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Critical Conversations You Should Have Before Your Wedding
It’s personal, meaningful, spiritual, and beautiful. It’s the most special day for you, and the most memorable event in your life. There are so many things to plan for your walk down the aisle.
From seating arrangements to centerpieces to your wedding-dress diet plan, it can seem like you have a million things on your plate. The most important point here is that you are celebrating your relationship on your wedding day and the future you will build together. EHC brings you some critical conversations you should have with your partner before the most important day of your life.
What It Means to You
Discuss what getting married really means to each of you. Is it just a big party or a piece of paper, or does it signify a new chapter in your relationship? Will the rules of your relationship change any? How can it grow and develop when you are going to live under one roof? Discuss all these before getting married so that you know you are in the right path.
There is so much more to the topic of family planning before marriage. How many children do you hope to have? What happens if you are not able to get pregnant? How were you parented, and what are your personal views on parenting? Who will take care of the children, and what are your views on day-care, schooling, and the like. There are many important aspects to this topic that would be beneficial to take the time to discuss and work through.
Thin Red Line
These are about your views on what is okay and what is not okay when it comes to your relationship and marriage. To what extend you go with friends of the opposite sex, past boyfriends/girlfriends, and even family members. How will we protect our time, guard our emotions, and prevent our bodies from negative interactions with others?
Our views of sexuality are shaped long before we commit to marriage. It is crucial to get comfortable with this topic of conversation, because it is one that you will carry on for the rest of your married life. What expectations do you have and are you on the same page?
It seems like it would be obvious, but many people are surprised by their partner's religious beliefs after they are hitched. For example, your partner might not regularly attend church or temple, but he might still be a believer and want to observe religious holidays. If you have children, he might want them raised in his religion. Address this issue beforehand and make sure you are okay with each other's beliefs.
Talk about your mutual credit history and your amount of debt. It might not sound romantic, but it is very important to be aware of each other's debt. Whether it's school loans or overtaxed credit cards, your partner's debt becomes partly your responsibility when you get married, and you don't want any surprises.
Talk about your roles in the household. If you have children, will one of you stay home with the kids while the other works outside the home, or do you both want to stay involved in your careers? Think about how you will set up your household and talk about what you want your future to look like.
Bill-Paying & Finances
Who is going to be in charge of paying bills or making the big financial decisions? If you want to work as a team when it comes to these matters, make sure your partner understands that and that you are both upfront about your finances.
What will your physical and financial commitment look like? This is remarkably easy to overlook if you marry in your twenties. But, marriage is supposed to be forever, so at some point this conversation is going to become relevant. People in their 40s are now referred to as the "sandwich generation" – raising children while taking care of ageing parents. What will your roles and responsibilities be for your parents and in-laws?
There is no better time to share these intimate things than now, as you look ahead at marriage. From family secrets, to personal choices, from health problems to mental health concerns, this is the time to share things big and small, paving the way for honesty and openness as the foundation of your relationship.
Address your own life goals and individual plans. Do you dream of going back to school someday or starting your own business? Make sure this is a plan that your partner will support and that both of you are free to pursue individual interests and dreams.
Arguments are inevitable, but our experts agreed that it is how couples handle them that determine whether they will get through the fights. Make sure you understand each other's way of managing conflict. Whatever your argument style is, you can discuss what counts as acceptable fight behavior and what's off-limits.
People are going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom. But those are the kinds of things that people can, if they work on their communication style, work through.