Successfully planning for marriage is about a lot more than pulling off a memorable wedding. Marriage represents a life change that goes beyond mere cohabitation and into financial partnership, a union of families, and possibly even parenting together. Some issues loom large as you prepare for marriage—ones you can’t ignore and must face head-on. Before anything is official, consider these difficult conversations you need to have before marriage, and make sure you’re happy with their outcomes.
Communicate About Communication
You and your partner may think you know each other perfectly well by now—perhaps even better than you know yourselves. However, marriage changes everything, and discrepancies in communication styles that you thought you had accounted for can become problems down the road. Be sure to have a frank discussion about your communication approaches, how you handle stress and pressure, and whether you tend to seek conflict or avoid it at all costs.
Putting Together a Prenup
Prenuptial agreements cover the financial aspects of a partnership in great detail, particularly concerning what should happen to your various assets and liabilities in the event of a separation or divorce. However, because merely broaching the topic can come across as planning for an inevitable divorce, it’s not something that many marrying couples are eager to discuss. Nevertheless, it is a conversation that you need to have—just discuss the topic delicately.
The Role of Religion
Interfaith marriages are increasingly common in America—not just between religions or denominations within them but between those who practice and those who have no religious affiliation at all. Even when it seems as if religion no longer plays a significant role in everyday life, the issue has a funny way of rearing its head around weddings, which are an important part of any faith. Couples need to discuss whether to have a wedding ceremony in a church (and if so, whose church?), whether to attend services regularly, and the biggest one of all: how religion will play a part in the lives of any future children.
Adding to the Family?
Transparency in how you discuss the matter of bringing new life into this world is so important. One of the biggest sources of heartbreak in married couples is one spouse misleading the other regarding an intention to have children, and one of the most difficult conversations you need to have before marriage concerns this issue. If you don’t want children, be forthright in saying so before marriage instead of withholding your true intentions. If you’re afraid that this will be a dealbreaker, it’s best to let it be one now rather than later.
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