Yesterday's New York Times article "13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married" poses some terrific questions for couples to ask each other--either before marriage or in the midst of one. (As Robert Scuka reminds us in the article, "If you don't deal with an issue before marriage, you deal with it while you're married.") They're all great questions but here's a sampling:
- Did your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arose?
- What's the most you would be willing to spend on a car, a couch, shoes?
- Can you deal with my doing things without you?
- Do you know all the ways I say "I love you"?
- How do you see us 10 years from now?
I would add a few more:
- How important are holidays and gestures (gifts, birthdays, etc.) to you?
- Are you an upholder, a questioner, or an obliger?
- How did your parents/family divide the household/family work? Do you expect it will be the same with us or different?
- Will you love me like Calvin loves Alice?
Which brings me to my Throwback Thursday selection: If you're a long-time reader, you'll remember that one of my lodestar couples is Calvin and Alice Trillin, whose 35-year marriage was the subject of his love letter/elegy of a book About Alice as well as the topic of many of Calvin Trillin's essays through the years. I'm not the only one who has a Trillin marriage crush. Calvin writes of the many condolence letters he received from readers after Alice's death:
"[I]n the weeks after she died I was touched by their letters. They might not have known her but they knew how I felt about her...I got a lot of letters like the one from a young woman in New York who wrote that she sometimes looked at her boyfriend and thought, 'But will he love me like Calvin loves Alice?'"
Original post: Like Calvin and Alice
Edited to add some more great questions suggested by readers:
How willing are you to make sacrifices for each other? How messy/tidy are you and what degree of tolerance do you have for a change in your style? How will you divide the chores, tasks, etc.? What percentage of your time do you want to be in solitude? with one other person? with groups? What activities are really important for you to do with me and which ones can we do on our own/don't need (or have to have) our spouse to do with us? How much emotion do you each attach to money and its management? "What is money for?"
Okay, friends, what questions would you add to the list? (And who are your lodestar couples?)