Marriage is hard, but it’s one of the strongest relationship milestones for a couple during their lifetime. In the United States, between 40 to 50% of marriage relationships end in divorce. How marriage relationships are handled before and during the marriage determines how successful or happy the couples are.

Many people want to tell you what to do for your marriage to be successful. There are many ways that you can set up a relationship for success before marriage.

Ask Lots of Questions about Relationships

When you are both together, you should make your time intentional by asking and answering questions about your relationship. The more questions, the better. You’re going to be spending decades together theoretically. There aren’t any questions that should be off-limits.

Here are some types of questions you should start asking.

  • Morning routines and morning preferences
  • Things that make you lose your patience
  • Relationship non-negotiables
  • The dollar amount of debt that makes you begin to feel insecure

Asking an excessive number of questions may seem irritating or overkill, but one or both of you may discover potential sources of conflict before it arises later in the marriage. Feel free to wait until the ‘right time’ to ask more difficult or sensitive questions, but those topics should still be covered.

Expectations of What Marriage Looks Like

It’s important to know what you’re signing up for when it comes to the type of work that must be done in marriage. Ideas about marriage form from an early age. The expectation for marriage relationships comes from movies growing up, relationships modeled in the home and the extended family, and information learned at school. People will think about things they want or don’t want in a relationship but may only communicate a high-level overview when talking about it.

What the marriage relationship looks like in their mind may be drastically different than yours, even though initial communications may indicate you’re on the same page. Discuss various scenarios of a household and marriage relationship. For example, ask your partner: If one of us must work late, will you cook dinner for the family? What would you like me to do when it’s your turn and I’ve had a long day at work?

Unexpected Financial Situations

It’s common knowledge that couples considering marriage should discuss finances, but what about unexpected financial situations? Many couples in relationships feel that major illness, unexpected recoveries from personal injury accidents, and significant job loss won’t happen. Around 55% of people stop working sooner than expected, with unexpected health issues being the number one cause. Early unemployment caused by unexpected job loss and needing to care for loved ones are the next highest stressors. It’s much more common to face a job loss and you and your spouse should make a game plan if that were to happen.

Significant drops in income are major stress points in all relationships that share expenses or living space. Things in the world change quickly, and so do economic situations. Do everything in your power to shore up your finances, whether you keep them separate or combined. It’s essential to agree.

A Clean Home Equals a Healthy Home

Sometimes, the thing that causes those unexpected health issues is mold that lurks in the nooks, crannies, and corners of your home. The Environmental Protection Agency states that 100% of all mold types cause health issues one way or another. Understanding this information means that unclean homes or homes with water damage that is not prevented or resolved once discovered can lead to undetected mold in your home.

Reactions to the mold vary from individual to individual. Some reactions include seasonal allergies, and other people suffer more severe reactions such as debilitating migraines or persistent lung and breathing issues. These types of health issues can eventually lead to job loss for your significant other.

Dating relationships are tough. There’s a lot at stake in finding the right person and making sure they’re worth your time. The time invested in getting to know each other thoroughly and doing your best to think about all aspects of marriage relationships and how changes to your joint life affect you both is always worth it.