It took you (and your spouse, if you’re one of the lucky ones) your entire engagement to plan your wedding and less than a second to say “I DO.” Was there any time in there for you to have a serious conversation on what your expectations on marriage were and what makes up a successful marriage? Couples often times spend so much time thinking about every last detail that goes into the perfect wedding that they forget that life as newlyweds (and the responsibilities that come with your new status as a married couple) begin the moment the wedding is over! Ok, maybe that was a bit overdramatic…but it certainly begins upon returning from your honeymoon. It’s so important that prior to your marriage you discuss topics that will surely come up in your future. You may be thinking, well it’s too late now—we’re already married, but I’m hear to tell you that it’s not!
Here are important topics not to be taken lightly that the two of you as a couple should put some thought into:
What do we expect in terms of how our marriage will work?
This includes having a clear discussion on the following: When do we plan to start a family and how many children do we want? Will we have pets? Will we share household responsibilities such as: cooking, cleaning and paying the bills?
Do we understand each other’s communication style and how will we resolve conflict?
How will the two of you handle conflicts in your relationship? It’s not as easy as it was when you lived separately or when you were dating and you could hang up the phone and talk tomorrow. Discuss how the two of you will work together to resolve any issues that may arise in the future.
What do we expect from our sexual relationship?
Discussions about what you need and expect sexually from your partner could definitely help alleviate future arguments!
Do we have a financial plan?
Remember that upon marrying someone, you acquire their debts (if they have any). You should definitely know each other’s credit history (i.e. credit score) as this will have a direct affect when you file for a loan to purchase a home or vehicle. If one of you has credit card debts or school loans, you will both be paying them off. You may also want to discuss whether or not you will have separate or joint bank accounts. It’s best to be upfront about finances because surprises are nice, but not when they come in the form of financial stress!
How will spirituality play a role in our marriage?
You will more-than-likely know whether or not your spouse has a spiritual background, but do you know if you believe the same things? Will you actively practice your religious beliefs as a couple? Having a belief system could help you both with any future struggles, although issues could arise if one of you is more spiritual than the other.
Discussing these tough topics may be awkward at first, but in the end these are some of the topics that can make or break a marriage. So, make it a point to sit down and communicate to benefit your married union, and it will only help you as you start a family and go through this crazy thing we called life…together!
Did you discuss any of these topics with your spouse? How did you feel afterward? Was it beneficial or a waste of time?