You are in love. That’s great! But before you tie the knot you should go over some things with your prospective partner.
Marriage is more than juts living together; it is a commitment and should not be taken lightly. With that in mind, here are some important subjects you should talk about with your partner before you get hitched:
First off, you need to cover kids. Do you want them? Do they? How many? How soon? This can be a huge deal breaker for many couples.
Do not wait until you get married to find out that your partner loves kids and wants three or four and you can’t stand them. Or maybe you want children right away and your partner wants to wait until you are more financially stable.
Another thing to go over when it comes to kids is how you will raise them if you do decide to have them.
- Will you be strict and clear on the rules or will you let the kids do as they please?
- Which one of you will set up the rules or will you work together?
- How involved does your partner want to be in raising the children?
- What happens if you want kids but can’t have them physically?
- Will you adopt?
- Will you spend lots of time and money on procedures?
- What about schooling?
- Health issues?
To work or not to work
Another thing that often comes with kids but sometimes even without is partners staying home. Quitting your job to stay at home with the kids or even to work from home is a big deal. Do not take it for granted that your partner feels the same way you do.
If your partner loves their job and you expect them to quit working to stay home and take care of the kids then you will have a problem on your hands. Or maybe you expect to stay home and they do not like the idea at all. Talk about how you will proceed after you are married and your expectations in the event of future changes.
Where you live
Speaking of staying at home, where will home be? If you are both in the same area it is reasonable to expect that your new life together will be in the same place, but what if you have a long distance relationship? Will they move or will you? Or will you both move to an entirely new place?
If you have a home already do you expect your partner to move in with you? What if they have a home? Some people do not like moving into a place that you chose without them because they have different wants or needs. You need to talk about where you will live before you get married.
Another aspect of this is travel. There are two things you need to cover: travel for work and travel for pleasure. Travel for work means that if you marry a military person, for example, you should expect to move every few months or years, even overseas.
A similar idea is true for many professions. Will you travel with them or stay in one place and be without them for long periods? What about if you have kids? Will that change? Travel for pleasure means you need to cover your dreams and expectations with your partner.
If you love to go to Europe once a year or take a couple weeks off from work to drive around the country then you need to talk to your partner about this.
- Are they coming with you and are they okay with you going alone?
- Can they take off work like that?
- Do they like to fly or drive that long?
- Do they have a passport and can they get one?
- Do they like to travel or do they like to stay home?
Homebody or party goer
Kind of in the same line of thinking you need to be aware that once you get married you usually can’t be as free and flexible as when you were dating.
Is your partner the stay at home type or the party every night kind? Will you still go to the clubs and bars after you are married? Are you okay with staying home on Friday nights? While some marriages are okay with one person going out with a group of friends or alone this is something you should cover beforehand. Mixed marriages often feel a lot of strife due to different expectations. Work it out beforehand to avoid this issue.
Religion and beliefs
The old saying to avoid talking about religion and politics is a good one, until it comes to getting married that is. You need to find out what your partner’s beliefs are before you tie the knot.
- Are they devout in their religion and do they expect you to join in?
- Do they go to worship once a week, once a year, or somewhere in between?
- Do they have customs or holidays that are important to them?
- Even if you agree to remain separate in this what about your kids?
- Will they be raised in your beliefs or theirs or a mixture of both?
While some mixed marriages are possible others are nearly impossible.
To a lesser degree politics is another big divider. If you are conservative and they are liberal that can cause a lot of strife, especially around voting time.
Long or short term
While some people think marriage is forever others see it as a kind of trail period where divorce is always an option. Going into a marriage without knowing your partner’s opinion in this can be a big mistake.
If they think that divorce is never okay and you think of it as an acceptable option then you will see marriage very differently. Find out how your partner views marriage and make sure you are both on the same page.
In my family we are very close. However not all people are close to their families. Some people feel that there should be a distance between family once you get married.
Where before you would go see your parents every week or talk to your mom on the phone every day once you get married your partner has a say in how you spend your time.
- Does your partner want to live close to or frequently visit your family?
- Do they want your future kids around your family?
Many families have issues that can cause problems like abuse or neglect and this can affect the way your partner feels as well.
Make sure you are both open and honest about your families and you expectations for after you get married. Another issue you may want to cover is aging parents.
- Do you expect to bring your parents into your home when they can’t take care of themselves?
- Does your partner?
- Are you both okay with that idea?
Sex and affection
Wow, this is a biggie. Sex is a huge part of marriage. They say that without sex a marriage dies and I believe it. However many people get into marriage expecting different things.
Maybe before you were married you kissed and went out on dates all the time.
- Will that change after you are married?
- Do you expect your partner to cuddle with you and kiss you without having sex?
- Do you expect to have sex every night, once a week, once a month?
By communicating your needs and expectations you can help each other to understand what you are getting into and make sure you are compatible in your thinking.
You may also want to cover things like sexual experimentation. Do you have beliefs or experiences that have you firmly against certain things? Do you have germ issues or just grossness factors that make you sick at the thought of doing something sexual? Share your concerns with your partner before you get married.
Last but not least is health concerns. While it is possible to hide some health issues when you are dating it is really not possible once you are married.
Some big issues that can cause problems later on are things like depression, chronic illness, aging issues and so on. You should be open with your partner about any health concerns you may have.
This also relates to having kids. If your family has a history of hereditary illness you may want to adopt a child instead of having one biologically. Or maybe you have an illness that will get worse as you get older and you will become incapable of caring for a child, or even yourself. You don’t want your future spouse to be caught off guard. This doesn’t mean you can’t get married if you have health issues, but it does mean that you should respect the other person enough to not surprise them with something you are already aware of.
These are just a few of the important topics you should cover with your future spouse before you get married. You want to make sure you go into the marriage with your eyes open and fully aware of the needs and concerns of the other person. That way you can build a strong and happy life together.
Ken Myers is the founder of http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.