I received a plethora of questions and comments after my blog post Vide Cor Meum. “My marriage is complicated, how can I make it work? I tried all the things you suggested“, one reader asked. Her is a list of things you may want to ask yourself before getting married.
- Ask questions about your partner’s family. Meet the family. How do they live? Is it safe to take a shower? Can you make yourself scrambled eggs in a pan that is clean? Are there eggs? Is there any (healthy) food in the house? Is there a clean place to sit? How is the family situation? How do the father and mother treat each other?
- Observe weird patterns or things that make no sense to you. My friend asked me the other day: “My boyfriend starts many things at the same time without finishing one first. He spends a lot of money on stuff related to his dream house when there is not even a plan established when we start with the foundation. Is this weird?” Whenever it feels and seems weird to you, it probably is. Listen to your gut!
- Do you want to have children (together)? And if we do, will he/she be there to change diapers, help out, and spend quality time with the child(ren)? Only get pregnant if YOU feel it is okay for YOU. Don’t let anybody talk you into it and make you think it is a great idea. Having a child is like getting a tattoo in the face – you kind of want to be committed. Also, when you have a child, get ready to talk to other mothers. Usually, there is no way around. Sometimes mothers with kids talk to other mothers in a language that I do not want to understand because it is too confusing. I do not want to talk about what school lunch is less GMO, peanut/lactose or gluten-free. I also don’t blow my negative energy into a balloon or know the driveway rule. I just don’t. And I don’t care. I also don’t care if my child plays the cello or piano at age five but my son and I listen to a classical concert at the National Arts Center (NAC) occasionally. Ops, I got off on a tangent here but you get the point.
4. Money and debt. Is my debt your debt? Would you be willing to bail me out? Bail you out of what? Jail? Probably not. How much money do you have, how much money does your significant other have? Is it shared? Are there savings? How much? Enough to start projects such as a house, a family, trips, vacations etc.? How much money are you bringing into the relationship/marriage and how much am I contributing? And, you do want to make sure you see and talk about each other’s bank account statement every other month because you LIVE TOGETHER AND SHARE THINGS, right?
5. Can you deal with me doing things without you? Actually, I would prefer it. I love alone time. My sacred time to write, read and be creative. I need to be alone at times. I do not understand couples who do everything together. I prefer to have my own relationship with certain things like doing laundry alone, or cooking, or reading, or cleaning the house. I like doing my own thing and then reunite. And so should you.
6. What do you admire about me and what are your pet peeves? Do you like me if I wear my 80s vintage jeans, tank top and bangs? Do you like my laugh, my style, that I love red wine and cheese, that I want to read all the time and go to bookstores, that I love pho, that I want to travel and see the world; those little things like a cup of coffee and to read a book at a café for hours. Nobody and nothing is perfect. What are your pet peeves and can and do I want to live with them? I am 37 years old. I know what I want and what feels right and is good for me at this point in my life. I have seen and experienced a lot. I don’t dwell in the past or let my past define me though.
7. Where do you see us in five years? Living together is not easy. How much do we talk to each other? Do we resolve problems or just suck things up waiting to explode? What did we accomplish? Which pillars did we take down to build a new entrance even though the old one looked perfectly fine. Did we take the garbage out of the backyard to plant some vegetables and fruit? Do we have some savings to go on vacation? Did we take care of the debt? Do we have our dream house? How did we grow together as a couple? What did we achieve? Do you know me? Do I know you? Does being with each other give us clean energy to move forward without projecting a misguided, rather unrealistic fantasy of the future? Or does this feeling exist that we live in this particular prison anxiety has created with a feeling to be stuck in all this forever without escape because nobody wants to make the other feel uncomfortable? These are all valid questions I now know the answers to. Do you?