You probably feel like you know your future spouse pretty well. You’ve probably had long talks about how you envision your future, but you may not have talked very much about how you’d get to that future. There are several things that might be difficult to discuss, and you may not even realize you need to discuss these issues. Here are a few subjects to discuss before marriage, which will give you both a better picture of your expectations from one another after you’ve walked down the aisle.
If you two haven’t discussed the subject of kids, it’s much better to have that conversation before marriage to save yourself a lot of potential unhappiness. Discussing whether or not you want to have children (as well as when, and how many) is a good place to start, but you should also discuss how you envision raising your children and where you stand on major issues of child rearing, including discipline.
You don’t have to agree on every issue, but if there are major disagreements, work them out before you walk down the aisle. Don’t depend on swaying your partner to your point of view; this is a good way to create resentment and hostility between you. Work it out before you say your vows.
2. Long-Term Financial and Career Goals
Conversations about how to manage your money and how to pay bills should be well under way before marriage, and should continue after you’re married. Decide whether you’ll share an account and pay all of the bills out of “our money,” or if you’ll have separate accounts with each of you responsible for paying a percentage of the household bills. If you have a joint savings or checking account, who will be responsible for taking care of balancing it? As you evolve in your marriage and your circumstances change, make sure to revisit your financial decisions and adjust them as needed. Don’t forget to discuss saving for your later years, as well.
You don’t have to make any set-in-stone decisions and you don’t have to completely agree about how best to handle financial and career matters; but again, large disagreements should be addressed before marriage.
3. Morality and Faith
Explore how each of you feels about religion and faith, and talk about your views on morality. Problems can arise when one partner does not realize how devout their partner really is; especially once children enter the picture. It may not seem like an important issue now, but discuss your views on religion, faith, morality and family.
You may disagree on some things like how to handle family conflicts, but larger disagreements over faith, religion and moral values can lead to very large problems in the marriage. Discuss these things and make sure you know where your partner stands on these very important issues.