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5 Questions couples should ask one another before tying the knot

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Whether you've gotten engaged after ten years of dating, or you're taking the plunge after just six months, you may feel like you know your partner better than anyone else. And it's probably true! The bond you share with your spouse-to-be is incredibly special and one that's hard to come by. Still, there are things you probably don't know about your betrothed, and the weeks and months leading up to your wedding offer a perfect time for discovering new details about one another. After all, the wedding is the culmination of party planning, but it's just the beginning of a brand new life together. The more you uncover about one another before the big day, the stronger your marriage will be in the long run.

Here are a few important questions to ask your husband or wife-to-be - and to answer for yourself - before heading to the chapel:

1. If we eliminate the physical attraction from our relationship, what do we have left? This is an important question because it speaks to the very essence of the emotional, intellectual and spiritual bond the two of you have, after all the physical chemistry is removed.

2. What words or actions of mine could make you mistrust me, now or in the future? This can be a touchy subject, especially if one or both partners are naturally a bit mistrusting or jealous, but you'll likely be surprised to hear some of your partner's answers on this one.

3. How will you feel if I tell you I need some space or alone time once in awhile? This question is especially important for couples who have lived separately until marriage. The constant togetherness may seem wonderful at first, but it's healthy to spend at least a little time on your own endeavors. The union of two people in marriage doesn't mean you should lose your sense of individuality.

4. Do you trust me with money? Why or why not? Money is often cited one of the most frequent causes of arguments and mistrust among couples, and talking freely about whether you're a save or a spender and who will be in charge of the household finances is incredibly important. This is also a great segue to a conversation about mapping out the all-important household budget.

5. What fears do you have about the future? This is a conversation that can take many directions, and that's ok. Whether you're secretly harboring fears that you'll inherit genetic health problems or your spouse is afraid they lack skills for child-rearing, talking about scary "what-if" scenarios together can make both of you feel more secure. Plus, when couples discuss problem-solving and action plans together, it strengthens their partnership in myriad ways.

While there's no way to know the future, these questions can help couples explore the past and present with one another in ways that will make for a strengthened bond of marriage.

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