You’ll hear it time and time again, communication is key. And the reason it’s so cliche is because it’s so darn true. Ask anyone who considers themselves to be in a successful marriage what the ‘secret’ is and I guarantee somewhere in there will be communication.
The lines of communication don’t magically open when you get married, they need to be there and well and truly working before you even consider your nuptials. There are major life choices you need to be on par with your future spouse about.
Which means, there are things you must talk about before you get married. Topics that have a major impact on the way you plan and live your life.
So get chatting!
1 – Finances
Disagreements about money are one of the most common issues in relationships. When you think logically about it, you have two people with two different approaches and understandings of money and then all of a sudden you’re together. You can’t expect things to flow properly if you don’t talk to each other about it.
What are your financial expectations? Do you split everything 50/50 or do you each have expenses you’re responsible for? What happens if one of you doesn’t have an income for a period of time? Do you each have plans for retirement income? How do you spend your money? Do you have to ask each other before spending over a certain amount?
You can see with all of these little details that financial discussions are essential. Not only before you get married but as an ongoing conversation as well. Make a regular date night of it and talk money. The more you talk about it the less uncomfortable it will be.
2 – Career Plans
Do you have plans to advance your career? Is there a job you’re dreaming of doing? Do you want to go back to school and learn a new trade? These are such important things to talk to your future spouse about.
If you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with someone, you need to be on the same page for where you plan to take your career. Not only to avoid any surprises and disappointments along the way but also to ensure you have someone in your corner backing you and supporting you as you chase your dreams.
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3 – Family Goals
Are you the kind of person who dreams of having a small football team of children one day or does the thought of having children not even cross your mind?
It amazes me at how many people don’t talk about their family goals! If you haven’t discussed having a family (and when you plan on starting) then that’s a conversation you absolutely need to have.
While you’re discussing your family goals, you also should talk about how you plan to parent your children. It may seem trivial now but these are major decisions you need to make and if you’re not on the same page and discussing it before having kids, then it has the potential to be a major issue of conflict after you have kids.
4 – Living Location
Have you always dreamt of living by the sea? Or perhaps you have zero intentions of ever leaving the small country town you currently live in. These are things you need to discuss before you get married.
Where you live is a major life choice and one you need to be on the same page about.
5 – Conflict Management
How do you deal when you have a disagreement (or an argument)? Do you know how to de-escalate a tense situation with your future spouse? Do you know what they need? Do they prefer to be given space to think or are they the kind of person who needs to talk things through?
Knowing how each other handles conflict and understanding how the two of you work together in these situations can help you avoid unmet expectations and allow you to handle tense situations in a much more effective way. This can seriously be marriage saving stuff.
6 – Life Goals
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, or 10 years, or 20 years? What is it you aspire to do in life? What’s your biggest, craziest, out there dream? The one person you should absolutely confide all of your incredible life goals with is the person you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with!
Do you share life goals? And how do you plan on supporting each other so you both achieve the goals you have?
7 – Wedding Expectations
This one is so easily overlooked. So many people just dismiss it, not wanting to discuss the reality of their expectation with their partner in case they offend them. But this is one of the biggest causes of arguments and conflict, mismatched expectations when it comes to the wedding plans.
Are you wanting a big, elaborate wedding or a simple, homely style? What’s your wedding budget? And who is paying for it?
Knowing these things in advance and having a clear plan can help avoid a lot of arguments and frustration.
From these few topics alone you can see why communication is really so crucial in a successful relationship and why these issues are ones you really must talk about before you get married.