Couples question the unthinkable

By Daina Havens
February 22, 2007

If you think you’ve met that special someone, wait! Take a step back, a deep breath and a second to ask yourself, “self, what do I really want out of this relationship?”

The usual questions couples ask before they get serious are the obvious ones; do you want kids? What do you want to do with your life? What are your interests?

However, as important as those questions are, there are a plethora of questions to ask dealing with issues ranging from friends and family to finances, according to a New York Times article.

In the article titled “Questions Couples Should Ask (or wish they had) Before Marrying,” 15 crucial questions are featured, including topics such as religious backgrounds, spousal affection expectations, moving for a career, health history and financial goals. After all, how could a relationship work if she wants to earn a Master’s and he expects her barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, or she expects diamonds and dollar signs from his minimum-wage career?

Unreasonable expectations, a controlling factor, dishonesty and a lack of respected boundaries is a recipe for “anger producing behaviors” and disaster in a relationship, according to Father Michael Bielecki, the college chaplain, who has previously worked with couples preparing for marriage in the Catholic Church.

He added that a good question to ask yourself is, “How would I want my relationship to differ from the ones that I have observed?”

What would you do differently than what your parents or your friends have done in their relationships?

Father Bielecki also added that you can’t give yourself away to someone else if you don’t truly know yourself. Once you have figured yourself out and you’re ready to take a step forward, Bielecki said to ask, “What are your expectations of this relationship?”

This is important because if you don’t set boundaries at the beginning, you’ll have trouble finding respect for the ones you finally do set.

On the more health related questions that should be asked, coordinator of health services Susan Fitzgerald said that communication is imperative and if you’re uncomfortable with talking about sexuality with your partner, you’re most likely not ready to be intimate.

A health services brochure, titled “Getting What You Want From Relationships,” highlights simple steps to achieve a good relationship.

“Know what you want. Use effective communication skills. Work at resolving conflict. Always be honest. Talk openly about your feelings. Be honest when there is conflict. Always bring up what is bothering you. Talk openly about sex. Be monogamous. Maintain your autonomy.”

More information on obtaining and maintaining a healthy relationship is available at health services.

Of the estimated 70 couples that Father Bielecki has worked with in 24 years, he claims that lack of honesty is the big relationship killer.

Let’s be honest here, “Relationships are of the heart, but the head has to be present to,” Bielecki said.

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Daina Havens

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