Usually, even before That Question is asked, partners exchange their ideas about marriage and share expectations and memories of what they observed as children in parental families. If you want to get married and “live happily ever after”, clarify the topics from the list below with your partner before choosing a dress and sending out wedding invitations.
Topics to Discuss Prior to Marriage
Who will pay for the wedding expenses? Will you have a common budget or a separate one? Will you both work or are there options? Will you enter into a marriage contract? Are you planning to buy a car and housing, or do you want to travel more? It is important to understand how you both relate to earning and spending. If in a couple someone prefers to live for their own pleasure, without making savings, and someone is used to saving, it’s better to find out “on the shore”.
Let’s say you both want kids. Do you want to have a baby soon after the wedding or just be alone for a while? How many children do you want? What do you think about possible difficulties with conception, how do you feel about alternative methods of becoming parents? For some, adoption may be an acceptable option, while for some it is important to have biological children or not to have them at all.
It would be nice to talk about how someone sees the upbringing of children: what is acceptable and what is not, which models from your families you would like to keep and which ones to leave in the past.
The idea that the man is the breadwinner and the woman the “home keeper” is still strong in our culture. If you love your job and intend to invest in it, grow and achieve new heights, your future husband should know about it. If you dream of changing careers, going to school, or starting your own business, share these plans with a man to understand his attitude. Is he ready to support you? Will he be able to provide for the two of you while you can contribute your share of the family budget? What if you get pregnant? What if one of you is offered a job in another country?
At the beginning of a relationship, sex life usually develops easily, naturally, and “with a spark”. If in the early years, you feel that your sexual needs do not match the needs of your partner, this is a reason to think. After the wedding, nothing will be solved by itself, and routine, the appearance of children, and stress at work can only aggravate sexual incompatibility.
Almost all problems in a couple can be resolved. Does someone lack communication and parties? You can spend time with friends. Nobody wants to wash windows and iron shirts? You can hire an au pair. But sexual needs can only be satisfied within a couple, and if this does not happen, a partner with a stronger sexual temperament may feel unimportant, unnecessary, and unattractive. Resentment and these feelings will either destroy your relationship or push him to cheat.
Are you ready to be faithful only to each other? Or can you make marriage boundaries more flexible? On what terms? What do each of you consider cheating? What is acceptable in relationships with other people? Correspondence? Flirting? Dinner? What will not cause concern, and what do you consider unacceptable? You will get rid of many problems in the future if you can draw boundaries from the very beginning.
5. Personal space
When people start a relationship and fall in love, they often want to spend as much time together as possible. Over time, the need for solitude or communication with other people returns. To avoid resentment from your partner, discuss how often each of you feels like being alone or spending time with other people.
You can also get How to Deal with Routines in a Relationship
6. Hobbies and recreation
It’s nice when your hobbies coincide with your partner’s hobbies. But what if not? Is it comfortable for each of you to stay with your own interests, and not try to attach each other to them?
What kind of vacation do you like? Active with conquering new places and changing impressions, or absolute relaxation? If you do not agree on this issue, what compromises can there be? How do you see the idea of a separate vacation in this case?
7. Parents and relatives
Often, each of us wants to make a good impression and please the parents and relatives of the partner. Discuss where family is in your life and what expectations each of you has.
How often do you plan to visit your parents and other family members? Celebrate holidays together? Solve someone’s problems? Is there anyone in the family that you or your partner is used to supporting financially or morally? How might this affect your couple? What will your husband do if you suddenly have a conflict with one of his relatives? And you? How do you both see caring for aging parents?
A stamp on the passport will not destroy the partner’s bad habits, so it’s not worth hoping that “after the wedding” the person will change. Silent hopes are detrimental to relationships, so say what you would like in advance.
If you have already had the opportunity to understand how each of you is used to resolving conflict, great! Let’s say you prefer to do this as the play progresses, while emotions run high and a solution is found. And a man, for example, needs to be alone in order to calm down and think about how best to act. Then you will get even more angry because you will think that your partner is avoiding you and does not want to discuss what is happening, and he will feel extra pressure.
10. Faith and religious beliefs
If you are religious and your partner is not, do you feel that he will treat it with due respect? Tell him what place faith occupies in your life, and what is important to you in this matter. If you have a different religion, how will you raise your children?
11. Dreams and goals
Do you know what your partner dreams about? What does he want to achieve, and where are his plans and efforts directed? In what does each of you see the purpose of life, and what place does the husband (wife) take in it?
There is enough time between the “Yes!” that you say in response to that very question, and the “Yes!” said at the registry office. Dedicate part of it to discussing what is more important for a relationship than the color of the invitation or the restaurant for the banquet. Yes, discussing possible problems or a marriage contract is not as romantic as planning a honeymoon, but an honest conversation about expectations will lay a good foundation for a future marriage. Be happy!