Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do”
Couples spend so much time planning for their wedding, but so little time planning for their marriage.
The wedding is a grand celebration of a couple’s love for one another — but it lasts only one day.
Marriage, on the other hand, impacts the rest of your life.
In order to be prepared for marriage, Dov Heller M.A., has prepared the top 10 questions you should answer and discuss before you say, “I do!”
These questions are not easy, but they are essential for thoughtful and meaningful consideration.
1. Do we truly care about each other as good friends?
• The wrong question to ask is “Are we in love?” because love is riding a high and highs don’t last.
• Instead, you should ask, “Are we becoming good friends?”
• You want to feel with your spouse the way you feel with your close best friends.
2. Are we emotionally honest and vulnerable with each other?
• Ask them how they feel about something. If they respond with “I feel + feeling” or “I feel + not a feeling.”
• Red flags are common if you are afraid to express how you feel.
3. Do we consistently reach win-win resolutions to our problems?
• Great communication is key. You must be certain you solve problems together so that you are both happy with the solutions.
• People confuse good communication with good chemistry.
• You know you have good communication when you are solving problems.
• Couples who don’t have problems while dating will run into problems for the first time when planning wedding.
• There can’t be resentment. Don’t say “yes” if you mean “no.”
4. Do we take care of each other’s needs?
• “I want to make you happy. I want to give.”
• Being a giver is a requirement for marriage.
• Read the Book: “The Five Love Languages” — the 5 love languages are the words of admiration, gifts, touch, acts of service, and quality time. Find out what the other person’s love language is and give it to them.
5. Do we admire and respect each other?
• To respect someone is to see them as heavy (Hebrew root)
• Respect goals, deeds, good character, aspirations.
• You should feel comfortable expressing your respect for the other person.
• You should speak to each other with respect.
6. For the man: Are you ready to take responsibility for a wife and family?
• In Kabbalah, men have tendency to want to remain as a child.
• Men have obligation to meet wife’s emotional and sexual needs. Women don’t have this obligation because they already feel the need to provide these things.
• 3 Basic needs: appreciate, affection, attention.
For the woman: Do you believe in him?
• Do I identify with his goals, vision, and essence? Can I support these?
• A man wants his wife to feel like he is her hero.
• Nagging is indicating “You are not taking care of me.” This is really destructive to a man.
• Neglect is really destructive to a woman. Working for a family includes spending time with your family. Not just at work.
7. Do I trust this person completely?
• I can rely on you and believe you will do what you can to come through.
• Must completely trust person. Trust them with decisions.
• Is there anything I don’t trust about this person? If you have an intuition this person is not trustworthy, listen to it. Figure out why you are feeling that. Don’t marry person until this is resolved. Need to explore where it is coming from.
8. Do we want the same things out of life?
• On the same page about values, priorities, goals, and purpose in life.
• People who have a shared life vision with this person is one of the greatest grantors that couple will stay together.
• Both understand that relationship is #1. This includes family, mother, father, siblings, etc. If relationship is not #1, can create triangulation. You need to build a fort around your love. Need to know it, think it, feel it. Triangle can be object or extracurricular activity.
9. Do I have peace of mind about this decision?
• Any doubts? You need to look at them very closely. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t dismiss it.
• People don’t listen to their intuition when something is not right / are not honest with themselves for several reasons. Pressure from family, social pressure, age pressure, baby pressure, pressure to settle.
• Be honest with your self and don’t ignore your inside voice.
• Losing the friendship will destroy everything else.
10. There needs to be enough physical and sexual energy that grows.
• The growth of a relationship is what really matters. Is it heading in the right direction or do you see a downward trend?
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Rabbi Dov Heller is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is director of the Aish HaTorah Counseling Center in Los Angeles, founder of the Relationship Institute, and runs a private practice specializing in adult psychotherapy, marriage counseling and personal guidance. In addition, he provides an international coaching and counseling service via telephone helping people solve their relationship challenges. Visit his website at www.claritytalk.com
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