1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married

by Monica Mendez Leahy

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The relationship expert from the Ladies' Home Journal, the Wall Street Journal, and Lifetime Television shows how to prevent marriage problems before they start

There's nothing wrong with starter jobs and starter homes, but starter marriages? Relationship expert Monica Mendez Leahy is on a mission to help readers make their marriage last. Her 1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married offers a reality check for couples on the marriage path, helping them realize how much they have yet to discover about their partner's nature, thought processes, lifestyle, and marital expectations.

Engaged couples learn to discuss issues deeper than "chicken or fish" and to broach subjects that are often ignored before the nuptials yet essential for the foundation of an intimate, long-lasting relationship. Posed in a variety of fun formats, including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and hypotheticals, these questions include topics such as:

  • "Does your partner feel that you're too attached to your parents?"
  • "Is there such a thing as innocent flirting?"
  • "Is it OK to cheat on your taxes?"
  • And more

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071636834
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Publication date: 04/27/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 497,830
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Monica Mendez Leahy has been helping couples prepare for marriage for twenty years. She hosts a series of couples' workshops in the Los Angeles area and has been featured in the Ladies Home Journal and the Wall Street Journal and on Lifetime Television.

Read an Excerpt

1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get MARRIED



Copyright © 2004 Monica Mendez Leahy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-07-163683-4

Chapter One

Growing Up in a Traditional Family

Although recent headlines report the death of the two-parent household, America is still largely made up of the traditional nuclear family. If you were blessed with two happily married parents, then you've been fortunate to have a front-row seat in observing what it takes to make a marriage successful.

With your partner, read each question, allowing each person to express his or her answer without interruption. Discuss if and how the answers given will affect your marriage.

1. What do you believe was the bond that kept your parents married?

2. What characteristics of your parents' marriage would you like to see in yours?

3. What characteristics of your parents' marriage would you like to avoid?

4. How did your mother treat your father and vice versa?

5. Do you and your partner want to treat each other the same way your parents treated each other?

6. In your family, who was the main decision maker?

7. Would you like your marriage to follow this pattern as well?

8. Would you describe your parents as living in traditional male/female roles?

9. Do you aspire to hold traditional male/female roles in your household?

10. Would you describe your parents' relationship as one-sided or a true partnership?

11. Would you best describe your parents' relationship as being positive, passive, or poisonous?

12. Did you see your parents work through difficult periods in their marriage?

13. Did your parents avoid any type of disagreements or confrontations?

14. Has your parents' marriage affected how you address problems with your partner?

15. Did your parents argue often?

16. If your parents argued, was it a sign of a troubled marriage, or was it just their way of communicating?

17. Did your parents spent most of their leisure time together, or apart?

18. Did one parent constantly tease, belittle, or humiliate the other?

19. Did your parents frequently laugh together?

20. Were you aware of one parent hiding items or keeping secrets from the other?

Chapter Two

Growing Up with Divorced or Single Parents

If most of your formative years were spent with a single parent or divorced parents, research shows an increase in the likelihood that you will divorce or become a single parent as well. This doesn't mean that your fate is sealed. Educating yourself on the reasons why your parents' relationship did not succeed—and avoiding the same behaviors—increases your chance that history will not repeat itself in your marriage.

With your partner, read each question out loud. Allow each person to voice his or her answer without interruptions. Discuss if and how the answers given will affect your marriage.

1. If you were raised by a single parent, did you know a couple that served as a role model for a successful long-term relationship?

2. If raised by a single parent, did you miss having a father or mother growing up?

3. Were several members of your family single parents while you were growing up?

4. Did your single parent stress independence and self-reliance?

5. Did your single parent frequently comment that you can't trust or rely on others?

6. Have you developed a relationship with both of your biological parents?

7. If your parents are divorced, what do you believe was the cause of their divorce?

8. Do you blame either parent or yourself for the breakup of their marriage?

9. If your parents are divorced, do you fear the same outcome for your relationship?

10. If your parents are divorced, what have you learned that will help you avoid the same fate?

11. How did the divorce affect your views about marriage or lifelong intimate relationships?

12. Do you feel the divorce had a positive or a negative effect on you and your family?

13. What do you believe is the primary cause of divorce in general?

14. Are most of your family members (aunts, uncles, siblings) divorced?

15. Have your parents maintained a good, or at least civil, relationship with each other?

16. Did your mother or father use you or your siblings as tools to obtain information about the other parent?

17. Do you want your partner to become the mother or father figure you desired while growing up?

18. Did your parents actively date others or have more than one or two relationships after they were divorced? If so, how do you think this affects your view of marriage?

19. Did you witness your parents encourage other couples to separate or get a divorce?

20. Did you take advantage of your parents' separation by using guilt or their infrequent communication to get things you wanted?

Chapter Three

Impact and Influences of Other Relationships

Parents aren't only the two people whose genes you possess. There are adoptive parents, stepparents, and other guardians. If your mother or father did not raise you, the word parent will refer to the person or people who had the strongest influence in your upbringing.

With your partner, read each question out loud. Allow each person to voice his or her answer without interruptions. Discuss if and how the answers given will affect your marriage.

1. Growing up, were you exposed to mostly positive and loving relationships?

2. Did conversations among friends and family mainly involve complaining about the shortcomings of others?

3. Did you witness any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse in your household while growing up?

4. Did those close to you believe that marriage was a burden or a joy?

5. Was getting married seen as a mandatory goal that you must achieve in life?

6. Were you aware of any infidelity by either of your parents or other family members?

7. If "yes" to the above, how did the spouse who was cheated on react and deal with this situation?

8. What effect did the infidelity have on you and other family members?

9. Growing up, did your family believe in a double standard between the sexes?

10. Were you often told that the opposite sex was not to be trusted or respected?

11. Do you want your marriage to resemble a relationship portrayed on TV or in the movies? If so describe this relationship.

12. Name a couple that you know who have a great marriage. What attributes of their marriage would you like to emulate?

13. Did your friends and family spoil you? Did you usually get what you wanted?

14. Did you feel you didn't get enough attention from others? Are you looking for that attention from your partner?

15. Were you regularly exposed to situations in which men and women could socialize with each other?

16. Did you ever suffer the loss of a family member? If so, how did you cope with your grief?

Chapter Four

At School and Play

It's undeniable that interacting with childhood friends and classmates influences how you relate to others as an adult. How you treated people in your past, even as a child, is probably similar to how you treat people today.

With your partner, take turns answering each question below.

1. Were you jealous of some of your friends while growing up? If so, how and why?

2. Were you ever told that you were a player? If so, how did that make you feel?

3. Were you determined to be popular in school? Were you popular?

4. Did you enjoy going to school, or did you feel it was a waste of time?

5. Did you like your teachers? If so, which ones and why?

6. Did you cause disruptions in the classroom? If so, describe them.

7. Did you frequently get into fights with your classmates?

8. Which subjects were your favorites in school and why?

9. Were you a good, average, or poor student? What made you excel or lose interest in your studies?

10. Were you involved in sports as a child? If so, how did you get along with your teammates and coaches?

11. Did you ever seek revenge against someone while growing up?

12. Were you a late bloomer or forced to mature faster than others while growing up?

13. Describe an unpleasant childhood memory that still bothers you.

14. Describe a pleasant childhood memory that made an impact on your life.

15. What is the worst trouble you ever got into as a child?

16. Describe the types of children you spent time with while growing up. How would they describe you as a child?

17. Would you like to relive your childhood? Why or why not?

18. Describe your first childhood crush.

19. Were you picked on as a child? Did you pick on others?

20. Did you ever run away from home?

Chapter Five

Your Parents

Few enter a marriage free of parents. Whether you love them, avoid them, or never got to know them, they will be a part of your married life. To what extent parents will be involved in your marriage is often a subject of debate and disagreement.

Working separately, write down your answers to the questions below. The questions refer to each person's own parents, not the in-laws. When finished, discuss your answers and how you believe they may positively or negatively affect your marriage.

1. Do your parents approve or disapprove of your partner?

2. Is it important that your parents like your partner?

3. If your parents don't approve of your partner, how will it affect your marriage?

4. Will you or your partner look for ways to resolve this disapproval?

5. If your parents and your partner have a disagreement, whose side will you most likely take?

6. Whom would you rather disappoint, your parents or your partner?

7. What would you do if your parents intentionally or unintentionally criticize or offend your partner?

8. What would you do if your partner said he or she did not like your parents, and would rather not spend time with them?

9. Do your parents have a strong opinion on how you should live your married life?

10. Do you plan on living with your parents at any time during your marriage?

11. Will you financially support your parents when they retire or if they become unable to support themselves?

12. How do you feel about asking your parents for financial support?

13. With which family members, if any, do you plan on spending the various holidays?

14. Is it more important to have a good relationship with your parents or your partner?

15. Does your partner feel that you're too attached to your parents?

16. Would you be willing to move to a location far away from your family?

17. In general, whose advice would you most likely take, your partner's or your parents'?

18. If your parents criticize your choice of married lifestyle, how will you respond?

19. Would you agree to have an aged or ill parent move in with you?

20. Will you be spending more time with or money on your parents than your in-laws?

21. If you and your partner have a disagreement, will you seek solace in your parents?

Chapter Six

Your In-Laws

It is understandable if you and your partner each feel more comfortable with your own parents than with your in-laws. After all, you've probably known them all your life. Your in-laws may be strangers you've just met. Yet, always remember your in-laws are your partner's parents. Putting down or insulting them is no different than if someone insulted your own parents.

Working separately, you and your partner are to write down answers to the questions below. When finished, discuss your answers and how you both believe they may positively or negatively affect your relationship with each other as a married couple.

1. Do you feel your in-laws approve of you as a partner? Whether they do or not, how does that make you feel?

2. If your in-laws disagree with you, how would you feel if your partner did not take your side?

3. If you were having problems with your in-laws, would you speak to them directly without consulting your partner?

4. Should your partner be in charge of resolving problems you may have with your in-laws?

5. If your in-laws offend you (intentionally or unintentionally), would you speak up immediately or expect your partner to defend you on the spot?

6. How do you feel about financially supporting your in-laws when they retire or become unable to support themselves?

7. How do you feel about spending holidays with your in-laws instead of your parents?

8. How important is it to please your in-laws?

9. If you had to decide on spending the day with your parents or in-laws, which would you choose?

10. Would you prefer to live in a different city or state than your in-laws?

11. Do you feel uncomfortable if your partner spends time alone with his or her parents?

12. Do you feel your in-laws are a bad influence on your relationship with your partner?

13. Do you feel pressure to dress, talk, or behave differently around your in-laws?

14. Do you expect to get a phone call or a gift from your in-laws on your birthday?

15. Would you be offended if gifts received from your in-laws were not as expensive or generous as the ones they gave to your partner?

16. Do you feel your parents treat your partner better than your in-laws treat you? If so, how?

17. If you were having a dispute with your in-laws, would you forbid your partner from having contact with them?

18. Do you expect an inheritance from your in-laws?

19. Do you feel your in-laws have too strong an influence on your partner's thoughts and actions?

20. What positive contributions, if any, have your in-laws made to your relationship with your partner? What about negative contributions?

CH7[ Are We Our Parents?

Is there truth to the statement "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree"? Do men marry women who remind them of their mothers? Do women marry men who remind them of their fathers? Whatever you believe, every adult experiences a moment where he recognizes a parent in himself.

Working individually, answer the questions below.


(Continues...) ]CH7

Excerpted from 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get MARRIED by MONICA MENDEZ LEAHY Copyright © 2004 by Monica Mendez Leahy. Excerpted by permission of McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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1001 Questions to Ask before You Get Married 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book as soon as I found out my boyfriend was going to propose to kind of make sure that we really were meant for one another. It has so many thought provoking questions that neither of us thought to ask the other. We've gotten half way through and we've found that we've grown more as a couple and become even more confident with our engagment. I reccomend this to everyone who is planning on getting married.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book to read to get to know each other better, before 'the big day', as the couple begin their new life together, very practical and easy to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very well constructed. Practial in all stages of your relationship.
OneHotTamale25 More than 1 year ago
My fiance and I are pacing ourselves through this book of questions that run the gamut of superficial to daunting. We find the book to be useful as a supplement to our premarital counseling. I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in having a more in-depth picture of the mind of a partner. We all like to believe we know all we want/need about our partners, but I suspect few of us explore the realms presented with as much intensity as this book does.
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