Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Five Questions To Ask Before Marriage

Posted by Mike at 19:14

1. The Faith Question
Each of us enters adulthood with many different values passed onto us from our parents and cultural upbringing. This may include our faith and belief system. It would be wise for each of us to know in our own minds what is important to us when it comes to religion and faith. It then becomes a 'non-negotiable' in marriage. Lay down a foundation of faith in your own life and decide that the person you marry must have the same faith. In fact when you marry outside of your faith, before you've even tied the knot, complications arise because even the marriage ceremony will be fraught with extra negotiations regarding how it's going to take place. Know what you believe. Know Who you believe in. Are you both like-minded? Don't disregard this question, thinking it will sort itself out as time passes by. Have these deeper conversations before you get involved.
2. How Many Children Do You Want?
When you are young and in love, the idea of being 'tied down' by children may not be very appealing. If one of you doesn't want children, this could be a serious area of conflict throughout your marriage. Sort this issue out before any long term commitment is made.
3. How Do You Handle Money?
When you look at the main areas of conflict within marriage, financial issues rank right up at the top along with sex and communication. Questions to ask include are you a spender or a banker? Are you generous or tight-fisted? What's more important to you: people or things? How did your parents handle money? These kind of questions lead into others regarding who will manage the money within the family. How do each of you feel about hire purchase and credit cards? Would you take high financial risks? Do you believe in tithing? Do you give to the poor? Do you gamble or buy lotto tickets? Do you save every month? How do you feel about debt? Money issues last a lifetime. It's important that you are on the same page from the very beginning.
4. What Will The Division of Labour Be?
In years gone by, women stayed at home, managed all aspects of the home and raised the children. Men went out to work. When they got home, they put their feet up, read the newspaper, watched television and were waited on hand and foot by their doting wives. But no longer! Many families today, are double income and with more and more women becoming professionals, it is not uncommon to find wives earning more than their husbands. House-husbands are becoming a more familiar sight at supermarkets and in school carparks waiting for their children. If both husband and wife are working, who will do the cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry. Add in a few children and life can be overwhelmingly busy. Roles need to be discussed and re-negotiated as time progresses.
5. How Do Feel About Divorce?
If you are people of faith, divorce should not be an option. Fifty years ago, marriage was 'for keeps'. Divorce was scandalous. Things have changed. Divorce is becoming more and more acceptable. It's easy for a couple to have a disagreement, tempers to rise, a stalemate to be achieved and rather than patience and sacrifice being offered, divorce papers are served instead. Find out how your future spouse feels about divorce. Do they believe that if the marriage doesn't work, "no problem, we can always end it?" or do they understand that marriage is hard work and worth fighting for. Difficulties and disagreements will come, but instead of considering divorce, we will choose understanding and selflessness. Decide before you commit, divorce is not an option.
Helga has been married to Mike for 26 years. She describes herself as not just happily married, but head-over-heels, doing-double-back-flips kind of happily married. They have two grown children and a much appreciated son-in-law. Mike & Helga make their home in Cape Town, South Africa. Helga works as the morning drive show presenter for a Cape Town based community radio station. She writes a daily bloghttp://www.helgavan.com
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