Happiest Friday to everyone! I hope this week has been good to you. Today I wanted to talk about something that has been in the works for a while. If you’ve been around for a bit, you know talking about being married is one of my favorite things! I really love looking at the way other people are successful at marriage and apply some of those things to my own relationship. I also enjoy sharing what works for us!
This post is a little more general. I’ve said it a million times here, but the ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important things to have in your marital tool box. If you and your partner can talk about things, you will find it’s easier to coexist and make it through life with them.
Jake and I are lucky that both of us are open talkers. We don’t have problems finding things to talk about and while we’ve had to work on our style of communication, the foundation was there to begin with. I know this isn’t the case for a lot of people! I have had a couple friends come to me asking advice and I will say “Just talk to them!” but it seems like it’s hard for them to do with their significant other. So, I thought, why not lay it out. Before you get married there are obviously things you need to talk about. Important decisions have to be made regarding your new life! But there are other things that sometimes get pushed to the side until after the honeymoon, and you find that the person you married has an opinion on something really important to you, and it doesn’t exactly line up with your mindset.
So to avoid those kinds of surprises, I’ve gathered 5 topics you should think about discussing with your partner before you get married. This is your life we’re talking about, after all.
Here we go, time to get all awkward!
What are your expectations of marriage?
What dynamic are you expecting to have in your marriage? For me, marriage is having someone I can lean on when I need to and it’s also I really love having a person to go through life with. Life can be hard and trying and just knowing I have Jake comforts me. My expectations of marriage are pretty much my reality now. I’m a nurturer. I wanted to take care of someone and now I have 3 someones to care for, which I love doing so much! But if that’s not the life you want, you need to make it known. What is the picture you have in your head of what marriage will be like? Talk about it together. Check out how your ideal lives align.
Will you have kids? If so, what kind of parent do you want to be?
Obviously none of us knows what the future holds but it’s important to discuss whether or not you are both open to the idea of children. As people age, their opinions on kids change, but that’s not something you should count on. There’s always a chance that the guy you’re with, who absolutely doesn’t want kids now, may never change his mind. Are you okay with never having a child? Is being a parent something you really want out of life? This is one of those non-negotiable things. I’ve always wanted a brood of kids. I come from a big family, and I wanted that too. So it would have made zero sense to marry a man who didn’t want children. That was one of those things I just didn’t want to sacrifice.
If you both want kids, talk about what kind of parenting techniques you imagine yourself using. One of the things Jake and I first bonded over was talking about the things we grew up experiencing, and what we would do to ensure our children didn’t have those experiences. Will you be strict? Do you picture yourself as a stay at home parent? What does your partner expect out of parenthood?
Do your dreams and goals align?
What is it that you really want out of life? Does your partner want to travel the world with the Peace Corp but you look forward to building a home? Do you want to go back to school? Does he want that too? Who will go first? You don’t have to have an identical plan for how you want your life to go, but you should be able to loosely chase both dreams together. If you have a specific dream you want to make a reality, it’s important you are able to do that. Like I said above, this is your life. You decided what you are and are not willing to sacrifice for a relationship and it’s quite a bit easier to do this before you commit your life to another person.
How will you handle financial obligations?
Just about from the beginning Jake and I shared everything. We didn’t really keep ‘score’ when it came to buying food etc. so when we were officially moved in together, having a joint account wasn’t any big thing. But I do know people who have separate accounts their entire relationship. Talk with your spouse about how you plan to manage money. Are you both spenders? or savers? Will it be a struggle to decide where the money goes every other Friday? Will you consult one another before making purchases? Will you use credit cards? Airing these expectations out early could help you avoid financial arguments in the future.
Are you on the same page spiritually?
It would be great if we could all be on the same spiritual path all the time, right? Well, the reality is, sometimes that’s just not the way the cookie crumbles. I’ll be real with you guys, Jake and I have differing opinions about God. I was raised a certain way and while I do not actively attend church right now, my relationship with God is very much intact. I live my life according to the things I believe and while Jake is 100% respectful of my beliefs, he doesn’t share the same faith. Thankfully, we are able to have a great marriage in spite of our differing views. This isn’t always the case. If you’re expecting to sleep in every Sunday but your significant other expects the two of you to attend church regularly, this needs to be discussed. It’s also a great idea to decide on a church home together and if you have children, do you expect to raise them in church? Having an open discussion about your spiritual goals and expectations is a must.
There are plenty more things that would be good to talk about before you commit to someone, but these are the big ones in my humble opinion. Committing your life to another person brings some great things and it can be an awesome experience, but it’s wise to find out if two people are compatible in ways that are not surface level. Don’t be afraid to talk about the awkward things! It can make all the difference!
What is something you think people should discuss before committing? Tell me below!