Marriage Monday: PRE-MARITAL CONVERSATIONS
TOPICS COUPLES SHOULD DISCUSS BEFORE MARRIAGE
Marriage is a sacred union between two people and can be a wonderful thing if you are with the right person. We cannot always be sure that the person we commit to for the rest of our lives is the right one but in-depth discussions on these topics can help you navigate and make that decision easier. Some of these topics are sensitive but are crucial to have before you say “yes”.
1. Do you want kids, and how many do you want to have?
The question of whether you as a couple want kids is very crucial. Depending on your partners health history, culture, family history or religion they might or might not want or be capable of having children. Therefore, it is important to have this discussion and come to a common agreement and expectation before committing to forever. Unspoken assumptions before marriage can lead to disappointments in the marriage. If you and your partner agree to have kids, the next question will be – how many? This question is difficult to answer because it depends on your values and preferences. It also depends on who you are and what you want to do with your life. While some people might prefer to have two or three kids while others might want four or five. The only person who can answer this question for you is yourself.
2. What are your ideas about raising a family?
Family life is a balance of work, rest, and play. It's important to have time for yourself, your partner, and your kids if you wish to have them. The reality is, the dynamics in your relationship with your partner will shift once you have kids. It is therefore important to understand the family dynamic when kids are involved and plan accordingly. Every family is different, and every person will have their own ideas about what they want their family life to be like. Further discussions will be had in due course when you eventually have kids with your partner, but it should still be discussed. You and your partner will need to talk about the kind of values you want your children to be exposed to, the religion you want them to follow, if you and your partner are religious people, or what kind of parenting style you will want to adopt in your home.
3. How would you financially support yourself without relying on the other person?
It's not uncommon to be in a relationship with someone who makes more money than you, or who has a more stable income. It's also not uncommon to be on the opposite end of that spectrum! Therefore, is it absolutely necessary to discuss finance before marriage. You're in a relationship. You're happy. But what if you also want to be completely independent? You've done that whole thing where you work hard to pay your own rent and bills. You are not alone—it's a common desire. And it's totally possible! Here are some tips to discuss with your partner for maintaining your independence while still getting the support from your partner that makes you feel safe:
• Keep your finances separate from theirs: This is a big one because if you don't, it's easy to get into a situation where one person is supporting both parties financially (which isn't good for anyone).
• No to use your partner’s money as an excuse not to get out there and earn more
• Make sure everyone knows what their expectations are beforehand: People need to know what they're getting into before they jump into relationships
In the next blog post, we will discuss four more topics you should discuss with your partner before you get married.