You and your partner are ready to take your relationship to the next step – marriage! The decision to spend the rest of your life with the love of your life is the most significant step you can take in your relationship. However, before the stress of planning your wedding begins, there are some things you and your partner need to discuss. Here are five things you and your partner should consider before getting married.
1. How is our money going to be handled?
Money is a very sensitive topic, but it is one that you and your partner need to talk about before getting married. Quite often, newly wedded couples go into their marriages without discussing debt, earnings, and other financial issues. Before they know it, financial problems are causing a strain on their marriage, robbing them of the “happy ever after” they had envisioned.
Although discussing finances can be tough and uncomfortable, it is better to find a plan now than to find out you disagree with money arrangements after you have already tied the knot. Having the discussion now also helps you in understanding your current financial standing.
With this knowledge, you can make plans on managing your money- how the bills will be shared; can you afford to have children right away or wait a bit; how long would it take to settle the outstanding debt, and so on.
You want to enter your marriage with an agreement about money, so it is better to get a clear understanding and agreement between the two of you before you are married.
2. How do we factor our families into our lives?
As it is said, when you marry someone, you marry their family. Although you would be starting a life and a family together, you cannot exclude your own families from your matrimonial lives.
It is exciting that you are gaining a second family, but it is also quite challenging – especially if they interact differently from your family. That is why, before getting married, it is essential that you are acquainted with your partner’s family- their traditions and beliefs.
Once you understand each other’s family, it is easier to discuss what arrangements you should make to factor them in once you are married. You may have noticed some tension or seen that one family is a little more close-knit while the other likes to keep their space.
The observations you make will help you decide things like how you would spend the holidays, how often you will visit, whether you will go together all the time or once in a while, etc. This discussion can keep the drama that comes with in-laws and family out of your marital life.
3. What are our living arrangements?
Another thing to consider before getting married, especially if you do not already live together, is: “Where are we going to live?” In discussing this, you have to consider whether you would want to move into one person’s current place, rent an apartment, or purchase a bungalow house.
Location is another aspect of the living arrangements you should consider. The two of you will have to decide where you would like to start your family – close to your parents? Another country? Or perhaps, you would want to move to the countryside?
Whatever it is, you should both be on the same page before getting married. In discussing location, you should also consider what will happen if one of you will have to relocate. Talk about how you will go about moving with the other or remaining in your current location.
Having such conversation would give you an idea of what to expect if such a situation arises during your marriage.
4. What are our career plans?
Before getting married, both of you should take a look at your careers to see how they might affect your married life. Some jobs are time-consuming, which may not have paid much attention to when you were just dating.
Or perhaps you want to go in a different direction in your career. Whatever decision one person makes concerning their job affects the other, whether it is location, salary, or time.
You should talk to each other about your current jobs: how long you plan on staying there, whether you will like to gain a promotion, and whether you would have, or like, to further your education. Share your career goals with each before getting married and always support each other.
5. Will we want children?
The topic of having children is another important consideration to be discussed before getting married. Some people love children and cannot wait to have their own, while others are not excited about the idea at all. Truthfully, both of you may share different opinions about having children, and it would be unhealthy if these opinions are uncovered during your marriage. Finding out now helps in determining if you should go ahead in getting married or not.
If you are ‘for’ having children, talk about how many children you will love to have someday. You can go into further details such as how you will like your baby delivered (a home delivery, water birth, cesarean section, etc.), how soon you will want to give birth and baby names.
You should also consider what would happen in the case where you are unable to get pregnant – would you want to adopt children or consider fertility treatments?
If you do not want to have children, you might want to discuss birth control methods. It could be that you might wish to have children in a later stage of your marriage, but if the two of you are sure you do not want children at all, then you might want to discuss more permanent options such as vasectomy or tubal ligation – even before getting married.
Final Thoughts on Discussions to Have Before Getting Married
It is a beautiful thing to take your relationship to the next step and get married to your life’s love. But, for you to truly live a happy and fulfilling life together, you two will have to consider and discuss many things first long before getting married.
The five points mentioned are the main ones to consider, but you should discuss everything that you think is vital to having a happy married life.