stone unturned, ask and discuss it all before the big day.

If 101 questions just seem overwhelming, my husband forwarded me this great article that only has 35 (really funny, yet real) things. Why not use them to round out your marriage discussions and make sure that you are your partner are on the right track?

1. Does the toilet paper go over or under the roll?

2. Cats? Dogs? Both?

3. Can you eat breakfast for dinner?

4. Cold pizza: yes or no?

5. Is it acceptable to open presents as they arrive or do you have to wait for the actual birthday or holiday?

6. Should the dirty forks and knives go in the dishwasher with the handle sticking out of the utensil tray or down in the utensil tray?

7. Is it acceptable to leave dishes in the sink to “soak” overnight, or do they need to be cleaned before bed?

8. Toothpaste: cap on or cap off?

9. Again on the toothpaste: roll it from the bottom or just squeeze really hard?

10. Are towels a one-time use item or do you use the same towel until laundry day?

11. How about washcloths?

12. Road trip or flying?

13. What’s the right thread count for sheets?

14. What brand of toilet paper?

15. Mayo or Miracle Whip?

16. Pepsi or Coke?

17. Can you eat the holiday candy out in the display bowl or must it be left there for display?

18. What is YOUR definition of camping?

19. Turn the thermostat down when you go out or leave it alone?

20. At what point is a garbage bag too full to stuff more trash in it?

21. How many times is it acceptable to hit the snooze button?

22. Thrift store shopping: great deals or gross?

23. How far in advance is it OK to plan a vacation?

24. Restaurant reservations: necessary or too restrictive?

25. Roller coasters: love ’em or hate ’em?

26. More chocolate chips, less cookie or more cookie, less chips?

27. How much orange juice must be left in the container for it to be returned to the fridge?

28. Chip clips or just roll the bag up?

29. Call the doctor or just take some medicine at home?

30. Where is the prime location for the TV remote to stay?

31. Is it OK to have a TV in the bedroom?

32. Should folded clothes be put away, or is it OK to just pull as needed from the basket of clean laundry?

33. Do you need to write a grocery list or just wait until you’re walking around the store to figure out what you need?

34. Making the bed: must-do or waste of time because you’re just going to get back in it?

35. Is it OK to shave/clip toenails in the living room?

So, have you had the money, sex and kids discussion with your partner? Where do you stack up on these other things? Will you have a harmonious marriage or drive one another batty?


Photo credit: Craig Lloyd’s great Flicker page




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Categories: Discussion


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

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One Comment on “Think You’re Ready to Marry?”

  1. November 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I love this!!!
    (and #35…. so NOT OK!!!!!! :S )

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