Top 5 Topics to Discuss Before Getting Married

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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.

1. Expectations for the Marriage

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.

2. Finances

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.

bride laughing with groom in blue suit

3. Goals for the Future

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.

4. Religion

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.

5. Kids

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.

groom kissing bride's hand

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.

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