What You Should Know About Your Fiancé…Before They Become Your Fiancé
Couples in love talk about a lot of things while they are dating. But they make big decisions in their relationship without really knowing each other. Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them; the first time.” Asking questions help us walk in the reality of relationship with one another and not the reality we hope and sometimes project on each other. There are some important issues that you should know about before taking the next step toward marriage.
I need to make a couple of quick clarifying comments. First, these topics are meant for discussion over time… not in an awkward Q&A session. Secondly, don’t force these conversations too early in your dating relationship. A common mistake couples make is “too much too soon.”
1. What are a couple of your life dreams?
These will probably be in their heart for a long time and be at the core of many of their decisions, so it’s good to know what they are now. Dreams reveal character and intention, generosity or selfish ambition. Pay attention.
2. What has been one of your biggest disappointments in life?
If they are honest about this, it will be important to talk about how they have worked on resolving disappointment. Ask about the lessons they learned, lean in and listen.
3. What are some goals you want to accomplish in the next 2 years?
It’s great to see if your potential spouse will actually take steps toward what they desire in life and not just “wish” they had something, then do nothing about it.
4. Who are three of your best friends? What do you like about them?
Is your potential spouse actually close to people or do their friends just hold the title of “friend?” Do these close friends have the values or character you want to see in your spouse? We become who we allow to influence us.
5. What’s the story about your last serious relationship?
Are they bitter? Are they clueless? Did they learn something from this? Did they learn something higher than “my last girlfriend was crazy” or “men can be cruel sometimes?”
6. What is the relationship like with their Dad, Mom and/or family?
This has a huge impact in our life – like it or not. It’s the part of the glacier that’s under the water of our soul – it’s a part of who we are. Before marriage, it is important for both people to do the hard work of healing past wounds from our family of origin. Or at the very least, be aware that our families affect how we engage in relationship.
7. Do you go to church because I do or do you genuinely love Jesus?
If you want to share a genuine faith with your spouse – don’t be fooled in this area. Faith in Christ extends far beyond Sunday services. A genuine faith in Jesus will not only inspire our connection in our church community, but it will inspire and inform the way we live.
8. Is there anything you have not been totally honest with me about that you want to clear up now?
Honesty, humility and honesty about being dishonest are big values in a healthy relationship.
9. What are the biggest problems in the past that you’ve had to work through? Does your future spouse’s background include drug addiction, divorce, abuse, an arrest, bad relationships, etc. If the answer is ‘yes,’ this does not necessarily disqualify them. We all have had issues and problems. What’s important is how we got over them and the guards we’ve put in place to prevent us from returning to them.
I wish that Holly and I discussed more of these things before we got married. I know it would have helped prepare us better. I do know that there is not a couple who is preparing to choose the date for a wedding, who wouldn’t benefit from a more thorough conversation about these issues.
What other issues do you think couples should know about before they get engaged?