It’s wedding season and thousands of couples are flocking to the altar. Marriage is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make and it’ll be the best move or the worst mistake you’ve ever made.
There are things you need to know and as ‘unsexy’ as these questions sound, they could save you a whole lot of heartache and grief. Don’t call your uncles for their advice or tell your aunt the big news, don’t come to the lobola table until you know the answers to these questions
1. Do you have the ‘Ex-Factor’? When you’re married, you don’t want any exes to occupy that space on your bed between the two of you. Resolve your past relationships, even cut them off completely. They seem harmless now but will be a major obstacle or temptation when the honeymoon phase is over.
2. Are you kidding or not? When our parents got married it was assumed that childbearing was part of the equation. Not anymore. Make sure you’re both on the same page about what you want in this regard to avoid disappointment.
3. Who’s your daddy? You know how ‘old people’ like asking each other what their totem and village of origin is? There is a point to all of that! Firstly, it’s good to know someone’s family background. Secondly, it’s good not to marry a close relative. If your father has children that you don’t know (this stuff is real y’all) then don’t let this get awkward.
4. What’s your plan? In life. Actually. You both need to be able to align your long term and short term plans are. You should have a vision for your life and so should he. You should only ever marry someone whose vision you feel like you can support and someone who will help you achieve yours.
5. What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more. (That was just for the kicks.)
6. Would you consider adoption? Adoption is something that we should all consider. Infertility affects about 15% of couples worldwide and in that situation couples also have the adoption option. Know where he stands on this and get educated about what the pros and cons are.
7. What’s your HIV status? The ‘We don’t look sick so I’m sure we’re okay.’ test doesn’t work! The virus isn’t a death sentence but it’s important to know your status, particularly if you’ve had past sexual partners and so that you can live healthily and make informed choices.
8. Am I the only one? ‘But when you call me baby, I know I’m not the only one.’ Sam Smith. We’ve all thrown our hands up in protest when the wife in that video takes her husband back and we all think that would never happen to us. What you don’t know will hurt you so make sure you’re both equally committed to monogamy from the get go.
9. Are you on the verge of insolvency? Do you have study loan debt? What’s your credit record? Finances are the highest cause of divorce (not adultery, snoring or smelly feet). Just because he’s driving a Mercedes and splurging on champagne every night, doesn’t mean he’s wealthy.
10. What about an ante-nup? Did you know that even if you’re married out of community of property, if your spouse goes insolvent /bankrupt, your assets could be affected? Even if you never plan on getting a divorce, there are good reasons for signing a prenuptial agreement, find out what they are.
11. Ytjukutja? Standard.
12. What are your religious beliefs? Although someone’s religious or spiritual beliefs are the last thing that some people would think to ask about, this is huge. It’s important that your values and convictions align because marriage is more than sex, it’s about holding hands and moving towards the same horizon.
13. Would you consider pre-engagement or premarital counselling? All of these questions are things that you’d address in counselling sessions. Don’t go for counselling when you hate each other and you’ve messed up your kids. Deal with them before.
Bonus question: Ngicel’ ipolice clearance? If employers can demand this from future employees before they make a job offer, what more you who is about to give your heart, body and soul to this person you want to make the father of your children?!
Enjoy the wedding season folks!
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