Marriage is a lifetime partnership that will not only change your life but your relationship with your partner. Despite knowing your partner for several years, for now, you might unravel several concealed facets of their personality after marriage.
These unknown characteristics are not necessarily bad. It’s just that marriage sets up an altogether different equation than it is during the dating phase.
With marriage comes a lot of responsibilities that are nowhere in the picture when you are dating. For example, finances or kids do not belong to the category of things to discuss before marriage.
That is why it is very important for both partners to have a clear understanding of what they want, expect, or don’t want from the relationship before the commitment of marriage is actually undertaken.
This doesn’t mean that you and your partner will agree on everything—but you need to at least come to a mutual understanding so that you know each other’s expectations, and are not unpleasantly surprised later on.
So, what can you do before marriage? What are the things to talk about before marriage?
Everybody has different priorities, so if we start penning down, there can be endless things to consider before marriage. Nevertheless, in this article are shortlisted some of the crucial things to discuss before marriage.
The following are given the things to know before you get married.
1. Children and adoption
It is vital that you and your partner thoroughly discuss the subject of children before getting married so that neither of you expects something that the other doesn’t want.
So, here are some of the important things to know before marriage, which revolve around the topic of children.
Topics include, but aren’t limited to: whether or not you want children; if you do, how many children you would like to have; when you would like to try to have children; whether or not adoption or fostering is an option; and whether either of you would like to try fertility treatments if conception does not occur after a certain period of time.
It’s not uncommon for marriages to be strained when one partner wants to move—for a job or even just a change of pace—and the other has no intention of leaving their current location. Before you get married, talk about where each of you would like to live.
Do you want to live in your current county, city, or state? Are you open to the possibility of moving somewhere completely different?
If so, what circumstances would make a move agreeable—such as a job offer or a great deal on the house? Do you want to put down “roots” or would you hate to stay in one place for too long?
Again, you may not agree entirely—but especially when it comes to things like deciding where to live, it’s essential to know expectations ahead of time.
3. Bank accounts and bills
Will you have a joint bank account, and, if so, what expectations or limitations will you have for your partner?
For example, will each partner be expected to inform the other before taking money out of the account, or is the account considered shared in the complete sense? Or would you instead keep separate accounts, which keeps your money unavailable to the other partner?
You will also need to discuss the topic of bills. Will each partner be responsible for certain bills? Will both of you contribute an equal amount to each bill? What happens if you can’t afford to pay a bill?
Money is a delicate subject, but because it has the potential to cause some severe rifts down the line, it must be discussed before you join together in marriage.
Religion is a very sensitive matter, and it certainly qualifies to be one of the crucial things to discuss before marriage.
If you follow are a particular religion or have a specific belief system, how important is it for you that your partner should follow it or respect it? If they have an altogether contrasting faith or ar agnostic, how well does that go with you?
Also, if you want to have children in the future, what religion would you like them to follow?
All these are things to think about before getting married. The issues might seem trash at the moment, but later on, they can escalate to abnormal levels before you even realize.
5. Division of household chores
The two of you need to be absolutely clear about how you are going to manage the house and divided the responsibilities amongst yourselves.
It shouldn’t happen one of the spouses completely ignores the household chores, just because they are stepping outside to earn. Also, not all responsibilities should be pushed down on just one partner.
There needs to be a proper division of work when it comes to doing regular house chores.
6. Career decisions
Of course, you are not a prophet or a psychic to predict the future. Your career choices can definitely change with time. But, you need to know the basic career preferences of your spouse ahead of time.
It might so happen that one of the spouses loves to travel the world and switch jobs frequently. While the other might need to settle down in one place because of the nature of their career.
If you miss out on these things to know about each other before marriage, it might lead to major conflicts in the future.
7. Family obligations
This is one of the essential things to discuss before marriage. It is quite possible that one of you could be having some family obligations, which you might not have discussed while dating.
If you or your spouse are planning to support your parents or any other family member financially, you need to discuss it in detail before you marry.
There can be other issues like family expectations, their involvement in your life, and other such matters which could sound trivial to you, but not to your partner. Discuss all of it well in advance.
8. Monogamy or Polyamory
What else to know before marriage?
Here’s an important point!
Are you willing to stick to just one person all your life? Are you cut out for monogamy?
This is something you need to discover about yourself before discussing things with your partner.
If you or your partner have a tendency to have multiple relationships, you must talk about it openly. There is no rule that monogamy is the standard way of living.
These are some of the important things to discuss before marriage. When you are in the dating phase of your life, you prefer lovey-dovey talks above anything else.
But marriage is not a cakewalk. It is a commitment for life!
So, make a list of what matters to you the most and what qualifies as things to discuss before marriage. Have open and honest communication with your partner, before you deep dive into the serious business of the wedding.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Mary Fisher is a writer experienced with helping couples understand marriage, love
and relationships. She completed her studies in 2011 and is currently involved in
writing articles on intimacy, relationships and family.