Looking for The One: Questions Which Need Answering

Here is the latest post in my long dormant “Looking for The One” series. Tonight’s post is inspired by some of the comments in my post on the Market Differences between Secular and Christian Marriages, specifically those directed at how a wife is supposed to address what she perceives to be a mistake by her husband in having her work outside the home. There is no easy answer to that question, and it goes to show just how important a decision it is when you decide upon a spouse.

In fact, I happen to believe that for most Christians the choice of whom they marry is probably the most important decision that they will ever make in their life. It will affect nearly everything about their life from that point forward. Choosing poorly can have horrific consequences, and lead not only to unnecessary misery in this world but threaten entry into Heaven as well. So it is essential that we choose our spouse carefully. I believe that an essential part of that process is knowing the right questions to ask a potential spouse.

Which leads us to the purpose of this post: asking the right questions in order to get the answers you need. So far I have come up with a few questions of my own, but I know there are plenty that I have missed, including some obvious ones. I am going to ask my intrepid readers to submit any questions which they feel are essential to making the right choice when marrying.  These can include questions which are explicitly religious in nature as well as ones that are more secular. Some will be compound questions just because they make more sense that way.  I have split the questions up into those for a potential wife first and then potential husband afterward in order to keep things simpler. Naturally some will be duplicates.

Questions to ask a prospective wife (in no particular order):

1) Are you willing to take my name?

2) Do you believe in Biblical teaching about the nature of marriage and the roles of spouses?

3) Are you willing to submit to my authority as husband?

4) Under what circumstances would you not submit to my authority as husband?

5) Do you want to have children and if so, how many?

6) What are your views on Birth Control?

7) What are your views on Divorce?

8) Are you willing to work outside the home if I believe it necessary?

9) Do you have any debts?

10) Do you have any medical conditions?

11) Does your family have a history of any illnesses?

12) Do you have any known or suspect fertility problems?

13) Are you willing to homeschool?

14) What is your relationship history? Is there anything which could impact our marriage?

15) What is your sexual history?

16) What duties do you expect me to perform as husband?

17) What duties do you believe your role as wife entails?

18) What role do you expect your family to play in our marriage?

19) How do you envision our family looking 10 years from now? 20? 40?

20) What would you in particular bring to our marriage that other women won’t, or can’t?

Questions to ask a prospective husband (in no particular order):

1) Do you believe in Biblical teaching about the nature of marriage and the roles of spouses?

2) Do you want to have children and if so, how many?

3) What are your views on Birth Control?

4) What are your views on Divorce?

5) Will you require me to work outside the home at some point?

6) Do you have any debts?

7) Will you require me to take your name?

8) Do you have any medical conditions?

9) Does your family have a history of any illnesses?

10) Do you have any known or suspect fertility problems?

11) Is it a problem if I homeschool our children? Do you expect me to?

12) What is your relationship history? Is there anything which could impact our marriage?

13) What is your sexual history?

14) What is your current job?

15) What are your long term career plans?

16) What duties do you expect me to perform as your wife?

17) What duties do you believe your role as husband entails?

18) What role do you expect your family to play in our marriage?

19) How do you envision our family looking 10 years from now? 20? 40?

20) What would you in particular bring to our marriage that other men won’t, or can’t?

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25 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Marriage, Men, Women

25 responses to “Looking for The One: Questions Which Need Answering

  1. I’m curious since I’ve never gone through it…but does anybody know if those type of questions are asked during marriage prep before you get married in the Catholic church?

    Also I would include mentioning about staying in shape after getting married. Getting married is no excuse to let yourself go.

  2. Anja

    earl,

    most of them are not where I come from (=Central/Southeastern Europe). I don’t know how it is in the USA. Some of the topics are stressed, however, and couples are encouraged to discuss them. These include: the nature of marriage, gender roles in marriage, views on birth control, number of children, divorce, sometimes the role of the future wife’s/husband’s family.

    donal,

    I find the list sensible and exhaustive. I don’t know whether I’d add anything but I wonder how you propose to go about this? Surely you do not mean these questions should be asked immediately, before you get to know the person a bit?

  3. deti

    At least for men trying to get these answers from women, I wouldn’t think this is so much as a sitdown interview. Some of them are questions that will be asked directly. Others will have to be deduced from her conduct. For example, sure, a man is going to ask her directly about her sexual history, her N, history of STDs, etc. But we know that women lie about this and fudge it downward; and we also know that some women depending on their life histories might not even remember all of their past sex partners. This is where the “slut tell” knowledge comes in handy for men.

    He’s going to have to figure out some of this on his own; and he’s going to have to do it using a bit of female sexual psychology knowledge. Once he figures out the answers, he’ll have to decide if he can live with them.

  4. Good lists. I might add a few followup questions to go with some of these. For the ladies:

    2a) In your mind, what is Biblical teaching about the nature of marriage and the roles of spouses?

    3a) Would submitting to my authority ever include assigning me honey-do tasks?

    5a) Feel free to round to the nearest 10. (Although the only truly acceptable answer is, “As many as God gives us.”)

    For the guys:

    17a) Other than making sure we always have the finest lawn on the block.

    But seriously, I really like #20 for both lists. If you can’t think of something you offer this person that’s better than he/she would get from the average Joe/Jane, you should probably start over.

  5. Earl, I haven’t been through Catholic marriage prep myself, but I know many people who have. The materials are likely to be doctrinally correct: no birth control or divorce, the #1 purpose of marriage is procreation, etc. However, a lot will depend on the person teaching the class, and some of that may be glossed over with a wink and a nod, while more emphasis is paid to more secular concerns like having similar views on finances. Many of the questions above will be touched on in some form, but some, like the one on homeschooling or those involving submission or headship, probably won’t come up unless you’re at a traditional parish with a traditional teacher.

    Also, some Catholics seem to think the main focus of pre-marriage counseling should be Natural Family Planning (NFP), even if the couple is healthy and wealthy, “just in case” something would happen and they’d need to use it soon after the marriage and not have time to, like, read a book or something.

    So like marriage counseling anywhere else, it’ll range from excellent to horrid, depending on who’s teaching it.

  6. As a Woman its hard to deal with men as it is, North Carolina and South Carolina as it is has the worse quality of men on the eastern coast. I find it easier to talk to men in other parts of the world instead of the United States because there are far too many that a garbage. I found a good 15 guys that are the lowest of quality because they slept with tons of girls that were willing and, they have 5 to 7 children with different women paying child support.

    One thing I notice they want to state that they are God fearing, are they really? No they can’t be if they are living that type of lifestyle so, its best to state that sticking to true christians is better than dealing with the phonies.

  7. I found a good 15 guys that are the lowest of quality because they slept with tons of girls that were willing and, they have 5 to 7 children with different women paying child support.

    You said a mouthful there. The fertility rate in the USA is right about 2.0, meaning that each adult, on average, will produce two children. So for each man who has 6 children (that he knows about and has admitted to), there would have to be two men with zero children, or perhaps four men with one child each, or some combination in between. Those fifteen players are balanced by at least 30-60 guys who either never pursued the wild-oats lifestyle or were never offered it.

    And yet, a good Christian woman just can’t find any of the 30-60 potentially decent guys in an entire two-state area, while the 15 sperm-donation experts seem ubiquitous. I wonder why that is.

  8. Cail Corishev:
    Also, some Catholics seem to think the main focus of pre-marriage counseling should be Natural Family Planning (NFP), even if the couple is healthy and wealthy, “just in case” something would happen and they’d need to use it soon after the marriage and not have time to, like, read a book or something.

    Many dioceses and parishes actually require a separate stand-alone class on NFP, which is ridiculous. NFP is medicine, not food.

    It would be much better to have a separate class on male headship and wifely submission, since that is much more likely to be glossed over, if it is treated at all, in a multi-subject marriage preparation class.

  9. And yet, a good Christian woman just can’t find any of the 30-60 potentially decent guys in an entire two-state area, while the 15 sperm-donation experts seem ubiquitous. I wonder why that is.

    The pervasive and invisible Beta Male.

  10. The pervasive and invisible Beta Male.

    Well, they did a study and discovered that the higher your IQ, the more you’ll notice fast-moving objects in the foreground and the less you’ll notice slow-moving objects in the background.

    If you want a girl with half a brain and the ability to focus, get in the foreground, boys, and move faster!

  11. I’ve always preferred women with whole brains.

  12. Then it’s all the more urgent, Zippy.

  13. Random Angeleno

    One more question on both sides are the attitudes about sex itself. Of course how that gets aired is an art in itself if one wants to make sure he (or she) got the truth.

    Dunno if you ever read them, but Dalrock had a couple of posts on interviewing prospective wives. One of the things I got out of that was that as Deti says, most of this stuff for men can’t be in the form of a sit down interview of his girlfriend. What a man has to do if he is evaluating a woman’s potential is to take his time so that these questions can get asked directly or indirectly as part of other conversations or else they get answered through her actions.

    Ideally by the time a man proposes marriage, most if not all of these questions should already have been answered on both sides. The day after the wedding is definitely not the time to find out she doesn’t take the biblical view of marriage, dislikes sex, etc.

  14. #18 is really important.

    It’s important for men to realize that mothers-in-law often try to assert themselves over daughters-in-law, and that this is sort of a fitness test from mother to son. It’s also important for a woman to know that her husband will set some boundaries with his mother and his wife regarding how he expects them to relate to each other. He should make it clear to his wife that she must treat his mother with kindness and respect but also make it clear to his mother that, according the Bible, a man leaves his mother and father and cleaves to his wife. His mother is no longer the #1 woman in his life. Being aware of this and discussing it prior to the marriage can save a lot of drama and hurt feelings.

  15. Good points Sunshine. Setting clear boundaries is especially important when your mother is a feminist and you are looking to have a Biblical marriage with proper roles for husband and wife.

  16. Regarding what Cellogirl said earlier…

    Part of the problem is that some regions of the country seem to have it worse for men, and others seem to have it worse for women.

    Another part of the problem is that I suspect a lot of “Beta” guys are simply not around women very often, and thus the chances of a “good girl” finding them is slim to none. This is a type of networking problem, in that both are operating in two completely different grids that never interact.

  17. Deep Strength

    3) Are you willing to submit to my authority as husband?

    I prefer to group this under “what are your thoughts on what the roles/responsibilies of the wife?”

    If she is truly a Scripture reading and abiding Christian, she should know what verses in Scripture pertain to her as a potential wife, particularly the big 3 — helpmeet, submission, and respect.

    I like more vague questions because they force her to make a snap judgement:

    1. First, does she think about what she thinks, or does she immediately think about what God/Scripture says?

    2. Second, the obvious part of the question does she understand what a Biblical marriage looks like with what her roles and responsibilities are?

    If she is not familiar with the Scriptures to a point where she understands them, that should throw up some potential yellow if not red flags. For example, she wants to be a wife more than understanding what a wife is.

    Likewise for something like home schooling I ask a deliberately vague question such as: What do you think about schooling for potential children?

    It’s vague enough that most women who haven’t thought about it before will default to thinking about public vs. private school; however, those that have truly thought about how to train children up correctly if they can be SAHM will have likely considered home schooling.

  18. Alan K

    It’s also important for a woman to know that her husband will set some boundaries with his mother and his wife…

    This is a big time comment, SSM.

    She may not actually realize this or fully understand the reasons why, but it’s absolutely healthy and necessary for the young couple. If any party resists this mandate, a man might need to exert additional remedial effort to establish proper order. It can be a tough adjustment for the whole family.

    And remember that both women will instinctively try to work around the new husband in order to reestablish the FSM (female social matrix) outside of his control. This urge is very strong amongst women, despite their competitive nature. They will both make claims upon the same young man and his resources, vying subtly to gain the upper hand.

    Both women must be actively controlled by a relative novice, especially if the older generation is lax in observing correct behavior. It is a demanding job; so, be ready for it. Of course, this critical lesson is often neglected until great damage has already occurred.

    My best advice: Always advise a newly married man to “leave and cleave” as explained in God’s Word – and try to keep the women apart until the marriage bond strengthens sufficiently. The boundaries are necessary to cement specific responsibilities and promote enduring peace within the family. A little squawking early on is a small price to pay over the long haul.

    I know that this comment exceeds the goal of identifying a prospective wife, but it indicates what will be necessary down the road. Be prepared and think ahead. It will serve you well, later.

  19. I agree with Cellogirl on the factor of phonies out here that are asking those same types of questions yet, they only want to engage in a secular marriage or just play “house”.

    This makes it hard for us girls to really know if the guy is serious or not. That;s why we give off the twenty questions that are usually about the man’s sex history because there are too many guys that lie to us.

  20. “And yet, a good Christian woman just can’t find any of the 30-60 potentially decent guys in an entire two-state area, while the 15 sperm-donation experts seem ubiquitous. I wonder why that is.”

    Women see the serpent and want a bite of that apple…God is invisible in the background somewhere, probably not watching.

    I always wondered why Christian women get “offended” by cads. It shouldn’t be a big deal to them if they want to be with good responsible Christian men. Who cares what those other guys are doing!

    Actually I don’t wonder about it anymore after swallowing the red pill.

  21. proverbs31

    Just wanted to speak a little about married women working outside the home. I think you had mentioned that it wasn’t the best idea because of those women submitting to men at their workplace. As a single woman & a teacher, even I would prefer not working alongside men. I only speak to the men at my job if they speak to me first, & I try not to hold long conversations with them, or be alone in a classroom with a man.

    It is difficult to not recognize the manly traits in some men at work, or even admiring their teaching styles. With me being introverted, there is one married male teacher who would flirt with me to get me to “come out of my shell.” One day he playfully bumped his chest into my shoulder (like how men do chest bumps). I was so uncomfortable, but laughed it off. The next day, I nervously spoke to him while no one was around & told him , as a Christian woman, I am not comfortable with him touching me & I wanted to keep my thoughts pure & not have to smell his cologne because of him getting close to me. He felt bad & apologized. The other women at work have no problem interacting with men. Some even hug each other closely at work, eat lunch together & ride in cars together… just the woman & the man alone. Most of them are married too & some claim to be Christian. Some married women dress inappropriately for work. As a woman, I am embarrassed to see cleavage, tight dresses or too much thigh from co-workers. Only God knows what the men are thinking.

    In my opinion, the line is crossed a lot of times between male & female co-workers.

  22. Thank you for your comments Proverbs. I appreciate the perspective.

  23. proverbs31

    Thank you for another helpful post, Sir

  24. One more question on both sides are the attitudes about sex itself.

    Yes, I was thinking this question needed to be added to the “Ask Her” list:

    21) How often do you foresee us having sex? Or if that’s too straightforward: How often do you think a healthy, happy married couple would have sex after the honeymoon period is over?

    If she says, “Whenever you want it, Big Guy,” that’s a good answer, but I think I’d still press for a value. Because if you’re thinking every night and twice on Sundays, and she’s thinking weekly will rock your world because her friends talk about how their husbands get it monthly if they’re lucky, that’s a pretty big disparity. If you want her spending more time and effort in the bedroom than in the laundry room, she needs to know that.

    It’s probably not a bad question for a woman to ask a man too, just to make sure she has an idea what she’s getting into.

  25. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/09/11 | Free Northerner

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