Part 10 contains 10 questions covering miscellaneous topics that don’t really fall into any of the previous categories. I have mentioned before that this article series is not purely for those intending to get married. Despite the title, sometimes it is interesting to just ask our partners these questions, at whatever stage of the relationship we might be in.
Is it ever acceptable to take off our wedding bands?
I work as a doctor in the General Surgery department of my hospital. Although I am technically allowed to wear my wedding band to work, the nature of my job is such that I am much more comfortable sanitising my hands and performing operations without any rings on. If my fiancé’s answer to this question was that it is never acceptable to take off our wedding bands, then I would have to seriously reconsider my profession. I am sure I would eventually get used to working with a ring on but I feel that it is justified in some cases to remove them. I have literally seen my colleague try to find her ring in a trash bin of biological waste because the ring came off when she removed her examining gloves. That is not a situation I would want to find myself in at all.
Would you want your children to serve in the military?
Unfortunately, I have no experience in this at all. I have no immediate family members or even distant family members in the military. But i do know that in some families, it is almost an expectation or a tradition to serve in the military. I think it would be quite interesting to read about how it is to actually serve in the military or to be a parent of a soldier. I would imagine it involves waking up everyday praying for peace so that my child would not have to be called for duty.
Do you have a best friend?
This person must know things that you don’t. They must have been through amazing experiences with your partner that you have not and will probably hear about over and over again. This person will obviously be a big part of your lives together. They might end up being your partner’s confidante in trying times. It is definitely important to know who it is and why they chose that person. If you are the cheeky sort, you might even choose to follow up their answer with: “Why am I not your best friend?”.
When do you feel you would need time away from me?
According to Chinese horoscope, I am born in the year of the rat. This means, among other things, that I need to have some alone time once every 7 days or so in order to function well. It does not mean that I do not enjoy the company of my partner. It does not mean I have to be mad about something. It just means that, similar to a rat hiding in the little hole in the wall, sometimes I need time away from my partner and everyone else. During that time, I can recuperate and recharge and enjoy the peace and quiet of not having everyone needing something from me. Even just half an hour is definitely a requirement for me to clear my head for the week and be ready to face the next week.
Do you believe your partner has a say in contraception choice?
This actually touches on some psychological, physical, medical and legal issues. It might be a simple question but there are actually so many different aspects you can look at it from. For example, the man might refuse a vasectomy because he feels his manhood will be reduced and not want to use condoms because it reduces his sensation. The woman may therefore have to resort to oral hormonal pills which may have undesirable side effects to her body. The woman may then blame the man for refusing to use other forms of contraception and this results in relationship tension. Other issues include the religious aspect of it, especially if you are a couple of different faiths.
What do you like and dislike about your appearance? About mine?
There are lucky people out there who happen to be with partners that do not put so much emphasis on physical appearance. But, knowing what visually stimulates your partner will also give you clues about whether an outsider poses a threat to your relationship. It will show you whether your partner has body dysmorphic disorder where they see their body in a completely unrealistic, normally unpleasant, way. This could be linked with the previous question as well about what would be left in your relationship without physical attraction.
How do you like to be treated when you are sick?
In medical practice, we learn the terms “secondary gains” and “illness behaviour”. This basically means that people act differently when they are sick. Sometimes, it is because they find that when they are sick, people in their everyday circles treat them in a special way which they enjoy. For example, bringing them hot chicken soup, allowing them to skip their chores or not having to go to work. Sometimes, it is because they feel that when they are sick they are supposed to act a certain way. This could stem form how they were treated when they were sick as a child.
What are your views on marriage counsellors?
This is basically a straight forward question. I am sure you have read about some celebrities who go to marriage counselling on a regular basis whether they have marital problems or not. They find that it helps to open up communication channels between them and bring up issues in a different light. They find it useful to have someone who can rephrase things in a neutral way and give it a new perspective.
If you had unlimited resources, how would your life be different?
This is a twist on the more common question: "What would you do if you won the lottery?”. When most people hear this question, they tend to focus on things they would buy, places they would go, etc. But, by asking how would your life be different, it would give them a chance to explain how their unlimited resources would affect the people around them, not just themselves, and also give an insight into what they feel is missing from their current state.
What is your retirement plan?
It is getting more common for people not to retire completely. They believe that retiring will cause their brain to slow down and age more rapidly. With enormous medical advances, we are also able to live longer which means we have more time to get to do the things we really want to do in life and reach our ambitions. Another factor to consider is the financial aspect of retiring. Do you have enough savings to sustain you?
Human nature is such that everyone will change with time and circumstance. Their answers before you got together may be completely different to their answers today and it may be different again tomorrow. I hope that these 100 questions have enabled you and your partner to get to know each other a little bit better while having some fun in the process. I am sure there are at least another 100 questions not covered here that other people can think of. This just goes to show the complexity of being married. This fun and exciting engagement period should be treasured and used well as a building block in solidifying your future relationship.
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