Issues To Talk About Before Marriage: A Helpful Guide Before Tying the Knot
Getting married is a decision that you must not take lightly.
It is a big step in a relationship and any person’s life.
Indeed, couples can simply head to the courthouse and have their marriage certificate in under an hour.
However, there are many issues to talk about before marriage.
These topics can be uncomfortable and unpleasant to bring up, but you need to discuss them, so you both know what to expect.
Once you have had this talk, fewer surprises could derail your relationship moving forward.
Issues To Talk About Before Marriage
Before making marriage plans, sit down with your partner and talk about things that could affect your relationship in the future.
It can include the following topics or any other issue that is unique to your situation.
Many people come to the altar with debts and other forms of financial baggage.
It can be from student loans, car loans, credit card debts, or even gambling debts.
Regardless of where it’s from, it can cause a problem if one has a lot of debt while the other doesn’t.
In some states, a person’s debt is his' or her's alone, even after getting married.
It is linked to the person’s social security number and does not extend to the spouse.
In other states, all assets are jointly owned, including debts.
Either way, couples need to decide whether to settle the debts together or separately.
They can resolve this issue after taking their vows.
However, data shows that 41% of divorces among gen Xers and 29% among boomers are due to financial problems.
If you rush into marriage blindly without discussing this, you could be setting yourselves up for failure.
That is why debt takes the top spot on the list of issues to talk about before marriage.
Having kids can change the dynamics of a couple’s relationship in profound ways.
That is why some people prefer to put it off and focus on their spouses or careers early in the marriage.
Others feel more strongly about the issue and are hesitant about having kids at all.
Is this something that you have discussed with your partner?
What if you want three kids and your partner doesn’t want any?
What if you want to have them further down your marriage while your partner wants one now?
If you and your partner do not see eye to eye on this issue, try reaching a compromise before discussing marriage.
How To Raise the Kids
After deciding whether or not to have kids and how many, there is the matter of how to raise them.
It is important to agree on this matter, especially if you have a specific plan in mind.
For instance, are you planning on homeschooling the kids?
Will you be strict or permissive as parents?
While you do not have to get into the smallest details yet, tackling the major issues before marriage is important.
Where To Settle Down
Another major decision couples need to make before getting married is where to settle down.
This is a hot topic for people whose jobs could take them anywhere.
It is also something to consider for couples who met at work but came from different places originally.
Are you planning to move back to your hometown later in life?
You must discuss this with your partner once things get serious.
If you envision a family that is always on the move, make sure your partner is on board with this.
It would be hard to settle this issue once you are already married, especially if you feel very strongly about it.
What To Do if You Can’t Have Kids
Some couples get a premarital checkup to find out if any health problems can affect fertility.
It is something you need to talk about, whether to do the test or not.
If you find out that you could not have kids, this is another difficult topic that you need to discuss.
Will you still try to have them? If so, what method will you choose?
There are several options available, from adoption to surrogacy to sperm or egg donation.
Whichever way you go, you must both agree on it as a couple.
Understandably, it is an issue that is tough to tackle, especially if you are not yet married.
That said, if you could not agree on a decision, it is better to find out now than later.
Religion, along with politics, is one of the most complex topics that many people try to avoid.
Even so, you should try to initiate this conversation before getting married, especially if you have different religious beliefs.
That is especially true if religion is very important to you or your partner.
Will you practice your own beliefs, or will one of you adjust?
Which church will the kids attend?
Married couples can have a successful relationship even if they have different religious beliefs.
Conversely, even couples belonging to the same church can have some problems.
For instance, what if you want to attend church regularly and your partner doesn’t.
Whatever the case, it is essential to talk about it now and find out if you can reconcile your differences or not.
Today’s generation of younger adults is very career-oriented, and it can affect their personal lives once they decide to settle down.
How much of an impact it will make will depend on how committed they are to their jobs.
If you belong to this age group, you might want to have this conversation with your partner before getting married.
Statistically, bartenders, flight attendants, and telemarketers are among the jobs with high divorce rates.
Even if you have a different job, it doesn’t mean that you are immune to potential marital troubles from your careers.
Make sure you agree on how much time you will devote to each other and your future family before tying the knot.
Doing this will help manage the expectations and reduce the possibility of having major issues.
Not all couples need to have a prenup before they get married.
However, if you or your partner own sizeable assets, getting a prenup is something you need to discuss.
It might not seem like an important issue now, but a prenup can save you a lot of grief in the future.
Contrary to common belief, prenups are not only useful if couples get divorced.
They can also include health insurance, life or disability insurance, estate planning, and even plans on how to care for future kids.
With this much at stake, it might be a good idea to discuss this with your partner before marriage.
Hot Buttons and Deal Breakers
Arguments and disagreements are part of every relationship.
It might even be healthy to have a difference in opinion from time to time.
Still, conflicts should not take center stage in your relationship and cause your marriage to end.
One way to prevent this is by talking about which buttons you should not push and what you could not tolerate.
It could be as small as leaving the toilet seat up or something big, like infidelity.
If you enter into marriage knowing these things, you can prevent many serious fights from happening or getting out of hand.
Getting a Head Start
Marriage will give you plenty of opportunities to get to know each other.
Nevertheless, knowing these things about yourself and your partner now could help make your marriage go the distance.
It is also an excellent way to start the next phase of your relationship—with open communication and total honesty.