As a married person myself I now see the true value of communication and there are some subjects that I wish my partner and I would have discussed before we walked down the aisle. So with hindsight being such a beautiful thing, I have made a list of things every couple should discuss before getting married.
1. Big wedding or small wedding?
What type of wedding do you and your partner want? Are you thinking of a destination wedding, a church wedding, or a beach wedding? Will it be an intimate affair or larger than life extravaganza. What are your partner’s thoughts? Ladies this section is for you, do not forget to mention the budget and try and stick to it. I know I couldn’t, so let’s see how disciplined you are, lol, but on a serious note you should really have an in-depth talk with your partner about the type of wedding you’re both expecting. A lot of marriages start off rocky due to the pressures of the aftermath of a wedding so seriously consider this.
Have you and your partner discussed children? If so do you both want any? How many do you want? If it comes to it, who will be willing to give up their job and stay at home to raise them? Are you willing to compromise or meet in the middle?
Personally, for me, I would discuss this before I even start to date. If religion is an important part of life for you, then you need to really bring this up from the outset. Questions like whether you only want to be with someone of the same religion, or if you are happy just to be with someone who has faith. You need to discuss with your partner whether you both want to be practicing, or take the casual approach. Do you want your children to grow up in the same faith or are you happy for them to decide for themselves when they can make that decision of their own accord?
4. Sexual expectations
As we all know, when we first meet someone, everything is normally so exciting and you feel really compatible sexually with your partner. Then life happens and you get married, have a few children then all of a sudden it feels like the fire has died down. Before you get to that point, have a serious talk with your partner about their sexual expectations. Can you meet their requirement? Are you as active as your partner is? Are you willing to try new things? What do you expect from them and what do they expect from you? This is an integral part of any relationship, so much discussion needs to be focused on this subject, go on don’t be shy!
5. Goals and aspirations
Where do you see yourself in the future, are your dreams similar to your partners or are you worlds apart? Discuss this before you walk down that aisle. Trust me, you do not want any surprises.
Who’s best with money? Have you and your partner discussed which role each of you will play? Are you content with dealing with the running of your house or do you want it to be a partnership between you and your partner?
7. Joint account or separate account
What works best for you as a couple. Are you more comfortable keeping your money in your account or do you literally want to share all things and have a joint account?
8. Location, location, location
Where do you want to live? Have you discussed with your partner the perfect place you see yourself living in? Is it in line with their idea? Are you looking to relocate overseas, or to the countryside, or stay in the city?
9. Buying or renting
Couples should discuss if they want to buy or rent their house. I know some people just don’t want the hassle of a mortgage and being tied down and some people appreciate the security and the ownership that comes with owning your own home. You need to definitely have a conversation about this, once again it will help to minimize arguments later on down the line.
10. Domestic duties
Who’s going to be doing the cooking most nights, will you take it in terms or will one of you be the designated chef? Will the same apply to the cleaning of the house? Are you a traditional couple who thinks it’s the woman’s place to cook or clean or are you a modern couple who will simply take it in turns and divide the house chores evenly?
11. Private school or state school
If you do want children, have you and your partner discussed what type of education you want your children to receive. Are you into private school education, boarding school, or a state school? My partner and I butted heads on this subject. He grew up in private schools and I grew up in state schools. And we both have different experiences of each.
Once again if you and your partner have decided that you want children, have a think about who you would want the Godparents to be. Gosh, there really is so much to talk about before you get married.
13. Family dynamics
Please remember when you get married, you marry your partner’s family too. So a little consideration should go into how well you fit into the family. Do you get along with them? Can you see yourself as part of them? How well do you know your partner’s family? Do they accept you or do you feel like the odd one out? Be open with your partner about this subject matter as it’s got the potential to ruin or cause problems later on.
14. Pets or no pets
Are you an animal lover, or would you rather not? What does your partner think about living with a pet? Which one of you is prepared to look after it, i.e. Walking the dog, cleaning out the kennel, whose responsibility is it likely to be?
15. Retirement plans
When you’re old and grey, where do you see your final resting place? Is there a country you would like to retire in, are you thinking of a nursing home, home care, or something else altogether? Make sure you talk about this even if it does sound a little morbid.
So there you have it, my list of 15 things I believe every couple should discuss before getting married. I truly do hope you have found this useful and that it has moved you to talk with your partner if you’re at a stage where you’re ready for a commitment.