5.  Do we share a common sense of spirituality?  This is pretty huge.  And once again it’s something that people don’t commonly evaluate.  Obviously you know if you share a common theme of religion.  If someone shares your faith of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, etc…you already know.  But the level of committment that each of you have, has to be explored.  If you are a Christmas and Easter Christian and your mate is more of the every Sunday type, then this needs to be talked about.  You can’t automatically assume that just because you get married that he/she is going to all of the sudden be willing to give up football Sundays for a healthy day of praise and worship.   Hallelujah!  And with some discussion maybe this will not be a major concern but it is good to get on the same page because I know a lot of people who bicker over not being able to attend church as a couple because he won’t get out of the bed in time to make a 10 o’clock service…….maybe a 12pm kickoff.  I’ve also seen some knockdown drag out type discussions over what direction to lead the children spiritually.  All this is stuff that can be overcome but religion is a touchy subject.  The sooner you talk about it the better.

4.  Are gonna have joint bank accounts?  Now I’m not doing this list in any particular order but I swear this would probably be the #1 if I was.  Money is reportedly one of the top reason for most divorces in America according to PoBronson.com’s 2010 study, weighing in at around 33%.  How people spend money, what they spend it on, what percentage of the bills are paid with my money, how much are we saving etc….All these are different facets to this very sensitive issue.  But I will just say that for me the thing that most concerns me is the lack of honesty in terms of what people are committing.  I can think of no greater violation than for someone to be hiding money.  Especially when the other person is committing themselves with all of their income.  Essential and disposable funds.  But, I humbly plead completely ignorant to this dynamic since I have never been in such a situation.  But for the record……..they call me The Reasonable Bachelor, not the Stupid Ass Bachelor! If I catch you hiding some rainy day money in a  secret account we might just have an instant hail storm in my living room when you get home!

3.  When do we stop hustling and start enjoying the fruits of our labor?  There is nothing more wonderful to see than a happily wed power-couple.  Brad and Angelina.  Bill and Hillary.  Beyoncé and Jay-Z!  But I think we traditionally only acknowledge two people who have big titles or big salaries as power couples and I think that’s wrong.  People have ambitions that work in different directions. Ambition is defined as An eager or strong desire to achieve something, such as fame or power…not exclusively fame or power.  What if your future spouse’s ambition is to make sure he/she raises their child with their full attention?  Or what if the ambition is to experience as many things as the world has to offer and share it with someone else?  What do you say to someone whose ambition is to just do what makes them happy and try to maintain that in spite of all of the world’s outside influences?  Am I suppose to tell that person that they have no ambition because they don’t chase promotions and money they way the rest of us do?  Does it make a man or woman lazy because they have no desire for fame or fortune?  I met a doctor once who told me that she got more joy from walking her son and daughter to school each day than she did having her name posted in medical journals and when she realized that, her world changed.  Her ambitions were geared in a different direction.  And for those of us who do want to be a traditional American power couple that’s shooting for the Forbes list…….when does it end?  How long before we can just stop chasing the next opportunity and enjoy what we have.  And at what cost?  Our closeness?  Our child’s development?  Do I have to keep getting a better car or bigger house than my last one for the rest of my life?  He might say yes….she might say no.  Time has a way of changing what we think is important to us.  I would hate to reach a point in my life where I want to go a different direction and my wife is still on the super-highway for success and looking for me to ride shotgun.

2.  What do you consider cheating and what do you think I should do if you cheat?  Now this is the only time you will hear me ever say something like this because I am not someone who condones games or testing people or any of that sort of BS.  But you should ask this question not because you are going to give them the power to define this for you, but because you already know what you think cheating is and what you will do if it happens.  You just want to get it out there so there is no discussion!  So you can get a feel for how he/she thinks of the issue and then lay down your own personal law.  So when her ass gets caught in some sort of salacious situation, there doesn’t have to be any sort of talking, crying, begging, offering of goods, plans for retribution etc….  Just actions and consequences.  For the record I know that situations are complicated and that they have to be handled with a measure of flexibility at times.  However, it can’t hurt to start with a standard and work from that as oppose to setting a standard once some drama pops off.

1.  What sort of expectations do you have for each other sexually?  Now I know what you are thinking.  “Look at this MAN bringing the issue of sex up as the #1 issue….ugh!”  I promise you that this is not by design.  I would never try to put sex as the #1 issue in my column like that is all that I think about.  I wouldn’t try to subconsciously place sex at the top of the list as a clandestine, jedi-mind trick to get women to think that sex is the most important part of a relationship.  That would be the equivalent of me over using the words sex multiple times in a sentence like sex is the end all, be all of marriage…sex.(did that work?)  Ok..let’s be mature.  Sex is important.  Physical compatibility is important.  Human beings have urges and in many cases those urges are intensified when you have a special someone when you are closely connected to.  You cannot go from having a sexual relationship with someone on a regular basis and then get to a point where you have to make appointments for a little lovin’.  This type of behavior only creates tension.  I will speak for a lot of men when I say that sex can serve as a wonderful panacea for a lot of things.  Stress from work….meet me in the bedroom.  Argument over bills….meet me in the bedroom.  Johnny got a bad grade…let’s work it out in the bedroom.  Simple.  But I certainly understand that women are different.  They can be totally disconnected from their sexual desires at times and these things are normal.  But in situations where someone is just unapologetically abstaining, you are asking for a powder keg of explosion! If my wife is horny and the best I can do is tell her I am tired, then she will have to accept that for a week.  2 max.  But after that I am going to have to produce!  And do so gladly.  My wife doesn’t want charity sex!  I look at it like this….if  I have to pop a blue pill or drink a bunch of ginseng then so be it.  But I would rather have my wife happy at home then unhappy at The Essence Music Festival, Caribanna, Homecoming, Happy Hour or First Friday’s!  (See part 1 of Questions post #7)

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

@jacksonbracey

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