we had premarital counseling. it was one session before our wedding in which the minister said "i will proceed to try and talk you out of getting married. if i can't do it, the wedding is on." needless to say, it was not so comprehensive. there are lots of things you may not necessarily learn about your spouse until you're way in. they should totally have a checklist at the counseling... something like this:
1. Is you spouse an "ironer" or a "throw them in the dryer with a wet washcloth" person? (this can save countless disagreements on whether something is deemed "wearable")
2. What kind of vacationer is your spouse?
a. relax, no schedule, fly by the seat of your pants
b. see every sight possible within a 50 mile radius
c. there will be no vacations, my spouse is afraid of planes.
3. Is your spouse a morning person or a night owl? Now for this one, you may think it's best to be the same type of person. however, if you plan to have kids, at least one of you needs to be a morning person. if not, disaster will ensue.
4. Did your spouse's mother do everything for him or make him clean up after himself? this is a big one. you should investigate this one closely before you even accept the engagement ring. trust me.
5. Did your spouse's father do nice things for his mother on holidays? another one that will be an indicator of the quality of your future birthdays, mother's days, etc.
6. Is your spouse a spender or a saver? Now they probably did talk to you about finances at your counseling. but did they go over the starbucks budget? what about how much is too much to pay for a round of golf? i'll bet they didn't.
7. Is your spouse a "go to bed with the tv on" kinda guy?
8. While you may have discussed how many children you will have, did you discuss how you will stop having children? did you? you assumed he would take care of that? i'd get it in writing.
9. What about pets? I don't mean "should you have them". i mean "will you treat them like children or like animals"? will they sleep in your bed? will they sit in the front seat of the car while you are delegated to the backseat? ( i knew a family like this growing up) will you purchase clothing for these pets? there are two kinds of people in this world: people who's dogs own sweaters and people who's don't. the two cannot live in harmony. it's a fact.
10. And lastly, how does your spouse feel about blogging? is he ok with you sharing his shortcomings with the world? will he feel inclined to start his own blog about how you never change out of your pajamas and you eat chocolate in the middle of the night? or will he laugh it off, knowing that the people that know you in real life are aware of how unbalanced you are and already feel sympathy for him so there's no reason to rub it in.
i hope i've helped any of you toying with the idea of marriage. if only someone would have shared this checklist with me...