Thursday night Mathew and I went to the 2nd out of 7 pre-wedding classes. We have had some pretty intense discussions lately about how we hope our marriage to be, our expectations of each other, and overall opinions of marriage.

The topic for Thursday’s session was Roles and Responsibilities. Mathew and I had some homework to do before we went to our class, and had to sit down and define what we wanted in ourselves and our partner for roles. For example, some roles I would like to take on would be are keeping the family together, being a spiritual leader, etc. We also discussed responsibilities, which I thought was a great thing to do. Mathew and I were able to get down and talk about what specific things we’d do for our family such as who would be taking care of the lawn and cars or who would take care of the trash and dishes.

I was surprised to find that many people haven’t had discussions like this prior to marriage, so below I have included some questions you and your fiance may like to talk about. For example here are some of the major categories of responsibilities (who is going to do what? wife, husband, or both?):

Purchasing of Groceries & Sundries
Cooking & Dishes & Garbage
Laundry & Dry-cleaning
Household cleaning
Indoor Maintenance (Plumbing, electrical and architectural)
Outdoor Maintenance (Roof, Lawn, Plants, etc.)
Automotive Maintenance
Household Bills, Checking and Saving Accounts, & Personal Financial
Household Services (Gardening, Security, Painting)
Care of Pets
Care of Children

I found these questions online and if you wish, take tiem to answer these with your fiance, then take time to hear each one out and remember this is a learning opportunity. Though your opinion may strongly differ, first take time to explain your position so that you both have information about each other. Then armed with knowledge of each other’s viewpoint, you can begin to uncover the compromises and agreements that will make you both happy.

1. What do you think makes a home a comfortable and livable environment?
2. What is intolerable to you? What is tolerable to you?
3. What areas of the home are important to you and what do you want to have control and say in?
4. If one of us feels there is some inequity in the division of responsibilities, how do we correct that?
5. What is your vision of how a household is run? How do you see these categories divided between us?
6. If one of us is away, sick or unable to fulfill the responsibilities, what happens?
7. If hiring outside help to take care of these responsibilities is an option, would you agree to using a service? If not, explain your reasons against outside workers. What would convince you otherwise?
8. Given the varied chores on the inside and outside of our home, which ones do you think you’d enjoy doing the most? The least? Which ones do you feel you can’t do? Won’t do?
9. How are we going to manage our combined income? Separate or one single account? How will the paying of bills, balancing bank accounts, deposits etc. be handled? How will the short-term and long-term investing and saving plans be divided or share? Who determines, if not both, questions relating to investing?
10. When entertaining your friends, my friends, and, or, our friends describe how you see our roles and responsibilities? Does it make a difference whose friends it is?
11. What is your style(s) of entertaining? Will you accommodate my style?
12. Is the pet(s) yours, mine or ours?
13. How are the responsibilities of pets shared? What do we do with them when we can’t take them with us on a trip etc….? Where do you see pets fitting and not fitting into our lives?
15. Do you have any desires, plans, goals to have children? If so, how many? If not, why?

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