Preventing divorce might be as simple as asking the right questions prior to marriage — and how many of us really do that? We think we’re in love, and we’re usually in that young phase of life during which we think we already have all the answers. More questions would just complicate the chemistry inherent in the relationship! Well, not quite. Most psychologists recommend a courting or cohabitation period of five to ten years before a proposal. There’s a reason for that.
- Part of the reason is how much you know about your partner, and when. There are always going to be those people who court one another for two months, determine they’re the only people in the world for one another, and then jump into a long-term commitment far too soon — very few of these relationships work out for the best. Most result in messy divorces. That’s why you need to question your partner about financial goals. Ask what their dream is or where they see themselves in a decade, and then find out how they plan to achieve that dream.
- Go down a list of deal breakers and don’t be afraid to put it on the fridge. This can and will change as partners become more comfortable opening up to one another, and those deal breakers can easily make a partner question whether marriage is really an intelligent next step. Take your time before you accept that the list is complete.
- Do you want kids? It seems like a blatantly obvious question, but some people still fail to ask — they make a bad assumption instead. Loving children doesn’t mean a person will want them. While you’re at it, ask what will happen if they can’t have children biologically. Is adoption on the table?
- What does time to yourself mean to you? Some people need a solid daily portion set aside for freedom and independence, while others will need to spend every waking moment with their loved one. Although opposites can and will attract, this is not one of those traits that should be all that dissimilar from your own.
- How do you communicate during arguments? There are those who need a few hours of alone-time to calm down — and won’t accept anything else — and then there are those who feel the need to immediately mend fences — and won’t accept anything else. Sadly these two types of people rarely interact well during marriage, and this is a big one to avoid. Find out whether your partner would prefer writing issues down or discussing them openly.