Part 5 of this article series deals with the future. After all, you do plan to spend the rest of your life together, don’t you? With all the advancements in modern medicine, the rest of your life could well be a very long time still! But I hope that by getting these questions out of the way, your future married life will be smoother sailing.
Question 41 and 42
Is there anything that frightens you about marriage? What differences between us could become a source of conflict in the future and how can they be addressed?
This is a great question to open the discussion with, I feel. It allows your partner to know that you are willing to listen and that you are willing to address any problems before they might arise. It is a very general question that can lead to any direction of discussion. Use this when you are both in a relaxed mood and have time to spare.
How will we spend our holidays?
This discussion should include not only the types of holidays you will take together but the company as well. Some people, like me, enjoy exploring new destinations. I love researching about what is available in a certain destination before I get there and try to maximise my experience. But others love to just sit by the beach and enjoy the hotel luxury of room service and spa treatments.
The second part about company relates to whether you will include taking extended family members along on your holiday. In some cultures, family holidays that include the grandparents, cousins etc are the norm. But for me, personally I feel like it is a mountain of a task to have to make small talk with too many people. It stresses me out and is the exact opposite of my definition of a holiday. Even though they may be family, it is not always the Sound of Music type of family where everyone gets along.
What is your ideal lifestyle?
My ideal lifestyle is to be surrounded by a loving, healthy and happy family. I want to come back everyday from a job I am passionate about to a relaxing home and to be comfortably rich that I do not have to look at price tags when I shop. I wish to travel every year to a new country, have a close group of friends that are like a second family and to be able to enjoy a stress-free home-cooked meal with my fiancé everyday.
Is this possible? Only time will tell. But my fiancé knows my ideal lifestyle and I know his. Together we will work towards each other’s and hopefully one day we will achieve it.
Question 45 and 46
Where would you prefer to live? Would you be willing to relocate for a job or follow me if I had to move away for a job?
After the wedding, I will be moving from Asia to Europe. I have lived in Europe before during my university days. I love the history of it, the architecture and the general civic-mindedness of the people. But I hate winter. I hate that everything is so expensive compared to Asia and I have to pay 4 times as much for a bowl of rice. Nonetheless, I will be moving to Europe after my wedding. I would not say it is my preferred country to live in but I know that it is temporary.
This question might be particularly important for expatriates or those who will be marrying expatriates. They move around the world every few years or so and only sometimes can choose where they will be stationed. So, knowing where you would prefer to live, might give your partner a better idea of which places to choose should they be offered it. If not, then they will at least be aware that you are out of your comfort zone and they will be more understanding.
How would you feel about our parents living with us?
This should be quite a lengthy discussion between you and your partner. It is a touchy subject! It needs to cover topics such as when it would be alright for one or both parents to live with you, how long would it be acceptable for them to stay with you and how the general situation will be. Should they be involved in the disciplining of your future children? Will you expect your other siblings to contribute financially or otherwise? Do you have enough room in the house? It might help to speak to someone in this situation and find out their experiences too.
Marrying someone does mean marrying their family as well. In laws pose an obstacle about 70% of the time, simply because they are used to doing things a certain way, which you are not. It takes a lot of compromise to be able to live with someone else’s parents and accept them.
Is there anything you would think that you did not accomplish if you married me?
There is nothing worse than having regrets about your life or feeling that you are being held back by your partner and then blaming them for it. Achieving ambitions should be a shared goal and celebrated together. However, if there is something in particular that you feel you need to experience, do, achieve, etc while you are still single, then you best voice it out before you continue on to live a life of regret.
What hobbies would you continue to do after marriage?
Hobbies can be simple things like basketball with the guys, going for karaoke night with the girls, etc. But even simple things can drag on for hours. Are you willing to be away from your spouse for hours at a time?
Hobbies can also be adventurous things like sky-diving. Would the thought of your spouse doing adventure sports give you nightmares of having to take care of a person in a wheelchair? Or, is that part and parcel of “in sickness and in health”?
Hobbies can be going to pubs certain days of the week, going to casinos, etc. Certain hobbies may cause disagreements between you, even though they were fine before you got married. Certain hobbies may cause marital rifts if they impinge on the time spent with the family or if it may escalate into vices. For example, ending up bankrupt from gambling debts or becoming a victim of domestic violence after a night out in the bar.
Who do you see as your support system if we had marital troubles?
Maybe you know a couple whose marriage you admire and always ask them for advice. Maybe it's a friend who has known you since the days before you were married. Maybe you know of a marriage counsellor that you can talk to if needed. Anyone can be considered as a support system.
Personally, I would feel very uneasy about my fiancé’s friends and family members knowing intimate details of our married life together, every fight we have and if we were having troubles. Yes, I agree that sometimes it helps to get another neutral person’s perspective. But who of your friends and family can really be 100% neutral?
I love talking about the future with my fiancé. So many possibilities, so many routes for the conversation to go, and so many funny things to find out about each other. I do admit that sometimes he gets tired of my passion for talking about the future and incessant questions, though. During those times, I just sit by myself and daydream. But I don’t stop thinking about the future. I just keep it to myself for a while until his battery recharges! Happy interrogating!
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