101 Questions to ask Before you get Engaged by H. Norman Wright has been the most recommended book since the beginning of my relationship with Ryan. As people began to find out that we were serious and discussing the possibility of marriage, inevitably this book would come up in conversation. However, it is also the least recognized book when I mention it to other people. So I am saying it now so that more people can know. If you are dating or even already engaged then pick up this book.
Because Ryan and I are dating long distance, this book has been the catalyst to many conversations that we otherwise wouldn’t have ever thought to have had. And each conversation has been beneficial. Even if you live close to each other and see each other on a regular basis, you might never have the opportunities or think to discuss the wide range of topics that are brought up in this book. Many of the conversations are difficult and touch on uncomfortable subjects but it is better to start now than to realize there are issues once you’ve already said your vows. This book has also indirectly helped us to work on how we communicate. It is written from a Christian perspective so the questions get at the whole picture of marriage and have a good biblical foundation. However, even if you aren’t a Christian this book has a lot of questions that would still be worth discussing and it might also give you another perspective on the purpose and goal of marriage.
The topics range from parenting styles to whether or not you even want to have children. There are also questions about emotions and specific things like dealing with grief. The book digs into past relationships and asks about relationships that have influenced or shaped your views. Other challenging topics are sin, money and expectations. But this is just a brief overview. This book covers everything except who will clean the kitchen sink, although even that falls indirectly under questions about expectations, love and dealing with conflict.
I don’t think this book, or any book for that matter, can solve all your problems or answer all your questions. However, I do think that it is a great way to assess your relationship and find out if you and the person you are dating are on the same page when it comes to major and minor life decisions. It is about getting to know someone from their head to their heart. Who you marry is one of the most important decisions you will ever make and this book is a tool that can help you say “till death do us part” and mean it.