Awkward conversations exist throughout life, but some of them are more awkward than usual. It can be a living nightmare, sitting discussing a situation you know you have to talk about – while every bone in your body is screaming to run away and bury the issue under the carpet.
Yet it’s something we all have to face. The carpet can’t conceal secrets for long, and what’s more, it shouldn’t. There are serious complications if you don’t find a way of addressing concerns and dealing with the unpleasant side of life – but remember, there are always ways and means to make the process more palatable.
“What If We Get Divorced?”
You’re engaged, you’re happy, and you can’t imagine a moment when you won’t want to spend your life with your partner. You don’t want to think about the possibilities of what might happen, but you have to.
If you don’t iron out the ideas you might have should your marriage fail and it then happens, your nightmare becomes even darker. Not only are you trying to figure things out through a time of emotional turmoil, but you’re also less likely to be reasonable.
So have the conversation. Get it in writing; not just the financial side of a split, but how you will divide possessions or custody of children. Hopefully you can then forget about your plans and never need to consult that document, but if the worst happens, you’re best off having it.
“How Do You Want To Deal With Aging?”
When our parents begin to age, it terrifies us as adults. It reminds us of our own responsibilities; not to mention how odd it is as our roles flip and we become the caregiver. From mental deterioration to the rise in the threat of cancer, the problems seem to hunker over the horizon waiting to throw themselves down at you.
It therefore makes sense to have a discussion in the present, before that happens, to find out your parents preferences for the autumn of their life. Do they want to use a facility like the Alpha Omega Hospice, or would they prefer to have care managed at home? What do they want in terms of a funeral?
Keep the conversation as light and as brief as it possibly can be. You don’t need to go into great detail and start discussing funeral costs and who gets the house; just a basic overview will suffice.
“How Do You Want To Parent Our Children?”
When parenting styles clash, the children are likely to bear the brunt of it.
Obviously, this is not a conversation that you need to raise on a first date, but it is one you need to have before you commit to someone. There’s no point getting into a relationship, having a positive pregnancy test and then discovering you have very different attitudes.
If you find you do have very different ideas of what constitutes good parenting, then you have to figure out a way forward. This difference does not necessarily mean you have to split up; just that you have to figure out how you’re going to handle various different scenarios. If you talk about it – as with all of the above – then you should be able to find a way through.