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40 Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Marriage

Getting married is a big deal, and you need to make sure you're on the same page. Here are the 40 things you need to discuss before you get married

What to discuss before you get married
Pexels/Git Stephen Gitau

What to discuss before you get married
Pexels/Git Stephen Gitau

You probably don’t need us to tell you that getting married is a huge deal, but we’ll tell you anyway. Getting married is a huge deal. It’s not all just about the wedding (although that part is pretty special), but the marriage that follows will last you a lifetime, so you need to ensure you’re as ready as possible. We’ve listed the key questions to ask before marriage.

Make sure you ask these questions before marriage, and take the time to each answer and discuss these marriage questions in turn. You could even turn it into a date night, where you take time out together to ensure you’re really aligned, before planning a wedding

All of these marriage questions will help you to determine the key things you need to know before getting married. 

40 Questions to Ask Before Marriage

Some of these topics might feel a bit tricky to go over, but it’s so important to start married life in a place of honesty and trust, so make some time to sit down and discuss these things before you get married - you won’t regret it. 

We’ve broken them down into categories so you can ensure you have all bases covered in your pre-marriage discussion.

General Marriage Questions to Ask

Whether you’re looking for questions to ask a guy before marriage, or you’re thinking about pre-wedding questions for a bride - it doesn’t matter. These general marriage questions are essential things to discuss and know before getting married.

1. Why Do You Want to Get Married?

This is arguably one of the most important questions to ask before marriage. What does marriage mean to each of you, and why is it important to you to be married? 

Whether you want the stability, the legal recognition, the extra level of commitment - make sure you explain what marriage means to you specifically and why it holds value.

Wedding expert and Editor of Hitched, Zoe Burke, explains: “A lot of planning and thought is put into the wedding, but it’s so important to apply the same level of attention to detail and care into the marriage that follows.

“The wedding is just one day, whereas a marriage is for life. Make sure you’re doing it for all the right reasons and that you are both thinking beyond the wedding.”

2. How Do You Handle Disagreements?

Be really frank about this - do you have a temper and tend to rage? Or do you prefer to calmly review things and explore what could be changed or done differently?

There’s no real right or wrong way to disagree with each other, as long as it’s respectful. But it’s really important ahead of marriage to understand how and why you might disagree with each other and to remember this when inevitable disagreements happen. 

3. Are You Influenced by Your Parents’ Marriage?

It’s pretty common for people to be influenced by the relationship their parents had or have, even in adulthood. Some people cite their parents’ 40-year marriage as the reason they want to get married, whilst others might avoid marriage due to witnessing a messy divorce.

Make sure you discuss your parents’ marriages or relationships - what you admire, what you’ve learned and what you would want to avoid in your own marriage so you can each understand the influence and impact of your parents’ marriages. Make sure you also discuss the roles your parents played - just because one was a homemaker, for example, doesn't necessarily mean you'd replicate that dynamic. 

4. What Kind of Wedding Do You Really Want?

“This is a really important thing to discuss,” says Zoe. “Not so much in relation to your marriage, but discussing the kind of wedding you want will help you start your marriage on the right foot.

“If one of you is dreaming of a lavish castle wedding, and the other wants a register office, you’re going to need to compromise and find some common ground so you can begin your newlywed life without any tension or resentment.”

5. What About Each Other’s Family?

couple with children
Pexels/Emma Bauso

For a lot of couples, family obligations change once you’re married. Do you or your partner have any family traditions or commitments you’ve always observed? How do you or your spouse fit into those? 

If either of you already have children, it’s essential that you discuss your feelings and expectations of family life around this - it’s important when you’re sharing a life and a home that everyone feels heard and considered, and that you make time for the two of you as a couple, as well as for all of you as a blended family

You also need to consider how much each other’s families will be in your day to day life - will your new mother-in-law provide childcare, does your father expect to move in with you one day? How do you feel about the different family situations you might face? 

If you’re in a blended family and you currently have a custody arrangement in place, how would you feel if that changed one day and you had the children more?

6. What Will You Do with Your Last Names?

This is a big one! It’s a longstanding tradition that, in the UK, women take their husband’s name. But it’s a wedding tradition you can skip, and of course not every marriage involves a man and a woman. 

You might want to keep your own name, blend your names together or invent a totally new name - anything goes. Whatever you decide to do with your name (and it’s your name so it’s entirely up to you), you should consider and discuss what you’ll do if you have children. 

7. How Much Alone Time Do You Need?

This is a small thing, but it has a big impact. Understand how much time you both need to decompress, and how much time it takes before one of you feels lonely, and find a way to work around each other’s need for solitude - everyone needs it sometimes, even just a little bit! 

It's also worth exploring what time alone means to each other - for some people, it might be a long bike ride, for others, it could just be reading a book or watching a TV show in a different area of your home.

Another thing to know before marriage is how much time you need together as well - not just alone, and to make sure these needs aren’t wildly different for both of you.  

8. What Are Your Non-Negotiables? 

What’s the stuff that you feel is so important to you, you don’t want to compromise on it? And is that okay with the other person? 

For example, if you have a long-standing tradition of going on holiday with your friends once a year, does your partner know how much that means to you? If they always have Sunday lunch with their mum, are you fine with working around that?

9. What Do You Want to Happen When You Die?

Sorry to get so morbid but it needs to be discussed! No one wants the trauma of losing someone they love, and not knowing how they want to be sent off. 

Do they care about what their funeral looks like? Do they want to be cremated or buried? All these things need to be considered. It might not be the chat to have on the day you get engaged, but it’s definitely something to know and discuss before marriage. 

10. What is a Deal-Breaker for You?

Everyone has different deal-breakers. Be open about what yours are, and listen to what theirs are too. Decide together whether you can deal with those and if they seem reasonable to you. 

You should also discuss what would happen if your relationship did end - what does divorce mean to you, how would you split your assets and what would any custody arrangements look like? 

“Sadly, not all marriages work out,” explains Zoe. “If you agree to the basic idea and terms when you’re in a good place, it will make it so much easier to deal with if it does come to an end.”

11. What Constitutes Cheating?

What do you class as cheating? Some might see looking at porn as a betrayal, others might not mind. Be really clear about what you consider cheating and discuss it together.

12. Who is the Most Important Person in the World to You?

Is it each other, your children, your parents? Everyone has their own standard for this and that's fine, but you need to understand who it is and if you're comfortable with that.

13. What’s Your Love Language?

It’s really important to know and understand how the person you love expresses love, and needs to feel love. 

If love for you is demonstrated by gifts, and for them it’s by words, it’s crucial to understand this so you both know how to make each other feel appreciated. The four main love languages are gifts, touch, actions and words. 

Discuss which one is most important to you, and you’ll understand way better how to love each other. An easy way to do this is to ask this question before marriage ‘When do you feel most loved by me?’

14. How Do You Deal with Change or the Unexpected? 

It’s so important to understand this. For some people, dealing with stress or anxiety causes them to withdraw. For others, they might want to talk it over thoroughly, or write it all down. 

Understand how your partner deals with negative things, and explain how you like to deal with them too. Then you can be sure in a bad situation that you don’t take their response personally, but instead that you’re clear on how they’re coping. 

15. What Do You Find Difficult to Talk to Them About?

What subjects do you find hard to bring up, and why? Ask yourself this first, then discuss it with your partner so you can find ways to bring up issues comfortably. 

16. What Goes on Social Media?

This might seem trivial, but trust us, social media needs to be discussed. Are you both happy sharing details of your life on social media? Are there some elements you’d prefer to keep private? What are they? If you have children, will they be on social media?

17. What Happens if You Feel Like You’re Drifting Apart?

It’s natural in relationships to have periods where you’re more connected, and times when you’re more distant, and this might happen for a number of reasons - stress, illness, changes in priorities etc. 

Make sure you ask your partner how they’d recognise this and recover your intimacy, and explore how you’d do the same. 

18. Do You Do Anything to Make Them Feel Unsafe?

This is such an important question to ask and understand - do you do anything that makes your partner feel uneasy, uncomfortable or threatened? If so, what is it and why? Explore this and if it can be rectified before you commit. 

19. Where Do You Like to Have Discussions?

Same sex couple at the beach
Pexels/Anna Schvets

Have you ever thought about the setting in which you have difficult conversations? Some people might bring something up in bed at the end of the day, whilst others might want to discuss things over dinner.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this - but you need to explain where you don’t want to have those conversations. Perhaps the bedroom is a place for sleep and sex, not difficult conversations, and meal times are for connecting after a busy day. 

If you struggle to agree on a place, you could always suggest going for a walk to thrash out difficult topics. 

20. Do You Have Any Secrets?

This might feel like an odd question, but it's important to be upfront about this kind of stuff before marriage. They might have things they've not told you, and they might still not want to discuss those things with you.

Determine how you feel about that and if it could be a problem later on in life for you. 

Financial Questions to Ask Before Marriage

According to the Law Superstore, money issues are one of the top three reasons for divorce in the UK. That’s why it’s essential to talk frankly about your finances before marriage.

21.  What Are Your Finances Really Like?

Talking about money is never easy, but it’s so important to discuss your finances frankly before you get married. You need to be honest about any debt, credit cards and potential overdrafts before tying the knot. 

This is one to discuss as soon as you get engaged to make sure you’re not overspending on a wedding, when you might have debts to clear.

22. How Will You Split Your Finances?

It’s likely you probably already split a lot of bills together - make sure you’re happy with this arrangement. The fairest way to split things is usually in relation to what you each earn. You also need to decide if you want a joint or separate bank account.

If you’ve decided that you want to have children too, it’s also really essential that you discuss how any maternity or paternity leave will be covered and paid for, and what childcare you may need and how it will be paid for.

If you decide not to combine your assets, will you both know what each other has?

23. What Do You Want to Save Up For?

If one of you has a dream car, and the other a dream holiday home, how do you decide to save for these things? What do you consider essential in your day-to-day spending, like a cleaner or a personal trainer? What can you cut to save up, like streaming services or a gym membership?

24. Do You Have a Will?

It’s wise to write a will together if you’re getting married. In lots of cases, you’ll most likely want to leave everything to each other, but it gets more complicated if you have other dependents. Understand what your wills will look like and make sure you have them in place!

25. Do You Prefer to Spend or Save?

Are you all about the latest gadgets and lavish holidays? Or do you need to have a healthy balance tucked away for emergencies? Determine whether you’re savers or spenders - and if you’re one of each, how do you compromise?

Can you set a baseline amount to have in savings, before spending on treats?

Sex Questions to Ask Before Marriage

Same sex couple hugging at home
Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch

It can feel awkward to talk about sex, but if you’re going to marry this person, you need to be able to discuss your sexual needs and wants with them. Here are the key sexual questions to ask before marriage.

26. How Do You Feel About Your Sex Life?

This might feel like a tricky conversation to have, but it’s really important. Are you both happy with your sex life? Is anything missing, would you like to try something or do you feel like something isn’t right? Have you both been totally honest with your sexuality? 

If you’re going to marry this person, you should be able to talk frankly with them about what you want and like sexually. 

27. How Will You Handle Differing Sex Drives?

Sometimes it happens - one of you has a higher sex drive than the other. Your sex drive might be lower for a number of reasons, so it’s important to be clear why you feel differently.

You should also discuss how you might handle those periods - are you okay with your partner masturbating if they need to? Looking at porn? For some couples, an open marriage becomes a consideration. 

Be frank about what you’re okay with and - crucially - what you’re not okay with when it comes to differences in sexual needs.

Lifestyle Questions to Ask Before Marriage

Couple relaxing together
Pexels/Ricardo Esquivel

Getting married is all about building and sharing a life with someone. Therefore lots of key marriage questions to ask centre around your lifestyle.

28. Do You Want Children?

This is a question you should never ask a couple, but you do need to ask each other. If you’re on different pages about this, it can lead to heartbreak if one of you hopes the other will change their mind.

You might not agree on the number of children you want, but if you both know that you want them, you can always revisit this after you’ve had one - you might suddenly want five or just to stick at one!

29. How Would You Raise Your Children?

This is a big question! Do they believe in being strict with children, or do they have quite relaxed views? What about schooling, screen time, sugar? 

All these questions need to be explored as having a baby has a huge impact on your relationship, and you don’t want to wait until that first temper tantrum to have a discussion about how to deal with it…

It’s a good idea to talk about what you felt was good and bad in your own childhoods, as this will have an effect on how you want to parent. 

30. What About if Having Children isn’t Straightforward?

Whether it’s down to infertility, or if you have extra steps to overcome to become parents, you need to discuss this. What are your thoughts on IVF, adoption, surrogacy, fostering or any other routes to parenthood? 

If you’re an LBGTQ+ couple, how do you feel about sperm or egg donation? Who would carry the baby or provide the egg or sperm?

31. What Does Religion Mean to You?

It might be that just one of you is religious, or perhaps you have different religions. How will this impact your life together? Is one of you expecting a religious wedding ceremony? 

If you have children, will they be brought up to observe a religion? You need to know that you’re on the same page with this, even if your beliefs don’t have much of an impact on your day to day life at the moment.

32. Where Do You Want to Live?

Perhaps you both live in the city right now, but if one of you wants to move to the countryside in a few years, or wants to move back to their hometown if or when you have children - this needs to be established early on. 

Make sure your visions of your future life are aligned, so you know you share similar goals for your life five, 10 or 40 years down the line

33. What Does Your Dream House Look Like?

If one of you dreams of owning a Victorian terrace and the other wants a penthouse apartment, this needs to be cleared up early on! 

It’s unlikely to be something that derails your relationship, but it’s really crucial to know what your partner’s expectations and dreams are as early on as possible. 

34. How Will You Split the Chores?

Negotiation is key here - if you’re open and upfront about it, it’ll save any disagreements or resentment later on. 

If you hate doing the bins, but don’t mind doing the washing up, be clear about it and come to an agreement that works for both of you.

When exploring the division of labour in your home, make sure you consider all factors - who works longer hours? Who is at home more? Who has more flexibility in their job?

35. What Are Your Politics?

Do you have the same political views or are they different? If they’re different, can you deal with that?

36. What Do Celebrations Look Like for You?

Christmas, Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah, or any other significant religious event that you celebrate. What does it look like for you, compared to them? Will you take turns to celebrate with each other’s family or host your own celebrations at home? 

And what about birthdays? If you believe a birthday to be a big extravaganza, and they don’t even see the point in cards, you need to be clear about this so neither of you have false expectations.

37. What’s Your Dream Holiday?

If you love an action-packed camping trip full of hiking and biking, and they like to lie by a pool for a week sipping a cocktail, you need to be clear on what your holidays will look like. 

Do you each get time to have your own dream break away, or do you look for trips that work for both of you? Compromise will be key here - there’s got to be some give and take so you both feel refreshed and happy after a break away.

38. How Important is Your Career?

For some people, a job is just a job. For others, it gives them a sense of purpose. Be clear about how much your job means to you - it might keep you tied to a certain area, or mean you’ll never settle in one place for long. It might mean you may never earn much, or that you work unpredictable hours. 

Be really clear about how attached you are to your job because there may be times in married life where you might need to move, stop working for a while or be the main breadwinner, so it’s really important that you both know just how much the other loves or hates their job. 

You also need to discuss how much work encroaches on your life together at home - if someone often stays late at work, is that a problem? If they have to spend time at the weekend or on holiday dealing with work issues, how do you feel about that?

39. How Do You Feel About Pets?

Couple with a dog
Pexels/Helena Lopes

It’s not a huge discussion, but if you’ve been dreaming of getting a dog one day in the future and they can’t stand the idea of having a pet, you need to know!

40. What Does Your Retirement Look Like?

One of you might see retirement as the time to travel the world. The other might see it as the chance to move to a secluded village and learn how to fish. 

Your visions of the future don’t have to be identical, but you have to decide if they’re workable for you both together.

Five Important Things to Know Before Getting Married

man suprising woman with flowers

On the whole, getting married probably won’t change your day-to-day life that much if you’ve already been living together and have been a couple for some time. But as your relationship evolves, there are some things you should keep in mind to keep your marriage healthy.

1. Marriage is a Joining of Families

It’s not just about the two of you becoming a family, but marriage is also about bringing together your family with their family. You will be combined more, not just on the wedding day, but at events that follow too.

2. You Will Experience True Intimacy

When your relationship becomes a marriage, it’s a solid partnership with fewer boundaries. You might find yourself doing or experiencing things you haven’t ever considered with another person - whether that’s nursing them through an illness or helping them with in-grown hairs.

3. Your Values Change

When you’re first dating, it can be all about the grand gestures and making a big impact. But in a marriage, smaller gestures often become the most valuable - you might not get huge bunches of flowers, but a coffee made for you exactly the way you like it every day? That’s precious.

4. Sometimes You Have to Change

We have all heard the sentiment that you shouldn’t change for anyone, but sometimes in a marriage, change is needed.

You might go through events which require you to change your routine, your plans, your life - and that’s part of the vows you make, when you fully commit to sharing your life with someone else.

5. The Work Doesn’t Stop

Just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean you need to stop working on your relationship. It will constantly evolve and change, and will sometimes be tested. Make sure you are aware of that and you commit to the work.

Feeling more ready than ever for marriage? Check out these lovely ways to surprise your partner on the morning of your wedding.