Marriage is a serious business. You are committing to each other and to building a life with each other ‘for better and for worse’ – for the rest of your life. Nobody enters into a marriage with the intention for it to end prematurely. Therefore, this commitment before marriage for a lifelong union should be carefully considered. This will help your marriage can stay strong, and you can enjoy your life together for as long as you may live.
Part of ensuring that your marriage is strong, and can last the test of time lies in understanding who and what you are committing to before marriage. So, to prevent any little, or large hiccups along the way, here are some things to things to talk about before marriage.
If you are wondering how to know each other before marriage, here are some things to consider. Take a look:
1. How do you negotiate together
Negotiation is number one on the list of things to know about each other before marriage because it should be a priority. After all, your whole married life will involve negotiation. Starting with the little things such as ‘if you put the toilet seat down, I’ll stop leaving my hair clips in random places on the floor, all around the house’.
Serious negotiations include those involving money, property, locations, and child-raising (the real-life challenges) amongst many. If you can’t negotiate well together, and can’t learn to, then one of you is going to get their way over the other. That is not conducive to an empowering relationship, or a strong marriage.
2. What are each other’s expectations of the married life
This is one of the important questions to ask before marriage.
If one of you wants to go and live in Antarctica, whilst the other the Caribbean there are going to be problems. If one thinks marriage is being together 24×7 and the other doesn’t there are going to be problems, and so it goes on.
Understanding what you both expect, and negotiating together to find a common pathway, are things to know about each other before marriage. This move will clear up any problems that might rear their ugly heads at the wrong time.
3. What would each of you find difficult to handle
Before committing to a union, understand what to know before marriage as your partner might have different moods, perspectives and take on things.
This is a great thing to know about each other before marriage, and agood way to understand each other’s boundaries, and to negotiate any that might be too stifling, or relaxed for the other party. This way, you all know where you stand.
4. How do you think you will work through those differences
So, what can you do before marriage?
Ideally, you’ll be able to negotiate and compromise, but if you can’t, you’ll walk into problems. So, one of the important things to do before marriage is to sit and discuss the differences and practice the art of listening. This will help you avoid any future misunderstandings.
5. How do you both handle stress, individually and together
This is one of the great questions to ask before marriage as it helps each other to know what to expect in the worst-case scenario. You will understand why your partner is behaving or acting a certain way. This will help you both to adapt and support each other, or at least just understand.
Making your marital life smooth not only require the knowledge of how to courtship but also patiently sitting and discussing different things to think about before getting married and asking questions.
6. Identify your communication styles and how can you improve them
Time to be honest about what’s working and what’s not in your communications with each other. Communication is essential. Therefore this is an important thing to know about each other before you move into married life.
The way you communicate might not be the way your partner does. Understand the different ways of communicating which is critical for all successful relationships.
7. Repetitive patterns of behavior
This question offers a clue about any problems that might crop up naturally. If there’s been a history of addiction, it will open the floor to discuss how to handle that if it occurs in later life. Similarly, if one party is possessive, insecure, or even aloof and not very tactile due to past issues, understanding this will help you both to realize what to do, how to respond and in some situations, avoid internalizing that the problem is you, or your marriage when it’s not.
8. What are your thoughts about children
Before you marry, consider this. If one party wants children and the other doesn’t, there are going to be problems. The same goes if one party wants ten children and the other only one. It’s also useful to briefly talk about how you would feel if there were problems in conceiving. This way, you both can remind each other of your commitments (although it’s worth saying that you may change your ideas as time passes – it’s important to understand that).
9. Discuss children
You both have nurtured a life together. So, this is one of the important things to know before marriage.
If you have children, how do you imagine that you’ll bring them up, what’s important to you both? It’s better to straighten this out from the offset, to avoid problems later.
10. How do you handle change
Some people don’t mind switching things up and hate being stuck. Others hate change with a passion. Of course, change is going to happen. Understanding where both of you are with that will help you to make life decisions that suit both parties.
In a relationship, it is more important to be like a river than a rock. We must learn to embrace change. In this inspiring video, Joshua Bailey talks about how it is important to push through situations and face uncertainties.
Whilst this list is not exclusive, it does highlight some of the important things to know about each other before marriage. So that you have a chance to understand and communicate with each other clearly about what you want. And so that you can ensure that your idealistic pathways for life are not moving in opposite directions from the offset.
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.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.