Goals & Expectations



  • What do we want out of life?
  • How do we plan to care for our community?
  • What legacy do we want to leave after we die?


  • What do we hope to achieve in the near future and the distant future in terms of our careers?
  • Do you agree how much time is appropriate to give to work?
  • How will we deal with times when one or both of us have reach a midlife career point and we need to change some aspects about our life?
  • How do we determine if a new career path or job is reason enough to move?


  • What size house is important and in what kind of neighborhood do we hope to live in?
  • Where would we like to live? ¬¬ Is there any place we would NOT like to live?
  • Where do we see us growing old together?
  • Do we plan to keep trading houses as we can afford it?


  • How do we feel about travel? Is it a priority?
  • Where do we want to go before we die?


Salary & Bank Accounts

  • Are we both comfortable with the salary differential between us?
  • Will we have separate or joint checking accounts? Or both?
  • If we have separate accounts, who will be responsible for which expenses? Who will pay the bills?
  • Do we agree to have full financial disclosure about each of our own personal financial situation at all times?


  • Is there any debt that we’ve incurred before the marriage? What is our plan for paying it off?
  • Have we borrowed from family and friends? Do we still owe them?
  • How much credit card debt or home equity loan debt is acceptable?
  • What is worth going into debt for?


  • What amount of available money do we each need to feel comfortable?
  • How will strong disagreements about spending money be resolved?
  • What about our extra money? How do we spend that?
  • Will we have a retirement plan? What will it look like?
  • Fill in the blanks: I’d like to retire comfortably with $_________ to live on by age ______
  • Do we both expect to support the family financially and will that be different if/when kids arrive?
  • If we were to purchase a home, the way(s) I’d like to see us plan and save for the purchase is:



  • Will we have children and if so how many would we like?
  • When do we plan to start a family?
  • How far apart would we want our kids to be in age?
  • Would we be open to adoption?

Caring For Your Children

  • What kinds of philosophies did our parents have about child-raising and do we agree or disagree?
  • What kinds of expectations do we each have about money spent on toys, clothes, etc.
  • When the children get sick, how do we decide who stays home with them?
  • How do we want to handle childcare?

Shaping Your Children

  • How do we want to handle discipline?
  • What kinds of punishments are appropriate or not appropriate?
  • How do each of us intend to shape our children’s values?

Marriage Expectations & Roles


  • Why are we getting married?
  • Of all of the people in our life that we could have married, why are we marrying each other?
  • What are our biggest fears about being married?
  • What are we gaining by getting married?
  • What are we giving up to get married?

The Nature of Marriage

  • What are our ideas about monogamy? What are the boundaries that define our relationship?
  • How do we describe what we are committing to?
  • What do we agree we keep private about our marriage?


  • Will either or both of us change our last name? Will we form a new name? How would our children be named?
  • Will our relationship change after we are married?
  • Are there some things that we are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?
  • What will we be doing in thirty or forty years?

What do we expect of a marital partner in terms of emotional support?
Will there be a wave goodbye, a brief kiss or a full embrace when we leave each other daily?
How comfortable are we with showing affection in public?
Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage?
Are there some errors that are unforgivable?

Anniversaries & Gifts

  • How important are anniversaries to each of us?
  • Will we expect to exchange gifts on every Hallmark holiday?

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