I don’t consider myself to be a subject matter expert on anything. I’m constantly making mistakes, learning from them, and attempting to figure things out. I tend to shy away from spouting out advice unless it’s specifically requested, (although I’m certain my younger brother would disagree with this) but there are some topics I really enjoy talking about.
Marriage (or relationships in general) is one of them.
I’ve said it before, but I think the cornerstone of any successful relationship is communication, hands down. Here are the 5 conversations I think you should be having before you get married.
- Is it important to both of you? Only one of you?
- What are your expectations of the role religion will play in your marriage?
- How will religion play a role in the lives of your future children?
- I knew a couple who broke off their engagement because come to find out, she wanted to raise her kids Catholic, and he was adamantly against that. I didn’t think it was possible to make it that far in a relationship without having that conversation, but I was dead wrong. It happens all the time.
When you marry someone, you marry their debt.
- Do either of you have debt?
- How much? And what from? (i.e. student loans vs. frivolous credit card usage)
- What are your credit scores?
- What are your savings expectations as a couple?
- (Please have savings expectations.)
- Will you merge bank accounts? (If so, when?)
- Who will handle paying the bills?
- What will each of your paychecks cover? (This may change over time due to promotions, job changes, etc., but you need to know where you’re at now.)
I know this is, like, the most unromantic topic to discuss, but you’re kidding yourself if you think your relationship will survive on love alone. Once the honeymoon ends, you’re left with a bill.
- Do you want them?
Yes to kids? (part b)
- What kind of parent do you want to be?
- Are there parenting styles you absolutely agree or disagree with? (i.e. spanking)
- If you have kids, who will stay home with them?
- Plans change! Opinions change! That’s so okay. But you don’t want your burning desire to be a stay-at-home-mom or your husband’s expectation that you both always work outside the home to come as a surprise, you know what I mean?
Surprises in your relationship that come in the form of presents are great! Surprises in your relationship that come in the form of expectations are not so great.
Everyone handles arguments differently, and it’s important to have the conversation about handling conflict when you’re not in conflict. If one of you tends to internalize and one of you needs to talk about everysinglefeeling, learn how to compromise.
Knowing Your Partner’s Love Language
I can’t stress how important it is to know your partner’s love language.
Even if you think it’s ‘psycho-bable mumbo jumbo’ I can assure you that your relationship will improve if you take the time to read this book. We own it, we read it, and we implement it. It’s amazing.