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Why You Should Ask Questions Before You Get Married




Excerpted from
Don't You Dare Get Married Until You Read This! The Book of Questions for Couple
By Corey Donaldson

To boast of knowing an individual, time must be spent together having fun, sharing intelligent conversation, meeting family and friends, participating in spiritual and emotional moments, surviving tough times, and asking the right questions. Often, asking the right questions is not recognized as a significant element in getting to know the person you are going to marry. Hence, soon after their marriages, couples who fail to ask the necessary questions are confronted with disillusionment, surprise, anxiety, and discontent, which may lead to a quick breakup. If only people would spend more time getting to know the person they want to marry than they do buying a house, car, or television, or thinking about household furniture and decorations, or even the clothes they wear for a special occasion. Unfortunately, it seems that in modern society, purchasing these items consumes more time, energy, and planning than preparing for a marriage.

The difference between what you know and what you do not know about your partner lies in the questions you ask. A decision to marry a person is based on only the information you have. Would your decision to marry stand if you had more information about your partner than you currently have? Maybe you still would or perhaps you wouldn't. The fact remains that the difference between what you know and what you don't know will only become apparent by asking the right questions.

Imagine the plight of a child who was forbidden to ask questions. How would this child ever increase in knowledge? What would it be like if police officers could never ask questions of alleged criminals? How could they ever determine who is a criminal and who isn't, let alone solve any crimes? How would a journalist write an article without the ability to ask questions? What would an ambulance officer do if forbidden to ask questions of an accident victim with internal injuries? Are you getting the idea? The point is that a significant proportion of the information we gather in our lives comes through the questions we ask. Therefore, since marriage is arguably the most important decision we will make in our lives, it stands to reason that we must approach it with the right questions.

The interviews I have conducted with well over fifteen hundred people show overwhelmingly that the majority of divorce-causing problems exist before the wedding takes place. If couples knew beforehand that they would get divorced and the reasons causing it, would they still get married? I hope not! Well, this knowledge is available by asking the right questions before the knot is tied. The answers to the questions you ask will give you a glimpse into the future and show you what marriage to a certain person will be like.

A certain distinction needs to be made about your focus when asking questions. When trying to determine if you are marrying the right person, your focus needs to be long term, not short term. You must not think that your relationship looks pretty good until the honeymoon is over, and then hope for the best. This is only a good way to think if you want a quick divorce and a rapid increase of misery in your life. If your goals are somewhat different, you must plan for the future, not just allow it to happen. Use vision when asking questions of your partner; ask yourself if you can realistically live with this person with the answers you are hearing. Of course, you won't love everything about your partner, but you cannot expect to live with things you can't or won't be able to tolerate.

In our lives, we spend more time thinking about those things that matter to us than the less important ones. This being the case, it should follow that we invest more time preparing for and maintaining our marriage than anything else because it should be our highest priority. If we do not dedicate a great deal of time to the person we are planning to marry, then we have no business making the commitment. We need to be mature enough to recognize that marriage has a greater impact on our lives than anything else and acknowledge its importance by asking the right questions the right way.

Many offer excuses for not asking their prospective partner probing questions. They claim they don't want to interrogate the other person or disrupt "lovey-dovey" feelings. These questions should not create hard feelings. Rather they should stimulate a feeling of mutual love and concern. Finding excuses for not asking relevant questions avoids the reality that must be confronted after the marriage. The person who avoids learning as much as possible about the other person before marriage risks discovering something distasteful later. Such a discovery' can cause misery that might have been avoided by a responsible approach. To those M ho say that asking questions is unromantic, uncomfortable, or awkward, I say, so is a divorce!

The only fair expectation you can have about your partner as you read through this book is that you will discover weaknesses. As you start identifying with your partner, you will have disagreements, discover areas for improvement, and uncover issues your partner may want to talk about in the future or not at all. Whatever the case, you must be diplomatic about respecting the feelings of your partner and never demand an answer when one is not forthcoming. It is not a sin to disagree, have different points of view, or even postpone commenting on a particular issue. You will not love everything about your partner. If you think otherwise, then you do not know your partner well enough. It is important to acknowledge that it is okay to love someone you feel has weaknesses. After all, your partner should feel the same way.

To say there is a correct or incorrect way of asking these questions presumes that I know the dynamics of every personality and relationship, and I don't. However, I do have some suggestions that may be of value. Often these questions can be part of a conversation at home in the TV room, over the table at a restaurant, or out on a picnic. Some couples may find only a few questions relevant and may agree to discuss just them. Individuals may have particular concerns and may need to approach their partner more formally to address some issues. Some people may even want to memorize pertinent questions and raise them randomly at an appropriate time. You may choose a serious or a fun approach. I suggest a combination of both.

Please keep in mind that the person asking the questions receives the most information. However, there are moments when the person asking the questions is providing the most information by the way he or she does it. Never place limitations on the conditions in which one can learn from a partner.

Carefully considering the questions in this book will definitely help you and your prospective partner. The results of the questions will be readily apparent. Please pose each question to your partner and have him or her ask you in return. I guarantee that your mind will be stretched to its limits, and you will discover unknown new dimensions in your partner.



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