Falling in love and planning a wedding? That’s the easy part. It’s the staying together and working things out that many couples struggle with, and all too often, the problems that spring up in the first days and months after couples get married are the ones that they never really talked about– the things they assumed would all just fall into place because they loved each other so much. Instead of making this assumption, couples should ease their way into marriage by making a point to talk about a few common issues that can cause conflict down the road.
9 Things Couples Should Talk About Before Tying the Knot:
It’s important to know whether you are marrying a spender or a saver. In our household, I’m the saver, and my husband is the spender. As you can imagine, this has led to lots of “discussions” over the years, especially at the beginning of our marriage, but we’ve found that sticking to a budget works best for us. The important thing is that couples make some sort of plan for dealing with finances.
Having children may be completely off your radar, but it’s something to talk about nonetheless. Here are a few questions you may want to ask: How many kids do you both want? How old do you want to be when you have your kids? How will you teach your kids right from wrong? How do you plan to take care of your kids when they are little – daycare, nanny, or staying at home? Of course, some of your answers may change over time, but the important thing is that you make sure that you are both comfortable with each other’s views on having children and parenting.
3. Life goals
Before you get married, you need to make sure that you and your fiancé are heading in the same basic direction. Talk about where you plan to live in the near and distant future. Do you plan to retire early? Move to Europe? Start a new business? Make sure all your goals are compatible and realistic with each other’s goals, and then make a plan for how both of you will achieve your goals– both separately and together.
Decide beforehand how you plan to deal with tricky in-law situations. Talk about how you will split holidays between your families and how involved you expect your in-laws and parents to be in your lives. You won’t be able to foresee every possible situation that can arise, but you can at least come up with a basic game plan for dealing with parents and in-laws.
5. All Things Controversial
If it’s controversial – talk about it. This includes politics, religion, sex, and even your favorite SEC team. Perhaps, you think it won’t matter once you get married, but these issues have a way of popping their heads up again and again. It’s not that you have to agree 100 percent of the time, but it is important that you address these topics before you get married rather than afterwards.
Dog lovers and cat lovers (or any other animal lovers), are you willing to part with your beloved animal if your future spouse doesn’t like your dog or cat? If not, you need to make this clear beforehand. Don’t assume that your future wife or husband will come around to liking your precious pooch.
7. Past Relationships
“Let the past stay in the past,” some people say, and I agree with that adage to an extent. However, it’s only fair to share openly and honestly about any past relationships you may have had. These conversations go over better before marriage much better than they do after you’re married.
8. Dividing Responsibilities
Talk about the roles and responsibilities that your parents had when you were growing up and how you foresee you and your spouse dividing household and other responsibilities once you are married. Who will do the cooking, the cleaning, and the lawn care? This can be as simple as deciding that one person will cook, and other person will do the dishes. Regardless, it’s worth talking about before walking down the aisle.
9. Expectations for Marriage
Couples should talk about their reasons for getting married and what they think separates dating from marriage. It’s important that they share their overall expectations for marriage and how see their lives changing or not changing. Ultimately, talking about all these issues (as well as the ones above) will not guarantee that your marriage will have a smooth start, but it certainly can help pave the way for a foundation of good communication and help couples get off to the right start.
Image Source: BigStock