You’re so in love, so why do you want to run away screaming after only a week of marriage? Many couples skip an important step in their relationship: having a serious discussion about some possibly uncomfortable topics before getting married. There are quite a few things you need to be on the same page about before exchanging vows. Neglect them and you could be headed for disaster.
Even if you live together, marriage changes things. If you really want your marriage to last and want to avoid unnecessary stress, make the time to talk about every one of these topics before you even plan the wedding.
- Kids – yes, no, maybe? It’s the one topic that will definitely tear a marriage apart if you don’t both agree. If one of you really wants kids and the other absolutely doesn’t, it’s probably not going to work out. Find out whether kids are a part of your future or not before going any further.
- Where are you going to live? I’ve seen so many couples jump from apartment to apartment because one or the other was always unhappy with where they lived. Take some time and talk about the type of area you want to live, how close it needs to be to your job and family, and what needs to be in the same area.
- Are your finances in order? If you have secret student loans and credit cards, now is the time to speak up. Have you both told each other how much you earn a year? It might be an awkward conversation, but if you’re not both financially ready, marriage might have to wait. The financial struggle is often enough to break up the happiest couple.
- Who’s the bread winner? I know it sounds ridiculous, but some couples get jealous if one makes more than the other. It’s also important to talk about whether you could live off of one person’s salary should one of you lose your job. Planning in advance helps you avoid so much stress later.
- How will you decorate? Yes, decorating has torn couples apart. Maybe you could each have your own rooms to decorate. Remember, you’re blending styles here. It’s not just about you or him. You’re going to be living together, so you have to agree on the decor.
- Will you share bank accounts? Do you want to share an account or is it best to have separate accounts and each of you handle different bills? Some people feel their spouse has something to hide with separate accounts, while others are happy just managing their own portion of the finances.
- How do you make big financial decisions? At what point do you have to ask your spouse to buy something? Odds are, you’ll set a budget. Anything outside of the budget needs to be discussed prior to purchase. This means no more buying designer bags without running it by your spouse. Are you ready for that?
- Who handles what chores? Go ahead and avoid the arguments by dividing up the chores now. Trust me, it’s better to fight about it now and be able to storm off to your own place if you disagree. Remember, you can’t do that when you’re married.
- Who’s changing their name? Most of the time, the man expects you to take his name. What if you’re not up for that? Talk about before you start planning the wedding. For some couples, this really is a deal breaker.
- Are careers in jeopardy? If you live far apart or someone is going to have to move after getting married, you need to talk about your current careers. Is anyone going to have to give anything up? Would it be better to give up both of your places and move in between? Could one of you get a new job elsewhere?
- Are you ready for monogamy? I get that some couples are happy with an open relationship. Personally, I don’t think “open” and “marriage” really go together. Talk to each other to see if you’re both ready to swear off sexual relationships with other people. If either of you have doubts about fidelity, don’t get married.
- How will you juggle family? You’re not just marrying your man, you’re marrying into his family too. This means additional family responsibilities. Discuss how you’ll handle things like holidays, regular visits and family coming to visit.
Yes, I know these aren’t the most fun topics. But marriage isn’t all fun and games. It’s serious. Talking about these things now will make your marriage much more peaceful and happy.