10 Questions To Ask Before Getting Married

questions to ask before marriage - margie mcdaniel minneapolis life coaching

10 Questions To Ask Before Getting Married

You have finally found someone who loves Jesus the same way you do—and you hope to marry them soon. It’s very likely that you walked a long path to get to where you are, and I’m certain that you want to have a great marriage. But behind every successful marriage, there are two people who spent quality time thinking about their values and desires before deciding if they’re ready to take the ultimate step of marriage. To help you make the best decision, and have the best marriage possible, I’d like you to ask yourself a few questions to ask before getting married.

1. Have you learned from your past relationships? Yes, I want you to look back at your past. Think about a relationship or two that didn’t work out. Have the courage to loo ack at those failed relationships and ask yourself, What part did I play? Where was I neglectful? Critical? Controlling? Emotionally absent? Did I take him or her for granted? These are critical questions to ask yourself. If you don’t take the time to do some self-reflecting on your past relationships, then it’s likely you’ll make the same mistakes again. To have a better experience this time, you have to become a better you.

2. Have you thought about what you value most? You have values that you shouldn’t be asked to compromise, and your potential spouse should have values they shouldn’t be asked to compromise either. These are very important things that you should talk through and see where you stand.

3. Do you have a hard time trusting people? I truly believe that trust is vital to a successful relationship. In fact, I believe it’s the most important component for a healthy relationship to exist at all. If you don’t trust the person you’re considering marrying, then how will you create a strong marriage? Without trust, you won’t have an environment conducive to authenticity and honesty. You will have a faulty foundation.

4. Do you know the facts? You need to know critical personal matters like health conditions, children, family situations, past relatonships, job history and financial matters. I don’t know about you but I would rather find out the person I hope to marry is $30,000 in debt before we say our vows rather than after the wedding. If they are obligated to previous spouses for alimony or child support, you need to be aware because you are taking on these responsibilities with them as a spouse. I know to some of you, this may seem like a given conversation, but as a coach, I have been amazed at the couples who never have critical conversations before considering marriage.

5. Have you thought through why you’re getting married? Do you genuinely love this person? Or do you just like the idea of getting married? Do you really desire to spend the rest of your life with them? Or are you just wanting to wear a beautiful wedding dress and have a beautiful wedding? Do you feel pressure from people close to get married? It’s so important for you to find out your true intentions so you don’t marry for the wrong reasons.

6. Are you emotionally as well as physically attracted to this person? Your attraction to the person you’re considering marrying should never just be based on their physical appearance alone, but you should find them to be physically attractive. If you’re not physically attracted to them, you will find it harder to connect on all the levels a marriage requires to stay healthy—and you could very well could end up being unhappy which could lead to subsequent problems.

7. When you argue or disagree with this person, what happens? Do you find it always has to be your way? Disagreements are bound to happen after marriage, so it will be very important that you both are able to compromise and agree on the major issues. Lots of couples disagree on minor issues, but be sure you’re agree on the most important issues to you both. You also need to be OK if they disagree with you on some things. Being able to understand it does not have to be your way all the time, but our way will go a long way in ensuring you have a great marriage.

8. Do you both want children? If you truly want kids someday, and this person does not want to have any kids, you both have to sit down and discuss whether moving forward with your relationship is best for both of you. I’ve seen this point of disagreement cause tremendous pain in otherwise happy marriages. It’s not something to take lightly.

9. Are you prepared to think of this person‘s needs above your wants? You both have to give-and-take in marriage and especially during the first few years. You are taking two different lives and backgrounds and molding them together, so you have to really work together and care about each other‘s needs. You definitely will go through some adjustments that will require putting your spouse’s above your wants. Are you ready for that? For example, you might have to stop saving for that amazing car you want, or that house, and put all your money toward helping your spouse finish their college education. Marriage always requires prioritizing together and making some sacrifices.

10. Are you ready to accept this person’s family? You’re not just marrying this person, you are marrying his or her family, too. There’ll be many occasions like birthdays, weddings, and holidays, that you will need to put their family of origin above your own. They are now as much a part of your family as your parents and siblings. So are you willing to share your lives equally with both sides of your family.

I designed these questions to ask before getting married to help you make a good decision, and not rush into getting married. Of course this is not a comprehensive list of all the questions you should consider before marrying, but it at least gives you a starting place for thinking through what matters most before you take that step. It gives you both the opportunity to have critical conversations before you get to the altar.

A Few Valentines Thoughts

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A Few Valentines Thoughts
By Henry Cloud, Ph.D.

When I first became a Christian, I remember a wise older man told me he wasn’t going to church on Easter. I was surprised, especially in my newfound excitement about the faith. What? Why not? I asked.

“It’s amateur day,” he said. “People go who never go any other day of the year and really aren’t serious about it. So, it is too crowded and I just stay home with God.” Continue reading

7 Classic Signs You Have a Frenemy

Minneapolis MN Life Coach Margie McDanielA frenemy – someone who pretends to be a friend but is actually a rival.

Frenemies are often helpful and complimentary, sometimes to excess. But deep down they harbor a second motive, which is to compete with or humiliate their “friend.”

My First

I encountered my first frenemy – though I didn’t know the term – early in my career.

A man began attending church and appeared to be the ideal leader. He was highly committed, had a wealth of talent, and was eager to be my right hand assistant in a key area of ministry. We also seemed to hit it off personally, and it seemed like a great relationship.

After a while I noticed that our interactions were a bit one-sided. While he often asked about my spirituality, he always moved the conversation away from his own inner life. He knew all the challenges in my family and vocation and often dwelled on them in conversation.

I began to feel that he was more interested in reminding me of my difficulties than in celebrating my victories. It was becoming a toxic relationship, and I eventually ended the association.

Unidentified, a frenemy can become something of a relational vampire, draining energy by inciting drama, undermining, or passive-aggressive behavior.

So how do you know if you have a frenemy? Here are 7 indicators of frenemy action.

1. Instant Attention 

Frenemies often crave intimacy in relationships and want to be your bestie five minutes after you meet. They ask for a lunch date, friend you on Facebook, and start texting all in the same day.

Friends understand that building a relationship takes time.

Frenemies want to be too close too soon.

2. Over Sharing

Frenemies will tell you their life’s story, including highly personal details, over your first coffee. They will volunteer to pick up your kids at school, help with your big project, or take the check every time you go for lunch.

In the back of your mind, you realize there is an imbalance in the relationship – and you’re right. The frenemy will expect that attention to be repaid, with interest.

Friends keep some things about their personal life private and allow you to do the same. Frenemies thrive on relational entanglement.

3. Criticism Given as Humor

Frenemies love the put down, usually given in front of others. When challenged, they generally claim it was intended to be lighthearted, opening the door for a second slam. “Gee, I was only kidding. Some people just can’t take a joke.”

Frenemies love sarcasm, and they are masters of the “Who, me?” expression.

Friends may engage in good-natured ribbing, but they respect your feelings. Frenemies use humor as a cover for dealing body blows.

4. Left-Handed Compliments

Frenemies are effusive with praise at the beginning of the relationship but begin to mix it with mild criticism and, eventually, insults. Don’t mistake this for the constructive critique of a mentor.

Frenemies say things like “That’s not bad writing, especially for a person with your education,” and “Well look who’s on time for a meeting. Seriously, I’m glad you could make it.”

Friends dish out unqualified praise and offer criticism gently, privately, and rarely. Frenemies often mix the two.

5. Digging Up Dirt

Frenemies feed on negative information and always dig for more. If you say you’re feeling a bit down, they’ll want to know why. Was it a fight with your spouse? Are you depressed? Tomorrow, they’ll press further. “How’s it going with your sister, still not speaking?”

At first it will feel good to have someone who remembers what’s happening in your life and seems to care. In time, you’ll notice that this is a purely negative exercise and every conversation becomes an interrogation. Worse, this behavior will be spiritualized with statements like, “I just want to know how to pray for you.”

Friends show concern about your personal problems but allow you a measure of privacy. Frenemies look for the sore spot in your life put their finger on it every time.

6. That Nagging Feeling

If you have the persistent feeling that someone in your relational web cannot be trusted or has an ulterior motive in seeking your friendship, pay attention – you’re probably right.

Friends disarm your fears over time by proving themselves trustworthy.

Frenemies produce a feeling of apprehension.

7. Sabotage

A frenemy’s goal is not to help you succeed but to ensure that you fail, or at least feel miserable in your success. This will eventually take the form of passive-aggressive resistance or outright sabotage.

The frenemy shows up five minutes late on your big day, signaling to the team that their agenda is more important. The frenemy will ask you to clarify an embarrassing misstatement in public rather than in private, saying that they “just want to be sure we’re all hearing the same thing.”

Friends care about you and help you succeed. Frenemies care about themselves and feel best when you are at your worst.

I am convinced that frenemies are often unaware of their true motive, which may be fueled by feelings of jealousy, inferiority, or resentment. Even so, it is best to identify these destructive relationships and deal with them quickly.

Question: How have frenemy relationships affected your life? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Story by MichaelNichols.org