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There comes a time in every couple’s life when you need to have a discussion on the dreaded F word. No, not that F word. The Future.
If you’re not very open with each other, this conversation can be stressful and awkward, even when it shouldn’t be. But it needs to happen and there are a few things that everyone should discuss with their partner before tying the knot. The idea of marriage is that it is supposed to last a lifetime, and if you’re going to spend your life with that one person, then you want to make sure you are both on the same page. Here are our top five topics we recommend discussing before getting married.
If you have opposing views on how your marriage will be from here on out, then you will need to compromise or the marriage will suffer. How will things be different once your married? How will things stay the same? If the groom thinks that the bride is going to quit her job and be a stay at home mom, but the bride is a dedicated career woman, then that is a problem. It’s not easily solved and will require a lengthy discussion on where to go from here.
Will you keep having separate bank accounts or are you going to have a joint account? Is one person going to handle the finances or are you a team through it all? How will you divide expenses? What are your financial goals? You also need to discuss debt, as uncomfortable as it might be. You shouldn’t go into a marriage secretly owing thousands of dollars in student loan debt, or whatever it may be. It needs to be an open discussion and you need to decide together how to proceed.
Career goals, if you plan on moving, travel plans—everything future related you can think of. See which of your goals align and which you may have to compromise on. If you are headed in two different directions, it may be time to reevaluate.
This is especially important if faith is important to one or both of you, but it’s a good conversation to have even if it’s not. You need to discuss how you want to practice, how you want to celebrate the holidays, everything. And if religion is only important to one of you or you have two different religions, you need to figure out it is okay with you to have different practices, or if you need to find a compromise.
There’s a lot that has to go into this conversation, but it is so important to have this discussion before you get married. You need to talk about whether or not you want to have kids first and foremost. If your views are differing on this basic level, then you are going to have problems and, as harsh as it sounds, you need to figure out if you can compromise or end the relationship now. If both of you do want kids, you need to discuss how many and how you want to raise them. How they will be disciplined, whether or not to do Santa, everything. Things like this can change once you have children, but it’s good to have a jumping off point before you start trying to start a family.
There is so much work that has to be put in to make a marriage succeed. It’s much better to hash everything out before than to realize too late that you are too different. Having these types of discussions on your own can be a good way to start off, but if you really want to delve deeper into it, consider doing premarital counseling. Learn more about counseling on our blog post here.
You already know you have enough love to last a lifetime, but now it’s time to figure out if you’re headed in the same direction. Good luck! We hope the best for you.