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Licensed via Creative Commons. Licensed via CC. https://flic.kr/p/8NiY11

Licensed via Creative Commons. Licensed via CC.

As I have gotten older and more jaded, I feel my next work will not be an appellate brief, but rather a brochure about what to think about before getting married.  I am shocked and awed- yes war terms no doubt- that my clients walk in without having discussed major topics that could have cut through the hormone-induced “puppy love” and directly to the real question of compatibility.

In my next life, I would like to prevent divorce., which is funny in that it would render me obsolete.  Please note that I am NOT a therapist, though I often play one (without credentials) in the office .

But seriously, after a decade of listening to clients tell me stories that all weave in and out like a complex fabric, I have noticed that we spend more time contemplating the design, expense and timing of the engagement ring and the storybook wedding than contemplating what married life looks like:

So, I developed the following questionnaire to help you young, would-be engaged couples.   I love a great engagement story.  Butterflies, flowers and prince charming in the courtship phase are in my blood.  The narrative of Disney romance.  I equally love a great marriage- my parents married over 35 years and grandparents over 60 years.

But far to go often the marital-industrial complex attacks; we blind-sided and star struck, put the sparkly ring on and promise to forever be true and then later ask, “True to what?” Here are the core issues, I see as a problem. Take the quiz to find out if you may have a rocky road because of a lack of knowledge.  Maybe it’s the fear of the unknown.  Maybe we just want to plug in and be like our parents. But really, fess up because life is too short to put “a ring on it” just because.

1.    Separate or joint accounts?

2.   Are you open to adoption? fertility treatments? Surrogacy?

3.    Whose career- if anyone’s can take a break with children and/or financial/identity crisis?

4.     Is it more important to have the top-of-the-line carseat or car?

5.      Can we live on love? NOOOOOOOO.

6.     Do you want to work for the rest of your life?

7.     If we moved to my home town, how would you feel?

8.     If you meet my family and they are unsupportive, what is next?

9.     Say I am a prince, but a prince with a past, are you okay with that?

10.    What is your boundary for me to be home, working, entertaining?