Saturday, 25 October 2014

What should a couple discuss before marriage?

Marriage is an important part of a person’s life, both personally and socially. It is not just a social norm but most religions emphasize on its importance. Basically, marriage is a contract between a man and a woman, wherein both agree to spend their lives together and to share their responsibilities, happiness and good or bad times together. The basic purpose of marriage is to legitimize the relationship of a man and a woman for society so that the children that they bear are legitimate and socially acknowledged. It is also a way of diminishing the insecurity either of the man or woman may have with respect to the sustainability of their relationship. In Saudi culture, as per the Islamic principles, marriage is a very important and necessary part of a person’s life. It may take place between an unmarried man and woman, presently married man and woman or previously divorced or widowed man and woman. Hence there are many things that both might wish to discuss with each other prior to getting married or many questions one may need to ask. Only then can a person decide whether they are good for each other or not. In KSA, many Saudi families allow the couple to have chaperoned private time where they may openly discuss whatsoever they wish to do so. This is necessary as the main reason people get divorced is on the grounds of “not being compatible” with each other. If they are given proper time and opportunity to get to know each other more before saying yes, then the unfortunate event of divorce can be prevented.

What to know before Marriage?
Now one may wish to get to know the other person more, but does not know what exactly to ask or talk about. Well, here are some guidelines to basic things that you should know about your partner and certain topics you might want to discuss. One might need to know, initially, what background the other person belongs to and has been brought up in. This gives great insight into what type of a person one is. Where a person lives also gives us information about his values and in turn, his expectations from you. Many people believe that the most important factor for a successful relationship is that the mental caliper or level of both should be on the same frequency. This would guarantee that you two would get along, well for most of the time at least.

Another important thing that we look for in an ideal partner is his or her sense of humor. This is something that is almost universal. I mean I have personally never met a person who dislikes a good sense of humor. It greatly adds to the overall personality of an individual. When two people are together then there are certainly some things that one person is good at which the other is not. That is the whole point of a great relationship! That one person fills in the gaps of the other and vice versa. Usually men have better instincts in decision making than women as they are capable of thinking rationally and make practical decisions, which is why they are called the Head of the family.

Another important factor for a good match is religious background. If two people have a common religious background then both would think on the same page and there would be lesser chances of confrontation or argument on this topic. As it is a very sensitive issue hence people usually prefer marrying people with similar religious inclinations. A very important quality that a person has is broad mindedness or level of openness to various discussions. If a person is broad minded, he would be open to hearing other people’s opinions and beliefs. Such people are easier to deal with and simultaneously rare to find. People are usually pretty obsessive about their choices and faith and are habitual of imposing it on others.

The next step in a marriage is children. Different people have a different opinion about having children. Some wish to not have children at all, some might want to wait a little before progressing to the next big change whereas some are very eager to have children and wish to do so as soon as possible. For this, agreement of both parties constitutes an ideal situation. However, the openness comes in handy here where people learn to respect each others’ choices. Physical attraction is also very important to most people. In fact some people consider it the most important factor in selection of their life partner. No doubt, a person wishes to have the best for himself and a good looking partner certainly tops the list! But for some, it is an added bonus if the person is good looking, as they focus more on the other attributes such as ones mentioned above.

There are dozens of things that one may wish to know, and a zillion questions that you might want to ask, but these basic questions and queries are the most important and main ones that you should know. Other things may include personal hygiene, habits, hobbies, circle of friends, intellect, relationship with family members, cooking skills, social skills, favorites and many other preferences. If one is able to cover even half of these things then I think it would be enough to judge a person and determine whether he or she would be the ideal match for you!

Some Questions
1.       Relationship Options and Goals
2.       Family Background
3.       Home Roots location and Culture
4.       Family Values
5.       Educational background
6.       IQ indicators
7.       Decision making ability
8.       Sense of humor
9.       Verbal skills
10.  Religious background/Tradition
11.  Level of religious participation
12.  Openness to religious discussions/learning
13.  Personal Faith
14.  Children
15.  Relationship with children
16.  Parenting skills
17.  Parenting styles
18.  Pets
19.  Work background
20.  Current living situation (own/renting – house/apt etc)
21.  income level
22.  Personal Health issues
23.  Physical Attraction
24.  Physical Preferences
25.  Physical Turn-offs
26.  Definition of Intimacy
27.  Desire for Intimacy
28.  Capacity for intimacy
29.  Sexual Experience
30.  Sexual Preferences
31.  Sexual Desires
32.  Previous relationships
33.  Relationship(s) with X’s
34.  Bad or Repulsive habits
35.  Pet peeves
36.  Meyers-Briggs Temperament Type
37.  Biorhythm Cycle
a.      Biorhythm compatibility
i.      Intellectual – 60% Ideal
ii.      Physical – 60% Ideal
iii.      Emotional – 80% Ideal
iv.      Overall – 80% ideal
38. personality type
39.  Hobbies
40.  Circle of Friends
41.  Relationship with Father
42.  Relationship with Mother
43.  Relationship with Siblings
44.  Previous personal Crises encountered and endured
45.  Any Healing/Grieving processes not completed
46.  Personal Hygiene Standards & values
47.  Physical Conditioning standards & values
48.  Any health problems or limitations? (revisit this again at later phases In the relationship)
49.  Cooking skills
50.  Entertaining skills
51.  Expressed Social skills
52.  Observed Social skills,
a.      Large Group
b.      Small Group
c.      1-1
d.      With Wait  Staff
e.      With Retail CSRs
53.  Past Huge Emotional Events – life changing level
54.  Unfinished business – personal emotional, legal, financial actions that are still unresolved.
55.  Favorite foods
56.  Favorite colors
57.  Clothing style preferences
58.  Income needs to support style of living
59.  Financial stability
60.  Tax returns
61.  Personal Values
62.  Personal Crusades
63.  Personal Prejudices’
64.  Personal Passions
65.  Personal Political views/passions
66.  Values indicated by the lifestyles and habits of your children
67.  Relationship with your children
68.  Importance of family
69.  Your Interaction with my family
70.  Your acceptance of my family – as they are
71.  My families acceptance of you
72.  Pets acceptance of you
73.  Your acceptance of my pet(s)
74.  Temper/Anger management
75.  Argument/fighting skills/styles
76.  Emotional “Hot Buttons”
77.  Any Baggage
78.  Preferred Living situation
79.  Realistic Living expectations
80.  Personal Dreams/Goals and Aspirations
81.  Willingness to relocate
82.  Willingness to commit
83.  Number of previous LTR’s
84.  Longest relationship – what kept it together?
85.  Strongest relationship – How and why was it so?
86.  Number of previous engagements
87.  Number of previous marriages
88.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how attracted are you to me?
89.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how willing are you to commit to being exclusive in our relationship?
90.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, how accepting would you be “at this time” to a proposal of marriage, if one was made?
91.  Divorce Redlines/Limits – what things would you divorce your spouse for?. .physical abuse? …Drug addiction?  & HOW does this reconcile with Forgiveness Promise?
92.   Taste in:
a.      Art
b.      Furniture
c.      Decorating
d.      Architecture
93.  Attraction to others outside the relationship, including porn
94.  Man Toys
a.      Boats
b.      Cycles
c.      Others
95.  Guns at home
96.  Division of HH Chores
a.      Dishes
b.      Yard work
c.      Car Maint,
d.      Handy Man Stuff
e.      TP – over/under
97.  Roles in Marriage
98.  Movies
99.  TV habits
100.         Ideal Vacation, Travel
101.         Jealousy
102.         Books
103.         Retirement Goals
104.         Arrests/Illegal Activities/ Drug use
105.         Handling Money
a.      Budgeting habits
b.      Priorities
c.      Saving habits
d.      Investment Habits
e.      Donations
106.         Bucket List
107.         Personal History of Faithfulness to partners in the past..
108.         Love Language….
109.         Birth Date
110.         Sporting Activities and Viewing
111.         How/where and with whom do you celebrate major holidays..


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