To have got this far into coupledom, whether it’s been six months or six years, you and your significant other presumably love each other – a great start! But what are the right reasons to get married? There are key the questions to ask before marriage, but while you could make a list of questions to ask a potential spouse, a lot of the answers can come directly from yourself.
It’s vital to be sure getting married is right for your relationship before making that commitment. Whether you’ve had the proposal, are waiting for one, or you’re even, perhaps, debating shunning tradition and popping the question yourself!
So, how can you be sure you are ready to get hitched?
Key Questions to Ask Before Marriage
Answering these specifics should help you establish whether marriage is currently right for your relationship:
1. Are Your Finances in Order?
While you should absolutely not consider marriage purely for financial gain, it is worth giving a little thought to how it could affect this aspect of your life: it can be a good indicator as to whether or not your current partner is good hubby-material. Do you share your income and bills already? If not, would you do so if you got hitched? How will this work and is it fair? Do you feel secure in this regard?
If you can answer these questions positively, that’s another tick on the ‘Should I/Shouldn’t I?’ checklist.
2. Have You Lived Together?
I cannot stress enough the importance of trialling cohabitation before having no choice but to live together. You do not know how unattractive a person’s worst habits are until you’ve lived under the same roof and seen their filthiest ways.
If you can find it in yourself to still love your significant other after bearing witness to the darkest quirks of their character, you’re onto a winner.
3. Do You Have Children Together?
Marriage is no longer a prerequisite to having children, and more and more people are making the lifestyle choice to start a family before they say ‘I do’. Cost is a big factor here, and as such, simply having little ones can in itself become an obstacle to a wedding later on.
However, if you’ve already made that commitment (I would assert that a little person is – or at least should be – a bigger commitment than a piece of metal on one’s finger), and are in the financial position that it’s a possibility, now may be the right time for you to think about doing the deed.
A little person is – or at least should be – a bigger commitment than a piece of metal on one’s finger.
4. Do You Have Common Goals?
Despite what some may tell you, it is categorically not essential to have the same hobbies as your loved one to make a marriage work. That grammatically awkward sentence hopefully illustrates the strength of this statement. Of course it’s not a bad thing if you do share some hobbies – but it’s not obligatory for a fulfilling partnership.
What is necessary, however, is that you aspire to the same life-goals and that you build each other up and offer mutual support to attain those objectives.
5. Do You Share the Same Values?
Possibly the most important point on this list – everything else is secondary if your values roughly match. For example, if your ideas regarding politics or religion differ wildly, that may well spell trouble for your future together.
If, however, you agree on the big stuff such as giving to charity, euthanasia, racism, sexism, ageism, etc., then you can safely assume that the smaller stuff can be ironed out; it’s much simpler to compromise on the little things. After all, by their very definition, there can be no compromise surrounding our ethics, morals and principles, since these are what make us human and give us our integrity.
In order to truly respect our partner’s core beliefs, we must see our own reflected in them.
6. Are You Getting Married For the Wrong Reasons?
No matter how long you’ve been together and how in love you are, when matrimony is staring you in the face it can be scary!
Our generation has seen so many failed marriages that it’s resulted in many products of divorce declaring they will never tie the knot.
That’s sad – but avoidable. If you’re reading this post then we can safely assume you’re not in that category, but perhaps you are wary all the same – and for good reason: according to the ONS, 42% of marriages are expected to end in divorce.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the romance of engagements and wedding planning; but are you really ready for everything that goes along with making those vows to your betrothed?
Bad Reasons to Get Married
Bad reasons to be considering marriage include the following:
- The overriding reason you are in your relationship is habit;
- You fear you are too old to find the perfect mate;
- You’re keen to start a family;
- Your mum keeps nagging you to settle down;
- You want a big white wedding;
- An examination of your purse would indicate you’re poor, and you’d quite like to be financially stable;
- So that next Christmas you can tell the extended family that actually yes, you are in a serious relationship with prospects.
(This list is not exhaustive.)
None of these are good reasons to be getting wed. If, however, you’re thinking about marrying your best friend because you would not choose to spend your life with anybody else, then you are on the right tracks.
The Right Reasons to Get Married
Presuming this list has strengthened your confidence in marrying your partner, you should comfortably be able to proceed without hesitation. But if you’re still seeking clarification or reassurance, it may help you to talk to your other half too.
Questions to Ask a Potential Spouse
- How you feel about finances/pooling resources?
- Where do you envisage us living now and in the future?
- How do you feel about having a family?
- What are your feelings about family and career?
- What are your political/religious/feminist/etc views?
- Why do you want to get married?
Between the searching questions you’ve asked yourself and the above list you can talk through with your partner, you should be in a position to confidently start planning your wedding!
Check out my comprehensive checklist for help and advice planning your wedding, and these tips to ensure you don’t forget anything important in the big day itself!