Congratulations for making it to part 3! You have obviously found a partner who, like you do, puts emphasis on open communication as a key to a long lasting relationship. The next 10 questions deal with a crucial part of being married - showing your love for the other person both physically and emotionally.
Do you feel that maintaining a good appearance for your partner is important?
While you may only get a simple yes or no answer from your partner, you might be surprised as to what their definition of a “good appearance” is. Does it entail going back to your wife’s pre-pregnancy body? Does it involve your husband maintaining his six-pack abs you fell in love with during your university days? Or is it simply being the healthiest version of yourself? Conversely, some people might feel that it is more important to maintain their physical appearance for their own sakes and not for their partner’s sake.
Questions 22 and 23
If we were no longer physical attracted to each other, what would our relationship be like? Have you ever ended a relationship because of sexual dissatisfaction?
Physical attraction is great. You get your butterflies in the stomach, blushing of the cheeks when you see each other, and a regular release of endorphins. It’s nature’s way of ensuring population growth and it’s perfectly human to be guided by our senses to what attracts us. How long does physical attraction last exactly? Well, it’s different for every couple. But the common denominator is that eventually you get a companionship type of relationship, rather than a purely physical attraction relationship. This is more common among older age groups once biology dictates that population growth is no longer the main goal. So then what will happen to both of you? What common interests will keep you together?
What turns you on and off sexually?
I know some couples who prefer to wait until after the wedding night to discuss this. Purely because the pressure is less and they know that they are with someone who will accept them wholeheartedly despite their sexual tastes. Whether your partner will or will not participate in them is a different story. But if you are both completely mismatched in the bedroom, it’s basically a recipe for disaster.
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Do you think sexual fidelity is an absolute necessity for a good marriage?
This is a continuation of the previous question because in fact some couples accept that they are mismatched in the bedroom and they have completely different tastes. In some cases, they are in an arranged marriage. In other cases, they are just more mature and realise that there is much more to a marriage than just physical love. Some people believe that a person’s needs must be fulfilled completely in order for them to function properly. Personally I know of at least one woman who would accept her husband finding certain types of physical love elsewhere simply because she is unable to provide it for him. At the end of the day, he is happy, she is happy and they still have a mutual respect for each other because it is out in the open. For them, sexual fidelity is not an absolute necessity for a good marriage.
Have you ever had a sexually-transmitted disease?
This can be as common and easily treated as chlamydia, gonorrhoea or “kissing disease”. Or, it can be as devastating and life-altering as HIV or hepatitis. It is important to ask this because it will not only affect your partner’s health but also your health if you are not careful about it. Certain diseases may be passed on to your children as well. Health issues that affect the other person should never be kept from them.
Questions 27 and 28
What is the best way for me to show that I love you? What do I do that makes you question my love for you?
The language of love is very complex. My fiancé thinks that by saying “I love you” too frequently, it lessens its value. Maybe your partner thinks the same way. Or maybe they are secretly saying “I love you" by taking the time to go through these questions with you, knowing how important it is to you. Maybe their version of “I love you” is cooking you breakfast in bed, surprising you with a hug while you’re brushing your teeth, or letting you pick the movie to watch.
Similarly, knowing what makes the other person question your love is equally important. For example, many women find it unnerving when their partners go for meals with their female work colleagues without them or they might feel anxious when criticised.
Does being in love mean never having to say "I'm sorry"?
Does it mean that the other person should automatically know when you are sorry or that you should be automatically forgiven? Does it mean being able to say “I’m sorry I made a mistake” without fear of being punished? Being in a long-term relationship myself, I sometimes realise that I have taken my partner for granted and have forgotten to verbalise an apology. It might be just a small mistake but when all these small mistakes are added together for many years with all the times I didn’t bother to say “I’m sorry”, it can make for quite a disgruntled unappreciated partner.
Would you consider yourself a physically affectionate person?
Some people just do not like cuddling. Some people don’t readily hug their friends. It might be a religious thing, a cultural thing or a personal reason. But if your partner is the type of person who you would consider to be not physically affectionate then it will help to understand what other ways they might show their affection instead. Maybe it’s as simple as taking the garbage out without you having to tell them. Likewise, if you partner knows that they are not so physically affectionate, but you are the type that does crave physical affection, then it might be something you need to work on together.
This list of questions is not designed to take the fun and suspense out of your relationship. In fact, it’s designed to build a more trusting foundation so that surprises along the way are well-received. For those of you who are already married, use it as a way to refresh your knowledge about each other and affirm the reasons why you are together. No need to let only the engaged couples have all the fun for themselves! 30 questions down, another 70 to go!