Laying down your expectations before marriage by communicating your wants, needs, and whims with your partner is the first step to forever. You shouldn’t assume that you and your will-be spouse are on the same page about the general layout of your marriage. Though there is no manual for maintaining a happy home and conflicts are inevitable (no matter how many Top 10 marriage blogs you read), you will have a smoother ride by having these conversations before walking down the aisle:
1. Any Outstanding Debt?
Given the implications of debt and finances in all institutions and situations, it is super important to have a conversation about “debt”. You have every right to know if your partner has outstanding debts to their name and the exact amount (and vice-versa). Knowing where your finances stand will shape a better financial future for your marriage. You don’t want to spend the first few years battling loan sharks and mounting bills.
2. Kids or No Kids
Kids are adorable and cute, but not everyone wants to raise them. Just because you are invested in the idea of kids doesn’t mean your partner is, so you need to have a sit-down conversation about this all-important topic. Do you want kids? How many kids do you plan to parent? When do you want to have them? If you don’t want them, do you mind a vasectomy? Are you willing to adopt kids? You should center your discussion on these questions and address all reservations, so you and your partner can reach common ground before tying the knot.
3. Desired Location and Dream Home
Location is very important, especially if you or your partner has set expectations for their residence. Perhaps, you want to acquire a permanent house in a certain location because of living standards or environmental reasons. Or your partner prefers a temporary base because their job requires them to move from place to place. Whatever the case, you both have to reach a favorable compromise to avoid issues in the future. And if you have the same expectations, maybe a penthouse with a stunning view of the beach, you can work towards achieving it.
Religion, if not properly addressed, can stir a lot of problems in your relationship and marriage. If you grew up practicing a different faith from your partner’s, do you want them to adopt your faith or stick to theirs? Are you bound by certain religious rules that your partner has to know and abide by? You have to factor in these things before you seal the deal, so your faith wouldn’t come in between you and your partner and shake the foundation of your marriage. So talk the talk!
5. Division of Chores
As inconsequential as this might seem, something as trite as chores can cause a wedge in your marriage. If you get married and find yourself doing most of the chores and errands while your spouse barely lifts a finger or offers to help, you will soon harbor feelings of resentment and anger – and we all know how that ends. So it is best to split chores before saying I do, so who does the laundry or dishes won’t become a bone of contention in the long haul.
6. Sex life
Whether you practiced celibacy or had an active sex life before the wedding, you still need to discuss beforehand how your sex life will be, especially where the frequency is concerned. You need to weigh each other’s sex drive and come to a provisional conclusion as to how often sex will appear in your days as a married couple. Also, if you or your partner has a certain kink that is wont to promote arguments and dissatisfaction in your sex life, have an intimate one-on-one conversation about this!
7. Bill-splitting and Bank Accounts
Again, money is and should be a hot topic for intending couples! Make sure you provide tangible answers to money-related questions like; should we get a joint bank account or keep our accounts separate? Should we go with both options? Who should pay what bills or which accounts should handle which bills? Should a percentage of your incomes go toward shared bills? What are your long-term and short-term financial plans? Is an emergency fund a must (honestly this isn’t even up for debate)? In the event that one person is unemployed, is the other comfortable with taking up the bills and financial responsibilities of the family?
We’re rounding off
Marriage thrives on positive communication that is better cemented when established before the knot is tied. Having an open and honest conversation with your will-be spouse is the stepping stone to a marriage built on mutual understanding, peace, and happiness. It will also strengthen your conflict-resolution skills and (inevitable) issues will be restricted to the bare minimum.