7 Critical Questions You Must Answer BEFORE Tying The Knot

happy marriage

Don't say "I do" until you've heard your partner's answers to these questions ...

Let's be honest, far too many folks contemplating marriage skip the important (but difficult) conversations until after they get married.

We're here to tell you ... that's is a very bad idea.

We've learned much about successful love and marriage over more than three decades of marriage research; we have interviewed thousands of successfully married couples on all seven continents.

Our goal? To discover and share with you the secret "stuff" that makes up successful marriages. And we know that what you do in the early stages of your relationship goes a long way towards determining the overall success and longevity of your marriage.

So, what are the seven things you MUST discuss before you get married? Here is our list:

1. Why do you love each other? And remember this—it is not enough to love each other; you have to LIKE each other as well. If your spouse-to-be is not your best friend the chances of success in your marriage are greatly diminished.

2. What do you want most from your marriage? Do you share common wants and needs in your marriage or are you like two ships passing in the night? Becoming clones of one another certainly isn't necessary, but you DO have to share many parallel and common wants and needs.

3. What are the "core values" of your loving relationship? What matters most to you in your relationship with each other? If you don't share "core values" your marriage has a much higher risk of failure. Identify what they are and talk about them together. Agree on those that matter the most to the two of you, collectively. Don't delay this conversation until after you're married. It is a very bad idea to do so.

4. Is having children important to your marital relationship? Always remember that having children in a marriage is a double-edged sword. Children can both harm and strengthen a marriage. Deciding together whether or not to have children BEFORE you get married is critically important.

5. How do you want your relationship to evolve down the road? What do you want it to look like 5, 10, 15, and 20+ years from now? Do you and your future spouse have common goals and aspirations for your marriage? If you don't, your marriage will end up in big trouble after the glow of the honeymoon is over.

6. How will you share decision-making in your marriage? Remember, shared decision-making, not unilateral decision-making, characterize successful marriages. Shared decision-making is a hallmark of all great marriages.

7. Can you imagine life without each other? We asked this question in every interview we conduct. Those in love, and who are happily and successfully married cannot, in fact, imagine life without each other. No way to sugarcoat this one.

It is clear to us that these seven leading questions are important predictors of the health and strength of your relationship. 

Based on the responses we've gathered, the answers to these questions reveal a great deal about your relationship and serve as a valid predictor of whether or not your marriage will stand the test of time.

Our advice is to discuss these seven questions before you get married. You will not regret having done so. If you fail to do so, you will place yourself and your marriage in great peril. Don't wait until it's too late.

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz: America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts. Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy—the latest multiple award-winning book by the Doctors.