What Does Your Future Spouse Need to Know About You?
No magical piece of information shared between a well-intended couple will ensure that they live happily ever after; however, discussing the relationship’s strengths and weaknesses is important part of deciding about and preparing for marriage.
The question of what your future spouse needs to know about you illuminates the more meaningful question of what YOU need to know about YOURSELF and your relationship before committing to marriage.
What qualities do you bring to the relationship that work well? What aspects of yourself do you think you will need to continue to work on? Similarly, what are the strengths of your relationship and what are the challenges? Most couples face the same challenges throughout the arc of their marriage. Maybe one person is more of an introvert and the other is an extrovert. Perhaps one person craves lots of time to talk and connect emotionally while the other prefers connecting through shared activities. Or one partner may be more interdependent while the other is more independent. Often, one half of the couple has a stronger sex drive. These differences are not likely to change with time, but couples who build on their strengths and acknowledge their challenges are likely to evolve to greater emotional maturity in their approach to shared hurdles so that ongoing differences do not weigh the relationship down. It is so easy to get caught up in wedding preparations and honeymoon planning and fantasize that marriage will magically change the parts of yourself or your partner that you wish were different. Such fantasies can lead to disappointment for couples who have not taken the time to honestly acknowledge and discuss their relationship’s strengths and hurdles before commitment to marriage.
For couples seriously contemplating marriage, there are so many delicate and complex topics worth discussing, and sometimes a good book can help structure the conversations and ease some of the tensions that inevitably arise. Many of my pre-marital counseling clients have enjoyed Monica Leahy’s 1001 Questions to Ask Before You get Married Each chapter broaches a different topic — sex, money, religion, careers, parenthood — no topic is off the table. I do not have a faith-based therapy practice, and this book is unusual because it covers questions about religion, but it is not grounded in a particular religious faith.