5 Uncomfortable Conversations You Need To Have Before You Get Married

June 5, 2018  |  

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It’s a romantic notion to think that love alone is all you need for a successful marriage. Lasting marriages require two people who are on the same page about major life issues and that requires clear communication about what each of you expects from one another. Before you skip off into your happily ever after, there are some important matters that need your attention. Here are five of the most important.

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Finances

Whether you have too little, just enough, or more than you actually need, money is a major issue in marriage.

Joining lives often means joining bank accounts, but it can also mean taking on your spouse’s debts. How much you’re willing to merge your finances is something that needs to be discussed. Figure out whether you’re going to have one bank account for all of your expenses, you’ll each contribute to a joint account, or you’ll keep your finances completely separate.

Also, take the time to set a budget for yourself and map out some clear financial goals for yourselves as a couple. Do either of you need to be better about saving? Are you interested in investing? What’s the backup plan if things get tight for a while? This is the time to explore that.

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Kids and Parenting

When it comes to marriage and family, both partners should be on the same page about whether or not they want children before they tie the knot. Recently, we’ve seen Jeannie Mai’s own marriage fall apart over this very issue. She made it clear that she didn’t want kids. Her husband agreed at first, but they later had to split because he changed his mind about wanting babies.

As there situation shows, the topic of kids is something worth having periodic conversations about even after marriage. People often change their minds on different topics, but this one carries a lot of weight since it results in creating and being responsible for another life. When it comes to having a baby you and your partner also need to agree on how the child will be raised. Issues like schooling, discipline, diet, faith, and who is dealing with the diapers all need to be discussed.

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Family Holidays

We’ve all got our family traditions for the holidays. When you get married, your schedule of celebrations is bound to change because no one wants to spend the holidays texting their husband or wife.

Before you get hitched, decide which family you’ll be visiting for each major holiday. Create a calendar and a plan for how you’re going alternate if your traditions overlap. This could also be the perfect opportunity to create some new holiday traditions of your own. Instead of trying to decide which of your families to decline, you might be able to bring everyone from both sides together at your place.

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Monogamy

This one should be a no-brainer if you are getting married. It says right there in the vows that you are forsaking all others. But, different couples have different arrangements. It’s important to figure out whether you want a monogamous marriage. If so, what does monogamy look like in your relationship?

“Without an honest conversation, it is easy to imagine that your fiancé shares your views,” psychotherapist Elisabeth J. LaMotte, founder of the DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center, told The Huffington Post. “Dig deeper, though: Are you comfortable with your soon-to-be spouse grabbing dinner with an ex who is in town on business? Are you comfortable with private or public friendships with an ex on social media? It can be helpful to explore hypothetical challenges to monogamy through honest conversations before marriage.”

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Career Paths

Marriage is the journey of a lifetime, and sometimes it will bring you to a fork in the road. For many couples that fork in the road is a career choice. If you’re lucky, you and your spouse will be able to live and work in the same area for as long as you would like.

What happens, though, when your spouse gets a job offer out of state and you have to consider whether or not to leave your position for them? This situation is going to require that one of you be flexible (whether you stay or go). Now might be the time to determine what conditions will determine whose career takes precedence in the event that a job opportunity requires a move and on what terms that move happens.

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