Getting married is one thing, staying married is another thing entirely. More often than not, couples are so consumed with the idea of planning a wedding and starting a family that they fail to have the discussions that really matter. So you have a lot of people walking in blind into a situation that can have easily been prevented if someone had thought to ask some hard hitting questions and get some answers. While we may not have the manual on how to effectively navigate pre-wedding conversations, we can give you a few pointers on where to start from. If you’re about to get married, check out these conversations you need to have before walking down the aisle.
Conversations you need to have before Walking down the Aisle
- What is your stance on raising children? For most people, the next logical step after the wedding is to start planning a family. However, not everyone shares these ideals. It is important to ask your partner for their opinions on child bearing. Do they want children? Can they have children? If one of you has fertility issues, is the other part willing to handle it? Are they open to other options like adoption and surrogacy?
Even if their answer is yes, you must not stop there. Take it a little further. How soon do you plan to have kids, do you believe in setting up trust funds for your kids? What is your parenting style like? Do you want a more laid back or hands on approach to raising your kids? Do you believe in punishing your kids or just letting them off with a warning? Asking all these questions might not exactly guarantee a long lasting marriage, but they can at least give you clue into whether or not you and your partner are on the same page.
- How are your finances right now? The last thing you want is to inherit is debt and bad credit just because you signed a legally binding document with someone. Before you make the decision to make those vows in front of everyone, make sure that you’re comfortable with where your partner’s finances are in the moment. You have to know if their taxes are up to date, how much debt they have and what their plans for paying them off are. Do they believe in savings and investments? Having these conversations will help you make long term financial plans for your family.
- What are your beliefs? Many people like to think that they are compassionate and tolerant about people who do not share their religious beliefs. However, if you don’t ask questions about beliefs and lifestyle principle beforehand, when the going gets tough, the cracks will begin to show. Okay so you’re not a religious person and your religious partner doesn’t mind that. What happens when you have kids? Would you want to raise them into the religion or not? Would you be willing to participate in your partner’s religious celebrations during the holidays? And would you be bothered if your non-religious partner is not interested in sharing in your religious festivities? All of these discussions need to be had if you’re even thinking of building a union that is going to stand the test of time.
- Where do you want to settle down? If you’re planning a wedding and you’ve not talked about this yet, you may want to re-assess your priorities. There are few things more important in a marriage than where you live. You have to know where your partner would like to settle down or if they want to settle down at all. You might want to move back to your hometown, while they thought you’d end up somewhere completely different. Are you open to moving for a new job? It’s better to talk about this now before it comes up.
- Who is responsible for each chore? A long time ago, responsibilities and chores were set based on sex. Women stayed home and took care of things, while the men worked and then did things like lawn care.Today, things have changed drastically. There are no set rules, but each person still comes into the marriage with expectations. Maybe your father always did the dishes. Then, you’ll be upset if your husband doesn’t love doing them. Maybe you both hate taking out the trash. How will you resolve that issue?
This post is definitely not exhaustive. You need to have conversations how the bills will be split, when and how often you plan to go on holidays and so much more. Bottom line is, there needs to be a lot of talking before you make those steps down the aisle. The answers you get will tell you whether or not you’re both ready to take the big leap or whether you need to slow down and do some figuring out. Having these conversations may even tell you whether you need to be taking the leap at all. So brace yourself, get your talking sticks out and do what you have to do! Jump on this list of conversations you need to have before walking down the aisle.