4 Important Conversations You Should Be Having With Your Partner Before You Tie the Knot
You did it. You finally met the love of your life, started a relationship, and got engaged. The future is bright and the world is your oyster as you prepare for an exciting new chapter of your life.
While it’s tempting to focus on the upcoming festivities and nuptial arrangements, though, it’s also important that you look past the wedding day to the life that you’re about to share together. Remember, marriage is a lifelong commitment for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. If you want to safeguard this most precious of relationships against the challenges that the future may hold, here are a few important conversations you should be having now before you tie the knot and dive into a new life together.
The first thing that you should talk about as a couple is your ability to communicate — after all, it’s difficult to discuss all of the other things on this list without being able to truly have a constructive conversation.
Take the time to learn about each of your communication styles. Are you typically emotional or logical and calculated when you talk? What about your future spouse? Do you need time to think things over or do you process verbally? Hammering out communication is a critical first step in a successful marriage.
2. Views and Values
Your shared (or not shared) views and values are another critical piece of the puzzle that shouldn’t be left for after the wedding. Everything from religious views to politics should be addressed. You don’t necessarily have to hash out every detail of every opinion.
Nor do you need to line up on every issue. However, deeply held convictions, such as one’s faith or political affiliations, can have a major impact on the lives of both yourself and your spouse. Make sure you’re both well aware of the other’s views and values before you officially get hitched.
3. Work, Family, and Lifestyle
This next one is a biggie. It’s no secret that the way you live your life is going to have a massive impact on someone that you cohabitate with. With that in mind, try to take the time to talk through each of your preferred lifestyles, particularly addressing:
● Work and school: Are you both going to work? Will you both pursue full-time careers? Will one of you stay home? Do either of you need further education?
● Children: Do you want to have kids? What about your partner? If either of you does want children, when do you want to have them? In a year? In 10 years?
● Cohabitating: Do you or your spouse plan on living in your own isolated home or with extended family or friends? If you’re going to live with others, do you have a clear system to vet roommates and set up boundaries?
Finally, it’s always wise to address finances before you’re combining your incomes and sharing expenses. Talk through every detail of your finances, from ways to save money as you cover wedding expenses to what you can do if one of you has particularly bad credit.
Finances are a hot-button issue for many couples, and it’s essential that you go into your marriage with both eyes open and aware of your collective financial status.
Covering the Issues Before Your Big Day
Things like making plans, managing stress, and getting sleep are likely all priorities in the lead up to your wedding. However, the general buzz over your big day should not overshadow the exciting-yet-challenging future that lies beyond it.
As you prepare for your marital adventures together, take the time to talk through the bigger issues. This way you’ll both enter your marriage well-informed and ready to work as a team in the months, years, and decades ahead.
Guest Writer: Noah Rue