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09/25/2014 03:48 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

5 Questions To Ask Before Tying The Knot

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Is getting married right for you? What should you consider before walking down the aisle? Ask yourself these questions:

1. Why are you getting married?
Be honest and evaluate the reasons behind your engagement. Write a list of pros and cons about your partner and your relationship. If you have to talk yourself into marriage — don't. If you have to talk your fiancé into marriage — no way! Make sure you’re not getting married to escape or avoid something. Have you just always wanted to get married? That's not a good enough reason. If you get nauseous shopping for a wedding dress or feel sick every time you have to meet the caterer, listen to your body.

2. Do you know and trust your partner's personal history?
The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior. Learn from it. How has your partner behaved in past relationships? How has he/she behaved with you? What has your partner learned about marriage from his/her parents? Look closely at your partner's parents because children learn what they live.

The Newlywed Quiz

3. Have you planned a marriage — or just a wedding?
Cake, flowers and fine china are all exciting, but there's more at stake than a one-day party. Your wedding is a day; a marriage is a lifetime. You don't just want to be married; you want to be happily married. Think about the next 50 years. Put at least the same amount of time and effort that you are using to plan your wedding into planning your marriage. Develop an emotional prenuptial agreement with your partner, outlining how you'll handle children, discipline, sex, money, division of labor, religion, careers, retirement, in-laws, geography, etc. If you don't plan for and discuss these topics, you won't be able to successfully merge two lives together.

Steps for Succeeding as Newlyweds

4. Are you investing more than you can afford to lose?
Look at the cost of your relationship. If you have to give up your friends, career, or family, for example, the cost is too high. If it all falls apart, are you going to be emotionally bankrupt? It is better to be healthy alone, than sick with someone else.

Maintaining a Successful Relationship

5. Have you identified and communicated your needs and expectations?
You can't determine if somebody is good for you if you don't first know your own needs. Express your needs and expectations now — not when you're already in the marriage. What are your absolute deal breakers? Do you know your partner's? The formula for success in relationship is a function of the extent to which it is built on a solid underlying friendship and meets the needs of the two people involved. So make sure each of you has articulated your needs and are on board to meet them — starting now.

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