Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New York Times' Take on Marriage

I was looking up the NYT Bestsellers for the week and found an article about the questions two people should ask each other before they get married. Here's the list, stolen from the Jan. 16th issue of the NYT.

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?

I think they are great questions that should be asked . . . but does anyone else think it's a little weird that among all the life guiding, mentally stimulating, serious honesty-requiring questions number seven is will there be a television in the bedroom? Is this a big problem in marriages? I don't think I've ever discussed that with my husband. (Of course, when we got married we didn't have a televisions and have never had more than one our whole marriage; so the question of whether the kids are going to watch their cartoons in the living room or in our bed has never really been an issue.:))

Marrige is (or should be in my opinion) a life-long commitment and there are a lot of things you need to ask yourself and your prospective spouse before you tie the knot. But really, is the presence of a television in your bedroom one of them?



CelticLove said...

This is great list, thanks!

Carrie Ryan said...

Oddly enough, I thought I read somewhere that having a television in the bedroom or not was a source of fighting in a lot of marriages. People seem to be adamantly pro or against (or both ambivalent). I know my sister and her husband fought over it for a while! Go figure!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this list. And yes, having a tv in the bedroom is an issue. I am very against it and past relations have been for it. I think it should include wether tv's are in childrens bedrooms too. I also think it might be a noise issue. Anyways. I enjoyed it! Thanks!

LadyBronco said...


I don't think my husband or I asked any of these questions before we got married.
I'm also guessing that since it's been almost 14 years that we probably didn't need to.

ORION said...

...and can you live together after 20 years of marriage in a 48 ft boat.

Aprilynne Pike said...

"...and can you live together after 20 years of marriage in a 48 ft boat."

Oh yes, let's not forget the most important question of all!:)


Levi Nunnink said...

Interseting list. Some of these strike me as very good questions but others I have a hard time believeing that most people don't ask these before getting married.

Good list though.

Anonymous said...

I emailed the list to a few people...they really enjoyed it. I think one in particular needed it. :)


trinathegranny said...

Ive been married for 27 years and had five kids. The few precious minutes before sleeping are the only time the two of you have to just have each other, to be just you and him, the married couple instead of the mom and dad, the empoylee etc. etc. That time is eaten up with a tv. Pretty soon absolutely no communication is going on. (Maybe that's why they get the tv in the first place?)

Cheryl said...

There was an Italian study done, and apparently couples who have a TV in the bedroom get intimate about half as often as couples who don't have a TV in the bedroom. So I guess it is a pretty important issue.

Writing on Board said...

Wow! Great list. The only thing I asked my ex was: "Are those your real teeth?"

"Yeah," she said.

Little did I know. Thanks for the list. Where were you 4 years ago?

tomdg said...

What a question! But I guess from the comments I can understand why it could be a big issue for some people.

Personally, I reckon people shouldn't get married until they've learned how to argue with each other :) And it has to be a fair fight - it's not a relationship if the same person always wins.

It's a good list. We've had issues with one or two of those ... But people change, and a lifelong commitment needs to be able to adapt to those changes.