The key to any successful relationship is communication and real intimacy requires honesty as wells as transparency. We get wrapped up in the fairytale aspect of the perfect wedding and often forget that a wedding lasts a day, but marriage lasts a lifetime. There are many things couples shy from talking about before getting married which cause problems after. So, on that note, here are the things you must discuss and need to know before tying the knot.
It is one of the hardest topics to discuss for most of us and one of the major factors that lead to divorce. It is important to be gentle and take it slow when talking about finances, since it is a sensitive topic for some. Discuss and in depth; spending habits, dept, savings, worries and priorities. Also, shared bank accounts, individual or both? If you are both working, are you willing to contribute with home expenses and bills? What if one is out of work, loses a job or decides to stay at home, what’s the plan for that? Better to discuss it sooner rather than later.
Remember, money secrets have no place in a marriage and even if you have different spending and saving styles, it doesn’t mean your relationship won’t work out. It is a chance to accept those differences and find a common ground.
Are you both going to work or is one going to support the other? How will you support one another if one of you gets laid off, or wants to change careers? What if the job you or your partner love requires you travel or stay late at work and what compromises are you willing to make for one another? What are your career goals and how will it affect your relationship with each other and family life? Knowing what you each want to achieve and supporting those dreams is a vital foundation for any couple.
Do you want them? If not, will you be willing to take permanent steps to ensure you don’t have them (like a vasectomy)? If you both want them, when do you want to have your first? Are you open to adoption or fertility treatments if you’re unable to conceive naturally? How will you be able to afford the new addition to the family and how do you plan on parenting them? How will you be able to maintain your relationship as a couple?
How much time do you spend with your family now, how much do you expect to spend with them after getting married and potentially having children? How much time do you expect your partner to spend with them and vice versa? What about holidays and your plan in giving both families equal times?
Where are you going to live and would you be willing to move to another country if a job requires it? How would you like your mattress and how do you feel about having a TV in the bedroom? How do you spend your morning and have your coffee? Your habits, worst qualities, stance on major political issues, your concerns, vulnerabilities, how you react to stress, your long-term life goals, and how does religion affect your lifestyle?
But also, your views on household duties. Does your significant other expect a partner who will take care of all the chores or will it be a shared responsibility? Do try to negotiate so that you aren’t stuck doing the thing you least like all the time. If you hate washing dishes, but don’t mind cooking, suggest to your partner that you take charge of the meal preparation if he or she agrees to do the dishes. Or find a way to compromise, using your best negotiation tactics.
Everyone has expectations about relationships and their partner’s role, whether they admit it or not. But, sooner or later, you will end up holding each other accountable to these unsaid expectations. So, you need to discuss these expectations and decide if they make sense and if you both agree to them. This will give you a clear understanding of the relationship and your responsibilities to making these expectations happen.
Is one a wanderlust while the other a homebody or a workaholic who can’t stay away from work for too long? What about family vacations? You need to discuss what type of vacations you do and don’t enjoy (e.g. camping or hotels) and how much you are willing to compromise.
By: Allaa Farrag