Friday, December 22, 2006

Gawker vs. NYT: Questions to ask before you get married

For many days of the last week, the most popular item at the New York Times website, as evidinced by the number of people emailing the item to their friends, is the following list of questions one should ask their significant other before making a public and permanent committment to each other.

Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying
NY Times, December 17, 2006

Relationship experts report that too many couples fail to ask each other critical questions before marrying. Here are a few key ones that couples should consider asking:
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?

Gawker rightly called bullshit, saying the questions "were so boring, that we despaired of ever getting married if we were forced to ask them of anyone," and suggested the following list of questions that might be more applicable to most couples considering cohabitation:

Before You Get Married, Make Sure He Doesn't Have Herpes or a Coke Problem
Gawker, December 21, 2006

1) If we get pregnant, is it because one of us didn't wear a rubber or because you forgot to take the pill?
2) How much does your trust fund pay out quarterly?
3) Did you get the Heineken and Pop Tarts like I said, bitch?
4) Do you have herpes or paranoid schizophrenia or something?
5) Why don't you go down on me?
6) Are you absolutely sure you're not gay?
7) Where should I put my porn in the bedroom?
8) Do you ever shut up?
9) When I'm bored of sex (with you), you're not going to make me go to therapy or AA or anything, are you?
10) Are your friends hot?
11) How much cash would your parents give us if we had kids?
12) Is your mom crazy or a drunk?
13) Are you just a cokewhore?
14) If I go to Thailand for a month, will you just not ask me any questions?
15) Is that prenup still valid?