By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
While we have learned many lessons about great marriages from the thousands of interviews with successfully married couples around the world, we have concluded that what you do in the early stages of your relationship will go a long way towards determining the overall success and longevity of your marriage.
Here are the seven most important issues we learned through our research that should be discussed before getting married:
1. You need to have an honest discussion of why you love each other.
Why do you want to marry me?
What don’t I know about you?
Are there things that bother you about me?
2. You need to share what you believe to be the “core values” of your loving relationship (i.e., what matters most to you in your relationship with each other?).
What are your spiritual beliefs?
How committed are you to treating each other with respect?
How important is trustworthiness and integrity to each of you?
3. You need to discuss whether or not children are important to your marital relationship.
Do you want to have children?
What experiences have you had with children?
Do you have a sexually transmitted disease that could effect having children?
4. You need to discuss how you see your relationship evolving down the road – what do you want it to be 5, 10, and 20+ years from now?
Where do you see our marriage in five years?
What are your hopes for our marriage?
How will our marriage affect your relationship with your friends and family?
5. You need to articulate to each other how you will share decision-making in your marriage.
How should we make decisions about important issues in our marriage?
When we disagree, how can we resolve issues amicably?
How will we collectively handle our financial resources?
6. You need to have an honest accounting of what you want most from your marriage.
If our house was on fire what would be the first thing you would save?
How important do you think sex will be to the success of our marriage?
What interests do you feel passionate about?
7. You need to have a heartfelt conversation about the question – “Can you imagine life without each other?”
What are your dreams for our lives together?
What do you do to ensure your good health for a long life together?
Can you imagine a day when we wouldn’t be together?
It is clear to us that these seven leading discussions are important predictors of the health and strength of your relationship with each other and, as a consequence, great predictors of the overall success of your marriage.
Based on the responses we have gathered from the best marriages around the world, the answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the viability of your relationship and is a valid predictor of whether or not your marriage will stand the test of time.
Our advice – discuss these seven issues before you get married. You will not regret having done so.
Simple Things Matter in love and marriage. Love well!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more tips to enhance your relationship get the Doctor’s best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships
As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With 27 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 43-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.
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