When it comes to saying yes to the love of your life down on one knee, it can be extremely simple and a no-brainer. Planning for weddings might be one of the biggest but most fulfilling challenges of your life — the invitations, the decorations, the cake and most importantly, the dress! As you ponder about life after marriage, waking up beside your significant other, having breakfast in bed, coming home to their face every day after a long day of work gives you a sense of joy and excitement ringing through your bones. However, many couples often overlook the important matters that need to be discussed when it comes to marriage and decide to go with the flow in achieving this important milestone in life. They meet with many disagreements and end in a heartbreaking divorce. Therefore, if you wish to have a long-lasting marriage, here are six important issues that have to be discussed before you are bounded in legal matrimony.
When you are about to be married to your loved one, your money is their money, and their money is your money. Even if both of you choose not to open a shared trust fund and go on with your own individual savings, there are still matters in the future that will cause a lot of financial issues to arise. Though many couples view the talk about money as shallow, unromantic and taboo, couples who do not agree on a certain financial arrangement will definitely grow apart in the long run. Having a discussion about money matters include coming to an agreement about who makes the money, who contributes what amount, whether a shared fund will be created, what you will be spending the money on and how expenses-related decisions will be made. Though it may cause many disagreements to arise, laying some ground rules on money will save a lot of unnecessary conflict and awkwardness in the future.
2. Conflict management
These broad topics include how you argue and how it is resolved. Most couples often have different ways of arguing, with one who prefers a real-life thrashing session while the other adopts a non-confrontational style. When this happens, couples will tend to get frustrated even before the underlying issue of the argument is addressed, resulting in greater tension. Furthermore, you have to identify if there are any toxic patterns present like the demand/withdraw, which includes one being demanding emotionally and physically while the other withdraws back. In these cases, it stems from a possible power imbalance in the relationship and can be very damaging for the relationship. It is thus important to set a certain procedure to follow whenever conflicts arise, in order to settle them amicably and maturely.
3. Understanding each other
In all relationships, differences are bound to occur in terms of relationship status, way of showing love, and security of the whole relationship; especially when goals and needs are constantly changing. This could manifest in one party feeling that the relationship is becoming too stagnant, and the other hoping that the other would show more love and concern. It all boils down to understanding the other party’s needs, and how you can overcome the situation. If both parties see the gaps in the relationship as things that are worth fixing, they will tend to spend more effort negotiating and making changes to improve the relationship.
4. Perceptions about partnership
Every couple involves two parties with their own character, traits, and personality that will do whatever it takes to make the relationship work. While they are in unity, they will always have different views and ideas about what a partnership is like to them. While one may think of it as an egalitarian relationship where both parties are equal, the other may prefer following traditional guidelines where one makes the bread while the other takes care of the household. It is important to come to a common ground in the marriage and to decide on the roles of both parties. When partners have differing views on what married life will be like, it will be difficult for the couple to last.
5. Childhood experiences
While your childhood may not directly affect your relationship, it may influence the way you deal with conflicts, show your love and manage expectations. When you share childhood experiences, it is not about the exciting summer that you went backpacking with your family or the first toy bear you received from your aunt. It is about the more painful experiences that you often shy away from. Talking about certain traumatic experiences as a kid and the significant turning points in your childhood will help your partner understand you more, and vice versa. These experiences may have influenced your attachment styles and the way you love your partner.
6. Raising children
It is not just about discussing how many children you want in the future, and how many sons and daughters you wish to have for that matter. It is about discussing the parenting style that you wish to adopt, and the dos and don’ts to raising your kids. While this may seem too far-fetched to even be talking about, it is important that you two are on the same page in terms of how to raise your child and the varying roles that each of you should take in teaching them. Do you want to have one disciplinarian and one nurturer? Or are you both going to take on an easy-breezy method of teaching your kids? Regardless of the way you both want to raise a child, such jarring contrasts may be something worth paying attention to.
Though marriages may seem all rainbows and unicorns, there are certain important aspects that both of you have to discuss before you embark on your next chapter in life. Though you do not have to come to a full agreement with a legally binding contract that bounds the two of you to the clauses, identifying differences and making rough plans will definitely save you a lot of unnecessary squabbles in the future. As long as you and your partner are aware of the importance of these matters and make an effort to resolve these differences and come to a compromise, you and your partner are roughly set for a blissful life ahead. If you’ve difficulty starting a conversation on such topics with your partner, consider finding some ideas on what to talk about as a couple to lighten the mood first before delving into them.