Conversations to Have Before You Get Married
Wedding planning is always front and center when couples are engaged. However, the old adage is true, “A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime.” We’re going deep today at Chicago Wedding Blog so you can prepare for a strong and healthy marriage! You chose to get engaged to the love of your life for all the right reasons, now let’s future-proof your marriage with honest communication. To strengthen your relationship and prevent future bumps in the road, there are a few conversations it’s important to have before you get married.
Did you know the number one topic couples fight about is money? Did you know it’s also the leading cause of fights that lead to a divorce? Morbid, I know, but you can safeguard your marriage from this common pain point by having conversations about money before you get married. Here are a few important topics we recommend discussing:
- Any debts you or your partner currently have and your plan to pay them off
- Discussing combining finances
- Short-term and long-term money goals
- Which of you is a spender? Which is a saver? How will you combine those traits for good in your marriage?
- Will you ever loan money to people? Under what circumstances?
Living Arrangement Conversations
While many couples live together before getting married nowadays, there are still many aspects of living together that are important to discuss. Families of origin have different customs and opinions about how a couple should live, but the most important thing is that you and your partner are in agreement, as a united front. Some important living arrangement topics to discuss before you get married are:
- Are you going to live at one of your current residences? Are you going to stay where you are? Are you going to move somewhere new, as your first married house?
- Is there a likely possibility either of you could be transferred soon for your jobs? How would you handle deciding to transfer or not?
- Is extended family going to live with you? While most of you may be yelling a resounding NO, it is important to have a direct conversation about it.
- What money goals do you want to attain before you purchase a home? (For example being debt free, having a certain number in savings, etc.)
Extended Family Conversations
Depending on your family of origin, this topic could be relatively easy or fairly painful. Nevertheless, it is one of the most important topics to discuss before you get married. In-laws can definitely be a pain point in a marriage. Being on the same page is a must. Here are some critical family topics to discuss:
- Holidays- Is there a tradition you feel strongly about upholding? How will you handle each holiday (consider all the holidays in your prospective faith or cultural traditions)? What conflicts do you see arising and how will you approach them? Keep in mind, that these events come up every year. Your plans can change from year to year, but it’s important to discuss all options so you and your spouse can clearly define your plans and boundaries around the holidays.
- Meddling- How will you handle conflict or disagreements with in-laws? A word from the wise as a starting point in your conversation: You handle your family and let your spouse handle their family. That being said, always present a united front and always defend your spouse to your family. Then later you and your spouse can discuss how to approach in-laws. But at the end of the day, three (or four) opinions in a marriage are not healthy. Decide on boundaries early and clearly, just the two of you.
Future Family Life Conversations
One of the obvious life events to discuss with your fiance (or hopefully before you are engaged) is if you want to have children. It’s a life-altering event that will change the feel and form of your marriage, for better or worse. Consequently, it’s important to enter into having children with a strong relationship. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have a bunch of children, or not. Even then, your feelings may change once you have a child (if you’ve never had children before) and that’s okay! The most important thing is that you and your fiance are in agreement. Some important topics to discuss about your future family life could be:
- Do you want to have children? If so, how many?
- What religion (if any) do you want to raise your child(ren) in?
- What type of schooling situation do you envision for your children?
- How do you feel about how you were raised?
- In what ways do you want to raise your children differently, or similarly, to how you were raised?
Phew! That was a deep one! However, when you’re with the right person, honest conversations and communication are part of the recipe for a happy and healthy marriage! Don’t despair, getting to know your partner on this deep level might be fun, we swear! It will grow your intimacy while also strengthening your future marriage! You’ve got this, guys! Have those important conversations. Would you add any questions or topics to our list? Let us know in the comments below! While you’re at it, share this post with a couple you love. Happy Planning!