Getting married is a pretty big deal, and while it’s not the be-all and end-all of life, it is a pretty major milestone. However, before you say “I do,” now’s the time to ask some hard questions and carefully consider the answers. The answers to these questions will determine whether your marriage will be successful or not and will give you a clear indication of what you can expect from your partner as you both grow as life partners.
Do you plan on having children? If yes, how many?
Most couples are expected to start families once they tie the knot. However, more and more people have started to admit that they don’t want children. Being in a relationship where one person wants children and the other does not is extremely difficult, as one partner will always be at a disadvantage. It can cause arguments, resentment, malice, and even divorce. Having this conversation before you get married not only saves heartbreak, but it prevents both persons from wasting precious time.
Be clear about your debt issues.
When couples get married, your partner’s debt becomes yours. As much as many people hate to admit it, money is an important element in a marriage, and having that responsibility will put a strain on the relationship as it can cause one party to feel burdened. Your spouse should be clear about how they plan to repay the debt and there should be a discussion on the possible effects.
Settle on your last name after marriage.
Getting married doesn’t automatically change one’s surname, however, having the same surname as a married couple makes things much easier. Some women keep their names because they have a brand or because of academic achievements. Others are simply proud of their names and prefer to keep them or hyphenate. Some men want their wives to change their last names because of pride or tradition while are willing to take their wives’ names. So, where do you stand?
Find out their boundaries and tell them yours.
Setting boundaries is important in any relationship because it helps to keep the peace, and shows mutual respect. Where there are no clear boundaries, there is room for disagreements and miscommunication to take place. Both spouses should share boundaries if they intend to have a fruitful and lasting relationship. This establishes that both parties expect from each other and what either is not willing to accept.
Establish your communication styles.
People communicate in different ways. Some will talk about an issue right away while others need time to blow off steam and gather their thoughts. Some people need a check-in every hour, and some are fine if they only hear from their spouse once a day. Sharing communication styles allows you to come up with a compromise to suit you both.
Agree on how you’ll spend time apart as a couple.
Everyone will need space once in a while, and it’s your job as a spouse and lifelong partner to respect that. Similarly, ghosting your partner is never a good idea. You should both be able to communicate with each other when you need “me” time. Not being able to take time to yourselves may have you at each other’s throats.
Discuss your sexual expectations.
Sex is one of the most ultimate forms of intimacy, but we all have different love languages and may not prioritize sex as much as the other partner. You should be able to ask your partner how many times a week he/she expects to have sex, and what will happen if one partner is not in the mood. Marriage should also last a lifetime and your sex life may become stagnant at times. You should be willing to discuss this possibility and what should remedy this situation.
Find out how you’ll manage finances and if you’ll sign a prenup.
Both spouses should be privy to how much they make, and you should decide whether you want a joint account or separate accounts to manage finances. You should also discuss who pays what, for example, car loans, bills, groceries, mortgage, etc. You should also discuss the possibility of a prenup and whether that is an element you wish to introduce to your union or not. This talk should also include the possibility of one partner getting laid off or being unable to work and how you two will manage this.
Agree on where you’ll live post-marriage.
If you don’t already live together, you have to decide whose place will become home or if you need a new place together. You should also be willing to discuss the possibility of moving out of state, or even the country, and how you two would handle such a situation. You may also wish to discuss what type of home you live in, whether an apartment, rental home, or house of your own, along with the factors that will go into play when choosing a location such as proximity to large shopping centers, good schools, weather, and so on.
Agree on how you’ll divide chores.
Now that you live on your own, you don’t have anyone to tell either of you what chores to do. Therefore, you have to figure it out on your own and lay out duties that fit each other’s lifestyles. You should also discuss whether you’re comfortable with, or in a position to afford housemaid services if you both lead a busy life.
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