Marriage is one of the most important milestones in a couple’s life. The time leading up to the wedding is always a busy one, both for couples and their families. It’s very easy for a would-be bride and groom to get so caught up in details of their wedding that they neglect to discuss potential issues before the big day. A couple that takes the time to talk over these important considerations enters a marriage with a stronger foundation and a better understanding of what to expect from one another.
Money is one of the biggest causes of marital problems. Couples who take the time to discuss finances and money arrangements before getting married are starting their life together with more security. It’s important to be aware of a partner’s debt and spending habits. They also need to decide whether to keep separate bank accounts, have a joint account, their long and short-term saving goals, and how to deal with large purchases. Other important considerations are financial record keeping, taxes and whether or not to inform one another of every major or minor purchase.
Young couples getting married right out of high school or college may not be secure in their careers yet, and may need to consider their need for temporary medical insurance. Any couple at a crossroads in their careers might be faced with the need for short-term health insurance. No couple wants to incur a mountain of debt due to unexpected emergency medical expenses.
A couple should talk about their feelings regarding children before they get married. This includes talking about whether or not to have children, the length of time they intend to wait to start a family after marriage, whether or not to use birth control and how many children they wish to have. A couple may also want to discuss things like raising children. Clarifying expectations regarding childcare once a baby is born is also important. Some women may feel very strongly about continuing to work when their children are infants. Not reaching an understanding about this before marriage may cause major disagreements after the birth of the child.
By taking the time to engage in communication before marriage, soon-to-be spouses gain an understanding of their partner’s needs. Important points to cover include dealing with disagreements, handling criticisms when something bothers one partner and not holding in intense feelings to the point where a small issue turns into a big fight.
Religion and Moral Values
One of the most important things any couple can discuss before marriage involves their religious beliefs and moral values. Even if both members of a couple don’t belong to the same religion, differences in views may become more important after marriage, especially when children are involved. Come to an understanding about how to deal with religious differences so there aren’t surprises once children are born. Couples should make sure they share the same life values and moral compass.
When families are spread out over great distances, decisions about where to spend holidays or whether or not to visit siblings are a big deal. Taking the time to hash this out before marriage may prevent unpleasant discussions, and there are fewer chances for anyone to feel hurt. By acknowledging the sensitive nature of the situation and working out a satisfactory arrangement before marriage, everyone will be happier.
Household duties are never a pleasant topic of discussion. When couples take the time to discuss their expectations and come to an agreement regarding responsibility for certain chores, there’s less chance that one partner will wind up feeling angry and resentful of the other partner because they don’t pitch in enough. In households where both people work full time, it isn’t fair to expect one person to do all of the housework, laundry and cooking. By creating a plan before marriage, a couple begins their marriage as equal partners.
Balancing Time With Friends and Time Together
Most couples have a well-established circle of friends before they get married. While living the single life, each partner probably developed rituals for spending time with friends. A woman who’s used to having a girls’ night out, and a man who’s used to watching sports with his guy friends on a certain day of the week, may expect to continue these activities even after marriage. Discussing this before marriage can prevent some nasty arguments. Setting aside a special date day or night is a great way to create that together time, especially when schedules are very hectic.
Sometimes parents have a difficult time accepting that their son or daughter is in love with someone and intends to marry them. A parent who is openly hostile to a would-be son- or daughter-in-law may try to drive a wedge between the couple. By discussing the issue before marriage and making sure each partner stands behind the other, the marriage begins as a strong partnership.
Regardless of the length of a relationship before marriage, there are many things fiancés won’t know about one another until they live together as a married couple. By taking the time to discuss issues that typically cause problems and agree on how to deal with them, a couple begins life together without the excess baggage that might otherwise create tension and discord in the marriage. Through honest communication, marriages are built on a solid foundation.