Perhaps you’ve been dating for a while, or perhaps you are engaged and busy planning your wedding. Amidst the flurry and excitement of ‘being in love’, you may have found yourself wondering just how compatible you and your partner really are. Things may be great now, but will your relationship last in the months and years to come? And how will you be able to weather the storms that are bound to come your way sooner or later? The answers to these questions may be largely unknown, but taking a pre-marriage compatibility test for couples can surely go a long way towards finding some indication of the direction your future relationship is likely to take.
“Of course we are compatible….”
Or perhaps these kinds of questions have never occurred to you. Things seem so great in your relationship now that you can’t imagine how it could ever be any different. “Of course we are compatible” you may be thinking, “Otherwise we wouldn’t be getting married, surely!” Well, sadly this is not always the case, and you don’t have to look very far to find many marriages which have started out well, but then shattered on the rocks of life and “incompatibility.”
The more you know about each other the better…
If you are thinking of getting married, the more you know about each other before the wedding day, the better. By doing a marriage compatibility test you can discover some important truths. It can also help you to think through your values and issues in a way that may otherwise never come up during the normal course of conversation. If you are both serious about putting in the hard work to make your marriage the best that it can be, then a pre-marriage compatibility test is for you.
Categories of Questions to Discuss
The following categories of pre-marriage questions are a helpful guideline for every couple to think through and discuss together before they take the plunge into married life. It is best to answer individually first, before sharing your answers with each other.
Background and upbringing
- How much do I know about the way my partner grew up?
- Were his/her parents happily married? If not, what happened in their marriage?
- Do my partner and I come from similar social or cultural backgrounds?
- If our backgrounds were very different, how do we plan to make our own ‘culture’ together? Will it be mostly his way, or her way, or a fair mixture of both?
- How was my partner disciplined as a child?
Handling of finances
- Is my partner careful with money, or spending freely?
- Will we have separate accounts when we are married?
- Do we agree about how money should be spent, invested, or saved?
- Who will handle the payment of bills when we are married?
Friends and social life
- Is my partner an introvert or extrovert?
- Do we have the same level of expectation when it comes to social life – or does one of us love to be out with friends all the time and the other prefers to be at home more?
- Do we allow each other time apart to go out with our own same-sex friends?
Expectations of in-law involvement
- Do both sets of parents accept our relationship and our marriage?
- After we are married, how often do we expect to see, or call our parents?
- Where will we spend special holidays and celebrations?
Household duties and chores
- How will we divide up the household duties and chores?
- Will one person do all the cooking, or will we take turns?
- And what about the grocery shopping, cleaning, washing, and ironing?
- If we have pets, who is responsible to clean and feed them?
Having children and starting a family
- Do we both want children or not?
- If so, how many and when would we plan to start a family?
- When we have children, do we agree on what values, beliefs or religious faith we will teach them?
- Do we agree on how our children should be disciplined?
- Do my partner and I talk a lot together, or is our relationship mostly physical or non-verbal?
- Are there certain topics which I feel uneasy to bring up or certain issues I know I should avoid?
- When I ask questions, does my partner explain the answer nicely, or does he or she become irritable and impatient?
How to resolve conflicts
- Have we had any serious conflicts to resolve, and how have we resolved them? Did one of us ‘give in’ to the other, or did we reach a beneficial compromise?
- Has my partner ever ignored me, or stone-walled me until I give in to his or her wishes? (This is abusive, and should be regarded as a serious red flag.)
- Does my partner ever criticize me and undermine me?
- When I express concern or tell my partner that he or she has hurt me in some way, how does he or she respond? (if he or she makes excuses and blames you for being ‘too sensitive’, you may be seeing signs of emotional abuse.)
Hobbies, recreation and vacations
- Do we each have hobbies which we enjoy doing, either separately or together?
- Do we both enjoy the same kind of recreation, or does one enjoy sport and the other not, or one enjoys watching movies and the other not?
- How often would you expect to go on vacation, and where?
- What are your expectations when you are on vacation – to relax on the beach and read a book, or to go sightseeing as much as possible?
After working through all of these questions, you may have been surprised by some of your answers and your partner’s answers; these could have been pleasant surprises, or nasty surprises… either way you will no doubt be in a much better position to gauge what your future may look like should you continue in a relationship with one another.