Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

(Re-blogged from an old blog post, about 2 years before we were engaged)

This weekend Theo and I went back to our hometown of Geneva for the annual Grape JAMboree. It reminded me of the last time we passed through when I took this photo: This summer we took a trip to the Rochester, New York Area where his brother, sister-in-law and niece lives. From Toledo that’s quite a drive and we had a great time; I finally got to meet his sweet little niece.

One of the things we did to pass the time was some questions I had found online of “Questions to Ask Before You Get Married”. Below I have listed a bunch of the ones I picked out and categorized for your convenience. There are tons more on the internet so don’t stop here if you want to get to know your significant other better. Theo and I have been together for over 6 years and based on our personality types one of the ways we really connect is through long, thoughtful conversations so this is great for us and we’ve already covered the basics. For example, we’ve already discussed many parenting ideas not just “Do you want to have kids?” “How many?” So without further adieu, here are some more in-depth questions to discuss before you get married AND the bottom has a surprise for you all!

 Love, Communication and Sex

What is the best way for me to show you that I love you?
If I put on weight will it affect our relationship? How?
What turns you off sexually?
Do you think being in love means (1) Never having to say you’re sorry, (2) always having to say you’re sorry, (3) knowing when to say you’re sorry, (4) being the first to say I’m sorry?
Have the been times when you were uncomfortable I behaved with the opposite sex? If so, when?
Suppose we are experiencing trouble in our marriage, in what order will you seek help to resolve our conflicts: (1) divorce lawyer, (2) your parents, (3) sibling(s) [we also included friends here] (4) marriage counselor, (5) me, (6) clergy
Do you believe that you should stick with a marriage if you are unhappy all the time?
When do you need space away from me?
Whenever we have difficult feelings about each other should we (1) remain silent, (2) say something as soon as the difficult feelings arise (3) wait a certain amount of time before raising the issue, (4) do something else (if so, what?)?
What is the best way for me to communicate difficult feelings about you so that you are not offended?
Who should know about the arguments we have?
What makes you not want to talk to me?
Do you feel you could communicate with me under any circumstances about any subject?
When you are in a bad mood how should I deal with it?
What are your views on pornography?

Finances

Would you be comfortable transferring all of your money into my bank account?
Do you trust me with money?
What justifies going in to debt?
What are your current personal debts?
Do you feel stress when facing financial problems? How do you deal with that stress?
How often do you use credit cards and what do you buy with them?
How should we prepare for a financial emergency?
Do you feel that lack of money is a good reason not for us to have children?
When our child is very young, will he or she go to daycare or will one of us stay home and take care of the child? (If yes to the second, who would work and who would stay home?)
Will we have a budget?
Who will pay the bills?
How do you feel about helping me pay my debts?
What are your feelings about saving money?
Do you prefer separate bank accounts or assets in different names? Why?
Do you believe our parents should know our financial condition whether good or bad just because they want to? How far should this go?

Family & Future

How would our relationship be affected if for medical reasons we could not have children?
If we are unable to have children, should we adopt?
Who comes first—your spouse or your children?
When we are married do you anticipate spending just as much time with friends, family and coworkers as you do now? Why or why not?
How did your family resolve conflicts when you were growing up? Do you approve or disapprove of that method?
Would you prefer to live in the city, country, by the beach (etc.)? Why?
If I wanted to move away from our families would you support me?
How do feel about having our parents come live with us if the need arises?
How will we schedule holidays with our families?
How long would you like to wait before we have children?
Do you anticipate raising our children (1) the same way you were raised (2) completely different from the way you were raised (3) a mixture of both?
Other than formal schooling what types of education will our children receive and how will they receive them?
When we have children who will change the diapers, heat the bottles, prepare the meals, do the housework, bathe the child, get up in the middle of the night, take the child to the doctor, buy clothing, dress the child?
What types of discipline would you implement to correct a child or teenager’s behavior? Were these practices you experienced or are they new ones you have developed on your own?
What does my family do that annoys you?
How would you react if our son or daughter told us they were gay?
What influence, if any, do you believe my family should have on our relationship?

Miscellaneous

What childhood experiences influence your behavior and attitude the most?
Is trust automatic until something occurs that takes it away, or does it evolve over time?
Would it be permissible for us to open each other’s mail?
How are we different? Could this be a source of future conflict? Do our differences complement one another?
Is there anything about marriage that frightens you?
How would it affect you if I traveled frequently on my own to (1) visit family, (2) earn income, (3) pursue a hobby, (4) deal with stress?
How will you support my hobbies?
Is there anything you would regret not being able to do or accomplish if you married me?
What is nagging? Do I nag? How does it make you feel?
Do you approve without reservation of the way I dress?
If you always say you are going to do something but never do it, what is the most effective way to bring this problem to your attention?
What holidays are most important to celebrate to you?
Are there certain holiday traditions you want to establish or maintain?
Do you harbor any racial/ spiritual etc. prejudice?
How do you feel about having guns in our home?
What health problems do you have?
Have you ever had any psychological problems?
Is there anything in your past I should be aware of?
Do you keep letters/ memorabilia from past relationships? Why or why not?
If I had bad breath or an odor would you tell me? Should I tell you? How should I tell you?
Do you look forward to at least one night out a week, or do you prefer to stay at home?
How would you rank the priorities in your life: work, school, family, spouse, friends, hobbies? Does your ranking reflect the amount of time you spend on each?
Do you prefer to set a daily work schedule or flexible work activities and time tables?
What do you fear?
What is your all-time favorite Halloween costume?

Here’s your surprise: Theo’s answer to this question was one that he described to me as we were driving in the car. I had never seen the picture. I saw the picture a few days later on Facebook. The first Halloween photo I found of him was above. Typical Theo, flashing a beaming smile even when he was supposed to be Dracula.

dracula

What was his actual answer to his favorite Halloween costume of all time?

fester

His mom made him into Uncle Fester  from the Addams Family. His outfit was covered in nails and check out “Thing” (the creepy doll arm) on his shoulder. This was definitely an awesomely creative work of art by his Mom—and potentially the creepiest photo I have ever seen of my amazing boyfriend. My personal answer? I was little orphan Annie one year but there are no photos to show a record of that. Instead here is a picture of my awesome face painting skills as demonstrated on myself and my little sister.

What are your favorite questions that I missed? What is your favorite Halloween costume of all time?

Mom: My Crafting Inspiration

For my Mom, crafting was a hobby, a business and a getaway. She passed away in October of 2011 but before that had our basement FULL of crafting supplies including lots of inventory for her at-home rubber stamping business. She would host parties where she would teach the ladies a few new projects, like some handmade greeting cards, gift bags and customized stationery. My Mom made beautifully outstanding cards and found unique ways to use all kinds of things in her crafting. I have a great sense of pride when I give out one of the cards she made. She was constantly researching what the new techniques were and adding items to her collection to build upon her crafting opportunities. Before she had gotten into rubber stamping, she was really into sewing projects and I cherish that I have her sewing machine from when she was young. (Fun fact, it’s the sewing machine I used when I sewed a handmade quilt for Theo years ago!)

From my Mom I not only inherited my own inventory of crafting supplies, but a love for making things with my own two hands. From her, I learned to use things in unexpected ways. I definitely think it’s fair to “blame” my crafting gene on her. I also inherited a sense of frugality from her as she rarely ever paid full price for any item she used to craft with, this same mentality led her (and me!) to find ways to use scrap materials in creative ways. She even bought her library of crafting magazines with a coupon!

Another thing I get from my Mom is my slightly “fearless” streak when it comes to crafting. It leads me to believe that the risk will be worth the reward and that I can just go for it. I try to do my research before jumping head-on into something– but I’m not afraid of failure, because often I can (as Tim Gunn says) “make it work” or find another use for the failed materials later. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge (even when you have finite resources) and just try it out, and hope for the best— you can only go through so much pre-planning before you have to bite the bullet and start the project.

I’ve completed quite a few projects since we got engaged and I’m so excited to share everything with you along the way!

I miss my Mom all the time and although I’ve only started wedding planning, I know it’s going to be hard to plan my wedding without her. Luckily, I have an amazing Stepmom, a group of incredible friends and a loving Dad and fiancé to get me through it.
Lastly, to all the moms out there– especially the ladies who have made an impact in my own life, Thank you for everything you do. Thanks for being you everyday and sharing your love. Happy Mother’s Day!!