What do you need to know before deciding on a spouse?
Many times devotees wonder what questions to ask their prospective spouses in order to determine if they are compatible enough to consider marriage. Traditionally, parents found a spouse for their children, because they could best understand the nature of their children and the compatibility of the couple.
HG Vidvan Gauranga prabhu from Mayapur has compiled a list of questions that can be used for discussions to determine compatibility and shared vision. This is not a laundry list of every possible question that can be discussed. However, it does give one ample options to check on the intellectual match of the prospective spouse and also prepare accordingly.
Prepare a checklist of (a) minimum requirements, (b) additional preferences. Then look for the boy/girl.
Firstly, don’t judge a boy/girl by primarily on how he/she behaves in public. People are often much different when you get to know them.
There are several aspects that need to be considered before deciding
(1) Material maturity
(2) Maturity in KC
(5) Fundamental compatibility
(6) Can you relate to his/her personality?
(7) The model of Kṛṣṇa conscious marriage you are contemplating — there are a few different models
(8) Whether you want to be congregation-like (moderately relaxed), or temple resident-like (Strict)
(9) Sameness of interests — materially
(10) Sameness of interests — spiritually
(11) Whether you are inclined to be respecting him, in case you marry him, throughout your life (For Women). Whether you have a soft corner for the girl and would continue to have the same in protecting her. (For Men)
(12) Is the boy factually and objectively (verifiably) more advanced than the girl?
(13) Is the girl more regulated than boy?
(14) How much of the modern life do you both like to follow?
(15) Your karma for marriage (Check on the horoscope and also family background)
(16) Who is going to earn money?
(17) Who decides who should earn how much money?
(18) Who decides how much to spend money on what?
(19) Dress code, how concerned are you both with it?
(20) Family — Both
(21) ISKCON services involved
(22) Which types of friends you both have?
(23) What type of children do you want to have?
(24) What would you like to do when you are fifty?
(25) What if you don’t get children?
(26) Are you planning for getting sterilized (Prabhupada says no, modern ISKCON grhasthas — unofficially — seem to be saying yes because it is “practical”). Please convey this whenever it is opportune.
(27) What about abortion?
(28) Can you or he have friends of the opposite gender?
(29) Do you read SP’s books, do you want your spouse to read his books as well?
(30) How big a house do you want to live in?
(31) What about moving to the holy dhama when you are older?
(32) How will you train up a daughter if you have one — MBA, PhD? or “Vedic style”?
(33) Your health, his health
(34) Financial habits — loans, etc.
(36) How critical are you both, how optimistic are you both?
(37) Does he/she like to listen to his/her guru / siksa-guru / counselor?
(38) What type of superior devotees do you both like to take advise from?
(39) How good does the girl cook — for family members, for guests, for herself?
(40) Of the four varnas, which one are you both predominant? Is it sama or anuloma or pratiloma?
(41) What things do you value, and what things does she value?
(42) How much does she like hearing and chanting, how much do you like them?
(43) Which element(s) of KC do you find most attractive and which ones for her?
(44) Do you like to serve devotees physically?
(45) What type of family were you brought up in? Religious, irreligious, what level of mixture?
(46) Had a love affair before (don’t expect an answer)?
(47) How truthful are you and she, how importance is truthfulness in your marriage?
(48) How do you deal with non-devotee relatives?
(49) How would you and she contribute to preserve and expand the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement?
(50) How can you or she help ISKCON become successful in terms of Prabhupada’s instructions?
(51) What are your plans for training up your children to fulfill SP’s desires on how children have to be trained as?
(52) Which of the following is your basic platform — devotional service, or “normal” life, and which of the two is the thing that comes and goes in your life
(53) Deity worship at home – any experience? Are you willing to introduce/be introduced?
(54) In your opinion, what is an “uncomfortable” or unacceptably poor life?
(55) How will we behave before marriage, and after marriage? (the contrast)
(56) What do you think of the ideal descriptions in sastra of married life, should we move towards that, or should we leave it at that, and live a “good married” life?
(57) What is the upper boundary of a “comfortable” life? In other words, what would be unacceptably luxurious life?
(58) When do you normally become angry for both you and her (think and answer)
(59) What do you do when you are angry (also check the horoscope for this)
(60) What did your father/mother do when they were angry?
(61) Do you like to follow your father / mother?
(62) Did you come across any person in your life who you NEVER wished to follow?
(63) How do you communicate your feelings? Talk, touch, through other actions? Would that be okay from your spouse?
(64) What type of foodstuff do you like, does she like?
(65) How important is punctuality to you and to her?
(66) Who to take advice from, who NOT to take advice from, what to do when you get improper advice from a trustworthy person, what to do when you get such advice from someone else?
(67) Do you like physical work? If no, does the other think you are lazy? And vice versa
(68) What are the divisions of labor at home? Who does what?
(69) What type of life do you plan to live — joint family, or separate family?
(70) How to prevent unnecessary quarrels between family members in case of potential disputes?
(71) Do you (unconsciously) like to have a quarrel with someone you love or even otherwise? And spouse?
(72) When you make a mistake, do you normally like to apologize? Spouse? When you don’t like to apologize, what do you do?
(73) What is your idea of dowry? How do you plan to handle it?
(74) What are the things that you want to continue doing as your parents?
(75) What are those things that you don’t want to do that your parents did?