5 Key Issues To Discuss Before Marriage
Whether you’re recently engaged or beginning to discuss marriage with your partner,
you’re probably feeling excited about the future and blinded by love. Many couples look at marriage as the beginning of a new journey together where they’ll get to know each other better and learn to love each other more. However, it’s important to discuss certain aspects before tying the knot.
Five Key Issues To Discuss Before Marriage
1.Kids: Do you both want to have kids is the first question. Before getting married it’s important to be aware if your partner does or does not want to have kids as this can be a deal-breaker for many. However, there are other important questions to ask when discussing kids such as, how many kids do we want to have? How many years apart do we want them to be? What values are important to pass down to our kids? How do we want to discipline our kids? Is one of us planning to be a stay-at-home parent and how do we feel about daycare?
2.Money/Finances: Finances are one of the leading causes of divorce. It’s important to discuss each other’s finances before getting married. During this conversation, it’s pertinent for both parties to be open and honest, hiding any debts or gains from the other can result in anger or resentment in the marriage. Some questions to discuss together are, do you have any debt? Are you a spender or a saver? When do we want to retire and how much money do we want to put aside for that? How do we want to spend our money? Do we want to spend money on our kid's college expenses, or leave them money after we pass?
3.Religion/Spirituality: This is often something that is resolved while dating. However, before tying the know it’s important to discuss how much you want religion to be part of not only your life but your future kids' lives. Do you share religious beliefs or do you come from different religious backgrounds? If you come from different religious backgrounds how will this impact raising your kids?
4.How To Handle Conflict: All relationships have arguments and how both parties manage the conflict is extremely important. Identifying each person’s conflict resolution style and skills is important in identifying behaviors that are acceptable and unacceptable. This is key because each person, whether an argument is caused or not, needs a space to express how they’re feeling about a situation. Some conflict resolution skills to utilize are, walking away and coming back to discuss the issue later, not attacking the other person’s character, positive communication skills (i.e., “I” statements), saying “I love you” before going to bed whether angry or not, and more.
5.In-Laws: In-laws can be a huge wedge between you and your partner. It’s important to
discuss boundaries that you intend to implement for both sets of in-laws. Ask each other how involved you want your parents to be in your marriage and with the kids. Of course, discussing one’s parents is an extremely difficult conversation to have with your partner. It is important though to discuss this as you both want to be on the same page upfront.
The list above is just the most important issues to discuss before marriage. Other important issues to discuss include...
The distribution of household responsibilities
Any significant events from your past that may affect your relationship today
Any plans to relocate