Undertaking pre-marital courses or counseling is a personal choice. While it is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. Many couples that have participated believe it assisted them in entering their marriage with greater confidence and skills.
Questions Couples Should Ask (or Wish They Had) Before Marrying
(taken from the New York Times, 2007)
Experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:
1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?
2) Do we have a clear idea of each other's financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?
3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?
4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?
5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?
6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?
7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?
8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another's ideas and complaints?
9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other's spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?
10) Do we like and respect each other's friends?
11) Do we value and respect each other's parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?
12) What does my family do that annoys you?
13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?
14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other's family, are we prepared to move?
15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other's commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?
The following organisations can help you in this respect:
Family Relationship Centre
Providing information and referrals for families at any stage of their relationship. For more information call 1800 050 321 or visit www.familyrelationships.gov.au
Committed to enhancing the lives of communities, families and individuals and supporting positive and respectful relationships. For more information call 1300 364 277 or visit www.relationships.com.au
Based primarily on communication and conflict resolution skills as research shows that lack of these skills is the biggest cause of breakdown in marriage. For more information call 02 9630 7788 or visit www.familyrelationships.org