Checklist for Future Spouses
How to agree on a value system? Checklist for future spouses.
One married couple was about to break up, but before taking the final step, went to see a marriage counselor. They continued arguing even during the session. The psychologist asked them to calm down and to pay attention to each other’s complaints.
The husband claimed to always be treated disrespectfully. He offered as proof the fact that he was always given an end piece of bread, which in his family was considered good for dogs only. The wife was very surprised because in Italy, where she was from, the end part of bread is considered the best piece and is offered to guests or to the most respected family members. “I sacrificed my favorite part for you,” she explained.
This small misunderstanding almost put an end to their love and family. How did this happen? Lack of communication causes 90 percent of all conflicts: not only in families, but in our life in general.
Here is a questionnaire that can prevent some common misunderstandings in spouses’ life.
1. Where will we live?
– house or apartment
– how many rooms / floors
– urban, suburban, or rural
– which rooms will be used by all family members
– rent, buy, or build our own house
– mortgage or down payment
2. What monthly income can each spouse provide?
3. What if there is not enough money?
4. Who will work?
5. How many children will be in our family? Will we have our own, foster, or adopt?
6. How will we raise them?
– What will we focus on? What are our priorities?
– What will be the role of each parent in raising children?
– How will we discipline them?
– Will we employ outside help (nannies, relatives, baby sitters)?
7. What if we are unable to conceive?
8. Who determines what to spend money on?
9. How and where will we spend our vacations? How often?
10. How will we take care of our health? (proper nutrition, physical
exercises, examinations by doctors, etc.)
11. What kind of domestic duties does the husband expect from his wife?
12. What kind of household duties does the wife expect from her husband?
13. Sex life (who is the initiator; how often; what to do, if one of the partners
does not want or cannot; sex preference).
14. How often will we invite guests?
1. What is our family’s mission? What are our values?
2. How will our relationship develop?
3. Personal needs of each partner (for example: once a week wife needs her own time, to do what she loves; husband once every two weeks needs to play sports with friends, etc.)
4. Who will act as inspirational power?
5. How will we maintain a healthy, happy ambiance in the family?
6. What do we consider to be a healthy relationship?
7. What is friendship?
8. What is love?
9. Do we know each other’s psychotype?
10. Are we ready to adjust to married life?
11. What is unacceptable for each partner? (adultery, assault,
psychological pressure, sexual abuse, etc.)
12. What if these things happen?
13. What qualities of my partner’s character can I not put up with?
14. What do I value in a partner? What is the most important thing for me?
15. Which of my emotional needs do I expect my partner to fulfill?
16. How will we resolve conflicts?
17. What will we do if a crisis sets in?
18. To what extent will we allow relatives to become involved in our affairs?
19. What actions of my spouse make me feel loved (gifts, spending time together, intimacy, help in household, etc.)?
1. Spiritual values of husband / wife.
– desire for spiritual development
– presence of a spiritual teacher or mentor
– visiting holy places or festivals
– spiritual standards (austerities) each of them wants to maintain
2. If partners have different spiritual values, how can this be resolved? If we have children, when and how will their religion be determined?
3. What to do if the values of one partner change, and another will not be able to accept them?
4. Do we agree that a spiritual authority can help us in a crisis situation?
5. What is the purpose of my life? What is the mission of my life?
6.What if my partner will not support my goal / mission?
Time priorities in the family (this point should be reconsidered every time some significant changes occur, such as a new baby is born, someone retires, and so on)
– how much time for spiritual practice
– how much to work
– how much to communicate with each other
– how much time should be devoted to children
– how much time for personal interests, hobbies, etc.
– if a parent or other loved one requires a significant amount of care, how will we deal with it (provide it ourselves, hire a nurse, place them into a facility?)
This list can be continued independently. The more points it has, the more predictable future life will be.
TODAY’S TIP: Of course, you can’t predict all situations you and your loved one will be put into.
However, two things will always be helpful: respect and attentfullness.
Treat others as you would want to be treated; this Biblical wisdom is still tremendously relevant.