Are you ready?

I found a post on the NYT that really interested me because it mentioned marriage. Now usually I would roll my eyes and disregard because it did come from the NYT but the first few lines caught my attention, they were spot on. Upon reading I wanted to share with you my POV on their topics.

  • Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver? — Now being Catholic myself, this is HUGE! I would attribute this to a large portion of breakups. Despite what society tells us about what a happy life includes, children are at our core a desire. It is the greatest miracle God shares with us in Genesis 1:27. We join in creation. Also along those same lines, who is going to take care of them? Most people would equate that to father or mother; I think it is more far reaching. Will day care raise your children or you?
    • Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh? — Are you going to buy a new car every year or save for retirement? This even goes beyond long term goals. Do you buy the no-name brand cereal at walmart or the expensive box? Laugh all you want, but things like that are indicative of future habits.
      • Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores? — Someone has to vacuum and clean stuff. You can’t let it go till someone gets sick of it and just finishes the chore. Despite what you did as a single person, you now live in the space of someone else. Unless of course you are both slobs or neat freaks…then it doesn’t matter. Lay it out there and make sure you know who is doing the chores and when. I was horrible with this. Much better now :)
        • Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental? — I have friends that think this doesn’t matter and would argue that love is all that matters. Yeah, whatever. Know your future spouse’s history not because you are nosey, but because they owe you the respect to share their scars. We all have a past and what it does is shape us. Our better halves deserve to know that.
          • Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect? — Guys this isn’t just sex. Sheesh. There is a good mix that everyone likes to have in their lives. It is simple like holding hands in the store or a hug after work, humans are physical beings and we desire to touch and feel love from the other. Is your future spouse devoid of contact?
            • Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears? — Guys this is about sex this time. Don’t lie and pretend it doesn’t matter. This is important. We must all face the fact that over 80% of teens had sex before being married. You probably aren’t his/hers first and you most likely recipcate the same history. That effects us all. Can you talk about it with them?
              • Will there be a television in the bedroom? — HUGE! I can’t stand the TV in the bedroom because frankly, I don’t have a TV that I watch like that. I guess when I get in the bedroom I have a few things on my mind that I would much rather do…like…read…pray…or…well…sleep :) What did you think I was going to say?!
                • Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints? — This isn’t the head nod and smile. I mean listen listen. Do you hear the little things they didn’t mean to slip out? Are you listening well enough to hear the words they didn’t say? Sometimes when you listen like this you find out that you aren’t perfect and the person just wants you to make them happy, listen!
                  • Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education? — GIANT RED FLAG ALERT!!! If you are not the same religion or don’t have religion at all, are you willing for the rest of your life to deal with the differences? I am Catholic for example, my children will be raised Catholic. Why? The Church says so. Knowing that I follow the Church’s teachings makes knowing what my life plan will be so much clearer. Is the person you are with understand where your source of moral code and integrity comes from? Atheist/Agnostic/Christian/Buddhist/Jewish…etc…etc…etc…Religion defines a person. Are you willing to live within the confides of that definition?
                    • Do we like and respect each other’s friends? — Friends matter. I would argue to some extent as much as family. If your friends think your spouse is a total dork and not right for you can you see yourself hearing that for years on end? Maybe they see something you don’t. You have to draw that line in the sand and figure out what is more important.
                      • Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship? — Parents. Wow. Yeah. Look don’t think your spouse’s family plays no role in your life. If you are the type of person who wasn’t close with your family, will it bother you that your spouse is? I am very close with mine and they play an integral part of my life. That is tough for people to be around when they despise their own.
                        • What does my family do that annoys you? — LOL! I can think of a few things my family does that annoys me without a spouses help, but important none-the-less. Wait let me backup and say that I love my family dearly but we annoy the crap out of those we love. If your spouse hates how your family does tribal dancings on Saturdays, maybe you shouldn’t bring her over there on Saturday. Knowing what the land mines are saves you from walking on them.
                          • Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage? — I ride motorcycles. I love computers and do it for a living. I can with some certainty at this point in life that those things aren’t going anywhere. Do you want to be sitting on the couch deciding between your hobbies and wife? No, you want to know she/he is supporting you. Make sure she/he will.
                            • If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move? — I see this a lot with my military buds. They meet a hometown girl near base and when they get orders the girl doesn’t want to leave home. That is a big problem for someone who’s whole life is moving and distance. I think the more correct question would include family and career. Are they willing to leave their job for yours? Do you both have your priorities in line so that it isn’t a battle but rather a growth?
                              • Do each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face? — This really surprised me to read on the NYT site because, frankly, society doesn’t teach longevity and loyalty. If it doesn’t work out try again seems to be the mantra. The question still posses a good topic, are you willing to stick around when it sucks? Marriage despite what Hollywood tells you isn’t a fairytale. Quit setting yourself up for failure. I wish we could stop calling it marriage and maybe replace the word with “Working my butt off to make it work.” That would be much more correct. Here let me show you: I am married to a beautiful woman. would change to I am working my butt off to make it work with a beautiful woman. So much more true :)

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