When it comes to marriage, there are many matters that could result in power struggles once or several times over the length of the relationship, but there are two very common reoccurring themes that come up in marital disputes. The first has to do with the financial status of the new family unit and the second deals with the matter of time. Learning your fiancé’s take on both topics can help solidify a base for your marriage to stand upon. This post addresses a few of the questions that can be the starting point for these necessary pre-wedding conversations.
Who does the housework and grocery shopping? Many years ago, the answer to this question was obvious. Today the “little woman” isn’t necessarily in charge of the household. With both the husband and the wife taking on professional roles in this day and age, the rules of marriage have been altered. Suddenly, housekeeping and grocery shopping are eating into everyone’s free time. Because time is valuable to both of you, it is best to be up front about what will be expected from each of you, so don’t be afraid to be specific and outline the chores to be done.
What’s the ultimate income goal and who is going to handle the financial matters? Perhaps even more important than time, is money. At least this seems to be the case in marriages as financial problems are the number one cause of divorce. So, be upfront about your expectations and ask about his or hers. It is better to know in advance where each expects to be financially two-, ten -, and even fifty years down the road. Also choosing the member of your new team who is best able to make that happen, will reduce stress over the length of your marriage.
How much will our monthly bills cost us? Similarly, it is important to have a true understanding of all expenses that will come with your coming together as one. These costs may not be entirely obvious. It is safe to assume that anyone today will have some debt. He or she may also carry insurance policies (auto, life, home, etc.) that can quickly rack up. Calculating all of these expenses in advance can help to keep everyone on the same page.
What professional goals do you have and will they keep us apart often? Another matter linked to time is the professional aspirations of each spouse. It is important to know what is involved with the career that your partner wishes for. Are the commitments something that you can truly live with? He or she needs to be able to answer the same question about your goals in life.
How often do you expect to see your parents? Mine? Our friends? Finally, the other major claimant of time is the outside relationship. Whether it is parents, siblings, or friends, these outsiders will cost you and your soon-to-be spouse some of your time, but how much? Now is the best time to figure all of that out.
Have you discussed any of these topics with your fiance or husband? If you didn’t, do you wish that you had? Please share a comment that could help our other readers.