You might be in love, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should get married. It’s all fun and games for the first couple of years in most relationships, but all of that changes with time. Eventually, the infatuation fades away and reality sets in. Having clear boundaries, clarity in what you want, as well as clear communication can help to ensure a healthy long term relationship.
Is his cute smile worth living in Nebraska when you dream of living in Chicago? Does her sense of humor make her $140,000 of student loan debt worth it? Weighing out the various nice and not so nice attributes of a person is what can determine if two people can have long lasting power.
There’s a lot more to consider than just how enjoyable it is to be around someone right now. Your life will change and there will be a need for compromise. Is this the right person for the long haul? We will be covering 10 important issues to discuss before marriage.
A long talk (more than likely several) before marriage can prevent challenges down the road and help encourage an eventual transformation from infatuation to a deeper love.
Discuss these important issues to discuss before marriage with your significant other:
1.)Where will you live? City or country? Condo or house? In the same town as your mother-in-law or far, far away. You spend most of your time in and around your home.Does one persons job take them everywhere or need to stay put for a while. Compromises as well as communications will need to be had in regards to location as to where to live in the future.
- Where you live has a huge impact on your life. Are you both on the same page? The only way to know for certain is to talk about it. One person may have an idea of what makes the most sense in terms of living while another person may be particular about a certain place to live.
2.)Who will clean what? What is the division of household labor? Will the man of the house do the repairs, mow the grass, change the oil in the cars, and pick up the dog poop? Who cooks? Who cleans? Is everything 50-50? There’s no right or wrong answer, but it helps if you both agree. There also may be a decision to get a maid to come into the home to take the pressure off of both parties. In whichever case, it is critical to get clear about those needs up front and get on the same page with things. The most important thing is to work as a team and to disperse the chores over the household so that one person doesn’t have all of the stress.
3.)How much debt do you each have? Financial issues are the most common marriage challenge. How much debt do you each have? How willing are you to deal with your future spouse’s debt? How willing are they to deal with yours? Are you both going to be responsible for your own debt? What’s the plan? Does one prefer to pay for things up front, while the other one lives on credit cards? It is important to look at each others finances, develop budgets, and decide who will paying the bills and how the bills will be paid to prevent any confusions. Needless arguments can be prevented with clarity in communication.
4.)Children. Do you both want children? If so, how many? If your answers aren’t in the same ballpark, you might have huge challenges ahead. Never assume that your partner will change their mind to accommodate you in the future. It’s a dangerous game to play. Having an upfront conversation about children either past, present, or future can help to determine what each others needs may be in that area of life. If one wants more children and another person is done that can be challenging, as well as put more stress on the relationship later on.
5.)Friends. Will you be joined at the hip with your spouse, or will you both be free to spend time with your separate friends? Some people love having time alone. Others don’t trust their spouse to be out with the boys/girls without their presence. Determining how friendships will be cultivated and or if the friendships are mutual or separate can be helpful. One person may be introverted while the other extroverted. Understanding how socialization will happen can help balance the needs of each person involved.
6.)Spending. Some people like to save. Others love to spend. It can be difficult for people that don’t agree on this matter to get along in the long term. Make a plan that works for both of you. Budgets can include things like goals, they can include things like debt pay off plans, etc. One person may be a free spender while the other may be a saver. Determining these spending habits can avoid many fights later on down the road and allow for open as well as honest communications.
7.)Bank accounts. Separate? Joint? A joint account to pay the bills, but also an individual account for each? Who is going to pay for what? Will it be 50-50? Or will the bigger earner pay a greater percentage of the bills? This goes alongside the financial aspects of the relationship and will need to be clearly defined. Joining a bank account is a huge commitment to each other so it is important to know spending habits, financial styles, goals, etc. before making that decision.
8.)Religion. Some people aren’t interested in going to church every week. Others are serious about their participation in church services. There might be different religions to consider, too. Will you go to separate churches? Will one of you go to church while the other prefers to stay home? Others may be more spiritual rather than religious. Even though you may not have the same spiritual or religious beliefs it is important to be respectful and understanding of each others position.
9.)Sex. It all comes down to a question of style and frequency. In most marriages, the issue is more likely to be frequency. Do you have similar sexual appetites? Sex can be a tricky discussion especially early on when the passion is at an all time high. Sexual compatibility may be an ongoing evolving conversation that requires both people to be open and honest.
10.)Neatness. It’s very challenging for a very neat person to live with a messy person. For best results, work out this issue before marriage so there are no surprises.This may open up discussions about where you live, if you will have a maid, if you need an additional storage, if you need to get rid of certain items, etc. Having this conversation about items in the home can help to determine what your living arrangements may be in the future.
Marriage can be a wonderful thing! It can be a nightmare, too which is why it is important to discuss these important issues before marriage. It’s important to do everything you can to ensure that you’re capable of making each other happy for many years to come. Discuss these important issues before marriage deciding to tie the knot. There are many issues that may come up along the way and it is important to discuss these matters to ensure expectations are clear as well as upfront.