7 Things to Talk About Before you Get Married
This blog post is going to be a bit more personal, but it’s super important, in my humble opinion. Before Dylan and I got married, we were advised to go to premarital counseling, which we did, and I’m really glad we did it because it was very beneficial. Now, I know counseling has a negative stigma surrounding it, but it was actually one of the best things we did so that we could enter a safe space to talk about everything that could happen during the next 40+ years of our lives. I’m here to today to share with you the 7 things to talk about before you get married, and expand on what each of these things may mean to you, as an engaged couple.
Careers and the Future
What do each of your careers/lives look like in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Are those visions compatible with one another? And, do you have permission to change your goals as you develop?
Look at each household job and decide who is going to do it. This, of course can change, but you need to have an idea of who or whom is going to do what, so one person doesn’t do everything. This could include:
Doing the laundry (yes, that means folding and putting away)
Tidying up the house as it gets messy
Cleaning the house- dusting, vacuuming
Finances- bill paying, budget balancing
Long term planning
This is the big one- we talked about what the steps would be to exit the marriage. Personally, I hated talking about this, because (in my brain) marriage is for life, but he asked us specifically, “What happens if there is infidelity? Abuse? Loss or illness? Financial strain? Infertility?” As you get married, you laugh at these things because you don’t think they will ever happen to you and you love each other too much, yet statistically, most of these things will happen to every couple, so we needed to know. We planned out how we would handle these things, and if any one of them meant instant grounds for divorce. We personally decided they didn’t, but that if someone cheats they MUST agree to go to counseling and they will be given a second chance. It gives me peace of mind to know that we have a written-down-plan on how to handle these trying situations, if they come up.
We talked about how many kids we wanted, when we wanted them, and what our expectations are for raising them together. We discussed who would be caring for their daily needs when they are little. Does one of us want to stay home to raise them- or not? What do we think our parenting style is, and is it compatible?
Going to Funky Town
I can be the first to tell you how weird it was to talk about sex while in the room with another person, but it is important to be on the same page about. Physical intimacy is an important part of marriage, and you need to be on the same page. We were asked to individually write down a number of expected times per week….. and let me tell you, we were not on the same page!!! ;)
Having that discussion ahead of time avoids a ton of arguments and let-down later on.
Get-aways and reconnecting
We talked about how often we wanted to ideally go on trips together and what it would take to re-evaluate all of this. When you get married for the first time, you are usually in your twenties or thirties and still have a lot of growing to do as a person, as well as a couple. Your expectations for marriage shouldn’t stay the same; they should grow with you! Doing things like getting away at least once a year to go over all of this as couple and make changes as needed is important and beneficial, in my book.
Do you have debt, and if so, what is the plan for getting out of debt? How much can one person spend without permission of their spouse? When do you want to buy a house? A new car? How are you saving for all of that? These are super un-fun conversations but, again, important.
I know this isn’t my typical blog post or photo dump of all the pretty little things that wedding days entail, but I know the importance that discussing these topics ahead of time provided Dylan and I personally, and thought that maybe I would pass it along to my brides and grooms for planning purposes. Being on the same page ahead of time is ideal, and with these 7 things to talk about before you get married, you can enter your marriage on the same level emotionally, physically, and spiritually.