You’ve found that special someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Congratulations, that’s amazing! However, as you might’ve guessed, marriage is a lot different than dating. Before you walk down that aisle, make sure you have answered these questions.
Does your partner want kids? Do you? If they don’t and you do, are either of you willing to sacrifice your stance to stay together? And if you do agree that you want to have kids, then you need to tackle these sorts of questions as well: How many? When? Will one of you take leave from work?
Money is the number one thing couples fight about in relationships, and often arguments about money can tear them apart. Marriages have ended due to disputes on the subject. If you’ve been dating for a while, you should already know which of you is more careful with money – or do you both share the same approach to spending? Should you allocate a certain amount each month for spending money? For example, will your fiancé spend $2,000 or $10,000 on an engagement ring?
We’re referring to your personal beliefs – your worldview and the values you hold dear in your day-to-day life. If there are children in the marriage, are you adamant that they be raised with the same belief system that you were? For many people, their views do not really come into effect until there are children involved.
This is something that most couples do not think of as being a potential threat to their relationship/marriage – but they should. Working professionals often make their careers their main drive in life. Something you should be asking yourself is: How flexible are you and your partner when it comes to your career goals? Would either of you be willing to sacrifice certain career goals for the relationship? Sometimes, it is just not possible to balance the perfect blend of marriage, career, and family.
Family has been cited as another reason couples fight and/or split up. Before you start planning annual family vacations, you may want to take a step back and ask yourself: Just how family-oriented are you? Are both you and your partner on the same page when it comes to how often you see your relatives? It can be difficult enough even when everyone gets along – but if there is any tension between yourself and your future in-laws, this is where you and your partner need to come to a mutual decision as to how family will play a part in your lives.
6. Shared Interests
Before you say ‘Yes’ to a life together, make sure you and your partner share some common interests. Opposites may attract, but if you cannot agree on how to spend your free time together, problems are going to surface within your relationship. Sharing common interests is an effective way to keep the dialogue going. If you don’t do things together, what are you going to talk about? Agree beforehand on how much time you will spend together, and how much time will be devoted to friends/family and alone time.
7. The Art of Conflict
Arguments are a natural part of any relationship, but when it comes to the potential blow-outs, it’s key to know how your partner handles conflict. Do they confront conflict head-on, or do they prefer to avoid it at all costs? Whether you are similar in your approach, or complete opposites – make sure you are respectful of one another. There is nothing worse than having the same argument over and over again, simply because your differing approaches to handling conflict is preventing you from resolving the issue at hand.
8. Division of Domestic Chores
There is nothing worse than getting married only to discover that your spouse has a strong aversion to doing all household chores. Because no one enjoys nagging, and it isn’t fair that one person should end up doing all of the dishes. Being married is a partnership, and so that means sharing things equally – even the less than appealing tasks of cleaning the toilet and scrubbing the greasy pots and pans.
9. The Surname
With the surging trend of women not taking their husband’s last name, it’s highly recommended that engaged couples discuss what their respective surnames are going to be post-wedding. If the woman decides to keep her surname, then it’s essential that the couple decide whether or not any children born will bear a hyphenated surname – or if the children will only have one of their parent’s surnames – and if so, which one?