Getting to know your partner—and I mean REALLY getting to know your partner—is a crucial step to deciding if and how a marriage is going to work. There are so many things that people don’t learn about themselves or their partner until they’ve already tied the knot. Love is absolutely a key factor in what marriage is all about. But what about the other things people need or want to stay afloat? Not all of these conversations will be pleasant, but if you and your partner haven’t talked about these things it may be time to do so.
Although it’s very important to discuss the flow of income into the household, discussions about money should go past who is paying what bill. You and your partner must discuss how much there is in savings for emergencies, if you will have a joint bank account, etc. On top of all of that, it’s important to discuss how much debt both of you are bringing into the marriage.
Not every person wants or possesses the tools to have children. A hard reality to face for some is that while they may want a full house their partner may feel otherwise. If kids are in the equation for both parties, there needs to be a conversation of how many and when a good time is to have them. It’s impossible to plan every single pregnancy, but at least there’s a blueprint to follow if you have the chance to take advantage of it.
How is intimacy going to look for you and your partner? A lot of couples tend to utilize “date nights” for quality time if they have the time and energy to do so. However, it’s important to remember that things change throughout life so there shouldn’t be an expectation to keep the same schedule forever. Extending past date nights, you must ask yourself what type of sexual compatibility you and your partner have.
This is a big thing that people don’t focus on a lot. For some couples, it’s an easy subject because they believe in the same higher power. However, for people with differentiating religions, it can be a touchy subject. In addition, there are some people that are just not religious at all. Talking about these differences before the wedding is important because it can become a conflict down the road.
It’s never too late to set new boundaries. Having a conversation about where you both feel you stand with your communication and where you can both improve is important–what things make you angry, what actions have caused you to feel hurt, etc. Communicating (which includes listening as much as speaking) and working through the issues allows more room for growth and understanding in the relationship.
As crazy as it is, people have different definitions of cheating. While one person may believe that hanging out with a female alone isn’t cheating, there’s someone out there who thinks that it is. Taking the time to get to know your partner’s definition of cheating and what they find acceptable can help avoid small issues from becoming the reason you two call it quits. Something might be so small or innocent to you but end making your partner feel as if they can’t trust you—which is never a good thing to lose before entering something as long term as a marriage.
Probably the most important conversation to have with your partner before you get married is commitment level. There have been times when people have gotten married without fully knowing if they were ready to do so. “Cold feet”, as people like to call it, usually lasts a few days. However, if you’re weeks or months into feeling like you can’t take the leap then it might be best that you don’t. If you’re not ready to give every piece of yourself to your partner, marriage might not be the right path right now.
Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author.