Remember to keep an open mind and heart when having these conversations; you are trying to find the places your lives mesh and understand where they diverge. You might learn some new things about your partner, and there is a small possibility that some of the things you will learn are game-changers. Be honest about what you really want, it is the best way to ensure both of you are happy for the long haul. Incompatibility and lack of communication are major causes of divorce. Couples who want to be married for life should be sure to share their expectations with each other before saying “I do.”
1. DO WE WANT KIDS?
This is a big question for many couples because there is not much middle ground. How many kids? Would you adopt if you could not conceive? What does a happy family look like to you? Many partners have values or assumptions that indicate one partner stays home with the kids, but more and more, both partners want to develop their careers after having kids, even if on a full-time off-duty basis. Discussing it upfront is essential so that everyone has the right expectations and there are no resentments or scandals later on. For some people, having children is necessary. Therefore, if for some reason either spouse is infertile, they should discuss what to do next. Perhaps adoption, a surrogate mother, or artificial insemination would be an option. Alternatively, maybe divorce and a new marriage is the only way out.
2. HOW WILL WE MANAGE MONEY?
Should you share a bank account? If you get a bonus, what happens to that money? How much debt do you each have today and what kind? You cannot start building for the future until you know where you stand, so talk openly and create a plan together. Money is one of those things that couples often fight about when they really want to be fighting about something else, so plan ahead to spare yourself the pain.
- Do you have any debts or savings?
- Are we going to buy real estate at some point?
- Should we discuss shopping for a certain amount of money before we make a purchase?
- Will we have joint accounts?
- What is our plan if one of us loses our jobs?
- What are our savings goals?
- How will we divide the expenses?
3. WHERE WILL WE LIVE?
City or country? Beach or forest? House or apartment? Ideally, you will want to cohabitate with your fiancé or fiancée after you tie the knot. However, you may not have discussed some of these fundamental things. Do you need to be able to walk to a coffee shop or wake to the sound of birds? Perhaps you have always dreamed of living abroad. Chances are there are big overlaps in your dreams that could take the two of you places you never even dreamed of. Space is also very important. If you work remotely in a custom writing service, it will be better if you have your own working space.
4. WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL LOVED?
Sometimes the smallest gestures speak volumes, but they can also go unrecognized if they are not the things that speak to our hearts. Some people really appreciate unexpected gifts. Others like dinners out or letters or to have the door held open for them. There is no wrong answer to treating each other right.
5. HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO REACT WHEN YOU HAVE A BAD DAY?
Bad days happen to everyone, but we can be very individual in how we handle him or her. Some people want space to think, which might include a walk, a half-hour reading, or TV time. Others want to talk about what went wrong during the day.
6. WHAT ROLE DOES SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
Some couples bond over faith. Others live happily in interfaith relationships. If your religion is a big part, of who you are or who your intended spouse is, you should talk about how you will celebrate holidays and other big moments in your life. If you are planning to raise children, what do you want them to believe?
7. HOW DO WE INCORPORATE OUR FAMILIES INTO OUR LIVES?
The mother-in-law jokes come from somewhere. Even if you adore your in-laws and want them to be a large part of your lives, you and your partner should discuss how often you want to entertain and whether visiting relatives should stay with you or in a hotel.
8. WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET SICK?
It’s the last thing you’re thinking about as you’re preparing to get married. I wish you a long and happy life together, but just in case, you might want to talk about how you would want to handle some of life’s harder days. You cannot predict what form the hardships will come in, but they will come and go as they please. Talk about how you would like to be taken care of and whether you would want your partner to remarry if the worst were to happen.
9. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO LOOK LIKE IN 5 YEARS?
This question gets to the heart of your priorities. Work, family, and self all play an important role in our lives, but the balance we strike between those is unique to each couple. How responsibilities are like housework, income generation, and child rearing shared? For example, one spouse is willing to be poor to become a successful artist, while the other needs a stable life with a steady income. By asking these questions, people will be able to imagine their life together.
10. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DREAM?
If money were no object, what would your life look like then? This conversation can be the first step to working together to achieve those big dreams. I am glad that my friend encouraged me to ask my boyfriend some hard questions before we got married. It started us on the path of talking honestly about our hopes and fears. To start the great habit of broaching important conversations in your relationship do not be afraid to really open up to the one you love.
BIO: Beryl Carington is a writer and content writer at writemyessay. She has been happily married for over five years. Beryl is keen on reading, traveling, and good movies.