DC Cookie

Monday, January 29, 2007

Before Considering Marriage

We know the statistics related to the likelihood of divorce in this country is upwards of 50%. One of my best friends on the verge of marriage to her fiance spotted this article in the New York Times which, put simply, highlights the top things couples do not adequately discuss before saying their vows; the most common marriage deal-breakers.

  • 1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?
  • 2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?
  • 3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?
  • 4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?
  • 5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?
  • 6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?
  • 7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?
  • 8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?
  • 9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?
  • 10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?
  • 11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?
  • 12) What does my family do that annoys you?
  • 13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?
  • 14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?
  • 15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

Interestingly enough, as I read through the list I realized Special K and I have discussed everything on it in detail, save #7 (which by default is already a no, since neither one of us care for TV very much), and we're only in our 4th month of couple-dom.

How is it possible that these topics don't automatically make it to the forefront of a communication agenda with a serious significant other? It boggles my mind...


  • At January 29, 2007 3:11 PM, Blogger Twoste said…

    That is a ridiculous laundry list that no engaged couple should have to go through. If you seriously need to ask one another those questions, then you should not be together.
    Marry because of passion and not because you are a "compatable" couple. If it doesn't work out, divorce and take half his stuff. That's just the way it goes.

  • At January 29, 2007 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree that those are very important issues that need to be discussed before marriage. But I think, as you said, they should automatically come into discussion at some point. I don't think a couple should have to go through them as a laundry list...

  • At January 29, 2007 4:50 PM, Blogger sparkles anonymous! said…

    Cookie, I agree - I don't understand how anybody at the point of marriage could have NOT discussed them already.

  • At January 29, 2007 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think it's actually a very sensible list. The divorce rate is around 50%, which means that a lot of people enter marriage on a semi-delusional basis. So this list might help some of them.

    "Marry because of I think it's actually a very sensible list. The divorce rate is around 50%, which means that a lot of people enter marriage on a semi-delusional basis. So this list might help some of them.

    To me the only odd thing was the issue of the TV in the bedroom... sure it's an issue, but it seems to be on a lesser level of import than the other questions.

    "Marry because of passion and divorce if it doesn't work out" is a terrible approach, especially if kids come into the mix.

  • At January 29, 2007 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    fuck, sorry about that messed up post, cut and paste issues here...

  • At January 29, 2007 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, remember that long-ago conversation when I asked, "Cookie, what do you guys actually talk about?"

    I knew you'd finally get there.

    I'm so proud, I need a kleenex!

  • At January 29, 2007 9:58 PM, Blogger Heather B. said…

    I feel like these are things that should just come naturally though the course of the relationship. Though I doubt you meant that people should check them off like a 'laundry list', but yes they should be discussed before there is an exchange of the rings.

  • At January 29, 2007 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    godmotherhood, it is! I'll be yours if you'll be mine!

  • At January 30, 2007 9:02 AM, Blogger Phil said…

    I was just going to single out #7 not only with a 'yes' but a "hells yes!"...provides a nice ambient light when making love. And you can keep up w/ the evening news while you work.

  • At January 30, 2007 10:12 AM, Blogger ix said…

    Bogus list!!!

    They left out the most important question (and huge marriage breaker)

    Which direction does the TP roll go?


  • At January 30, 2007 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These topics most likely do come up for discussion but aren't sufficiently thrashed out or honestly dealt with in by many couples; also the list is only so good as a guideline: people change as their lives roll on and what you may have believed in your unmarried youth you may renounce in your married mid-life.

  • At January 30, 2007 1:30 PM, Blogger Phil said…

    ix - the roll should always go to the outside (it is retarded for it to be on the inside).

  • At January 30, 2007 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    One question and one question only should be asked: Is he Guatemalan? Yes, perfect. No, bueno, don't forget that I'm single now Cookie.

  • At January 30, 2007 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well when I'm allowed to get married, I'll be sure to get on that.

  • At February 07, 2007 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anyone who has a problem with this list should NOT get married in the Catholic church. You pretty much have to go through every question (except the sex ones) with your priest. And the sexual questions they do have, the answer is... "yes, to make Catholic babies."

  • At February 08, 2007 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    From the answer from most of the response here, apparently it seems marriage is taken lightly. I, currently engaged & not Catholic, found this list very useful. Its the little & big things we bicker about that eventually leads to divorce. It's good to discuss these things before seriously committing. Most people go into marriages w/the attitude divorce is an option.

  • At November 13, 2009 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!


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