By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

While we have learned many lessons about great marriages from the thousands of interviews with successfully married couples around the world, we have concluded that what you do in the early stages of your relationship will go a long way towards determining the overall success and longevity of your marriage.

Here are the seven most important issues we learned through our research that should be discussed before getting married:

1. Share what you believe to be the “core values” of your loving relationship (i.e., what matters most to you in your relationship with each other?).
Starter Questions:
What are your spiritual beliefs?
How committed are you to treating each other with respect?
How important is trustworthiness and integrity to each of you?

2. Have an honest discussion of why you love each other.
Starter Questions:
Why do you want to marry me?
What don’t I know about you?
Are there things that bother you about me?

3. Discuss whether or not children are important to your marital relationship.
Starter Questions:
Do you want to have children?
What experiences have you had with children?
Do you have a sexually transmitted disease that could effect having children?

4. Talk about how you see your relationship evolving down the road – what do you want it to be 5, 10, and 20+ years from now?
Starter Questions:
Where do you see our marriage in five years?
What are your hopes for our marriage?
How will our marriage affect your relationship with your friends and family?

5. Articulate to each other how you will share decision-making in your marriage.
Starter Questions:
How should we make decisions about important issues in our marriage?
When we disagree, how can we resolve issues amicably?
How will we collectively handle our financial resources?

6. Have an honest accounting of what you want most from your marriage.
Starter Questions:
If our house was on fire what would be the first thing you would save?
How important do you think sex will be to the success of our marriage?
What interests do you feel passionate about?

7. Engage in a heartfelt conversation about the question, “Can you imagine life without each other?”
Starter Questions:
What are your dreams for our lives together?
What do you do to ensure your good health for a long life together?
Can you imagine a day when we wouldn’t be together?

It is clear to us that these seven leading discussions are important predictors of the health and strength of your relationship with each other and, as a consequence, great predictors of the overall success of your marriage.

Based on the responses we have gathered from the best marriages around the world, the answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the viability of your relationship and is a valid predictor of whether or not your marriage will stand the test of time.

Our advice – discuss these seven issues before you get married. You will not regret having done so.

Creating a successful marriage is not always the easiest thing to do. Your visiting our blog suggests you are highly interested in making your marriage work! And truthfully, we have learned over 30 years of marriage research that there are proven effective ways to ensure a happy and healthy marriage. In fact, we took hundreds of tips from the thousands of happy couples we interviewed and put them into our award-winning and bestselling book, Building a Love that Lasts .

Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the Marriage Quiz to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.
you witness the signs, take action. Save your relationship if you can. Having a healthy and happy marriage is one of the great success stories of life. It is not too late to save your marriage.

In love and marriage the simple things matter. Love well.

By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

Author's Bio: 

As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With over 30 years of research on love and successful marriage across seven continents of the world in 48 countries and their own 47-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.

Get started with America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts by taking their Marriage Quiz or sending your questions to Ask the Doctors for Marriage Advice.

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Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, the Official Guides To Marriage