When you are preparing to get married, it is important to make sure you really know the person you are going to spend forever with. While the dating years are filled with romance and fun, there are topics you should absolutely discuss before getting married.
These topics are not all that exciting and sometimes the conversations can be challenging, but they are so worth having. Because there will come a day when you are thinking about starting a family or offered a job relocation, and these issues will suddenly be right in front of your face. Having discussed these issues beforehand are will be important to maintaining a strong marriage.
Some of your answers may change over time but the point is to lay out all of the expectations and ideas so there is not a hidden or unspoken expectation.
When my husband and I did this in pre-marital counseling, we had some differing thoughts and it was extremely helpful to discuss things then when we were not in the middle of the situation.
Do you want kids? How many kids would you want? Would you want to adopt or do foster care? Who will be in charge of birth control until you start trying to have kids?
What do you envision the holidays looking like? Do you plan to spend them with your family? Will you take turns?
Everyone comes into a relationship with different pasts. There are different struggles and expectations. Having an honest conversation about sex and what you anticipate it to look like in marriage can be the start of a good sexual relationship.
Where do you envision living as a couple? Do you like the city or country? Are you open to moving? Will you rent or own?
Finances are one of the main reasons for division in a home. As hard as it may be, talk about the money. Typically one person is more of the saver and one more of the spender. How can you work together with your habits? Who will handle paying the bills?
Have you always wanted to stay home with the kids one day? Do you have dreams of owning your own business? Share your dreams and your hopes for a career. From day one I was honest about my desire to stay home with the kids, this helped us to financially plan for that time.
A friend recently shared with me that she went into marriage doing exactly what her parents did, she did everything inside and had her husband do everything outside. After awhile, they both discovered they did not like doing things that way. Talk now about what chores will look like? What expectations do you have?
Is there any outstanding debt? What will happen to it? Do you want to live a debt-free lifestyle?
If you are both from different religious backgrounds, how will things play out in marriage? Will you compromise? What will happen once you have kids? It is better to have a plan about these things rather than wait until the heat of the moment.
Taking the time to discuss these issues before marriage is not a way to get a fail proof marriage, but it will enable you to have a solid marital foundation to build on.