RELATIONSHIPS: Questions to ponder before tying that knot

When it comes to marriage many bad decisions have been made a long the way. As a result of bad decisions made at start, many people as a result have given the marriage institution many labels; jail, hell to mention but a few. Spouses have become ‘chain keepers’ and divorce is the in-thing today.

When it comes to marriage many bad decisions have been made a long the way. As a result of bad decisions made at start, many people as a result have given the marriage institution many labels; jail, hell to mention but a few. Spouses have become ‘chain keepers’ and divorce is the in-thing today.

Isn’t it wise to ask oneself a few questions before tying that knot? Here are a few of them.

Are we really in love?
It is suicidal to accept getting married to someone you really do not love.

There are stories of people who have gotten married out of pressure from family members or out rightly forced to marry for example in the case where a young man impregnates a girl and the only way out the dilemma is marrying her.

If you have been around for some time, you will have heard of the ‘Kigali Proposal.’ What this means is that a man is forced to propose because he has made a girl pregnant. It is seen as an ‘out of court settlement’.  Others have gone into marriage only for material gain.
This is recipe for disaster.

How happy was your childhood?
We learn our beliefs about what makes for a happy marriage and family life from our parents. Studies show that people whose parents had happy marriages are less likely to divorce, while the divorce risk triples if both parties come from a broken home.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t someone whose parents divorced, but it makes sense to have a serious conversation about how it has affected his views on marriage beforehand.

If your partner has unresolved issues about their childhood or hates their parents, don’t rush into marriage as family problems often repeat themselves.

Do we have good sex?
For couples who are already cohabiting, the importance of being sexually compatible shouldn’t be underestimated. Although there is no way of predicting the future when it comes your libidos, if right now one of you wants sex every night and the other once a month, this could cause serious problems long-term.

For a happy marriage, try to match your sexual needs as closely as possible – or find a compromise you’re both happy with. If you’re already having sexual problems, don’t get married until it’s sorted. Failure to consummate a marriage is considered a strong enough reason to file for divorce even in Rwanda.

Can you stay faithful?
Infidelity is one of the major causes of break-ups in marriages. It is therefore imperative that you take a close look at your relationship. 

If your partner has already been unfaithful, a ring on his finger is no guarantee he won’t stray again. See if you can build the trust back before you take the plunge.

Do you want kids?
It should ring alarm bells if you don’t agree on whether to have children or not. Thinking that you can deal with this issue later is a mistake and making a sneaky decision to have a baby when one person doesn’t want to isn’t fair to the child or relationship.

If your partner is adamant about not having kids but you want them – or vice versa - don’t marry. The resentment will kill your relationship.

Where do you want to live?
Because you’re unlikely to stay in the same house or town forever, you need to know if you agree on potential locations.

If one of you wants to move closer to their parents, how does the other feel? Perhaps you live in the city now, but dream of escaping to the country? You should also talk about how you’d cope if your job relocated to another town or even country.

Marriages have hit the rocks quite often because of change of geographical locations of one of the spouses. And experience has shown that long distance marriages/relationships quite often do not stand the test of time. 

Do you have debts I don’t know about?
Money is probably the biggest cause of rows between couples. Marrying someone with debts isn’t necessarily a no-no – as long as they have a decent plan for paying it off.

But a long history of unpaid debts should make you think twice. It’s also important to thrash out details such as whether you want joint or separate bank accounts and savings plans.

The key is whether you can talk calmly and practically about money.
Additional reporting from internet sources

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