Incompatibility and lack of communication are the main causes of divorce. The couples who dream of a lifelong marriage should make sure to share their expectations with each other before getting married. This way, they will at least be prepared for the difficulties they may face when they are already married.
Therefore, it becomes very important to be able to negotiate and reach a compromise with a partner on all mundane issues. It is better to discuss the main issues before the wedding so that disagreements do not lead you to a divorce.
By the time they get married, newlyweds know for sure whether they want children at all or are convinced, childfree partners. In the latter case, there are no more questions, but in the first one, there are many of them: the exact number of children, the age difference between them, as well as the expectations for their upbringing and religion.
It may prove necessary to agree on how you imagine the responsibilities for childcaring, how much time should be spent on maternity leave, what living conditions and financial resources are sufficient to plan the offspring.
What will we do if we cannot have children?
For some people, having children is absolutely essential. So, if for some reason one of the spouses turns out to be infertile, they should discuss what to do next. The option with adoption, surrogate motherhood, or artificial insemination might suit them. Or maybe the only way out would be to divorce and have a new marriage.
What is the exact amount of our debts?
Knowing the exact amount of each other’s debts can help you plan better how to get rid of them. Nobody likes to hear about such a “surprise” after the wedding. Anyone will feel betrayed if they find out about the actual amount of their partner’s debt only after the wedding. It also undermines the trust in the spouse.
Money and financial behavior
More than one family boat has crashed against the stone of financial issues. Therefore, it is worthwhile to come to an agreement in advance about how you see your monetary contribution to the family budget, what percentage of your income you want to put aside, what large monthly and annual expenses you consider to be necessary.
It is important to talk about whether your bank account will be shared or whether you will create separate accounts, whether you will get credit cards and invest savings.
How do we save up for retirement?
Sooner or later, all people will retire. At this point, it will be easier for you to prepare together if you discuss your long-term financial goals in advance. You need to plan your savings so that there is enough for two people, including medical expenses if any of you gets sick.
Who is your family?
Someone thinks that their family is just themselves, their partner, and children, while for someone the concept of a family includes parents, brothers, sisters, nephews, and other members of the “clan”. It is important to figure out who exactly is a close relative for you and what they mean to you, what traditions adopted in your clan you want to support.
When getting married, it is important to understand that the relationship with parents now concerns both partners. How often are you going to visit them and would you like to “pay visits” together or separately? Do you think they should be supported financially?
Define the border line that your parents will not have to cross, so as not to interfere in your family relations. If your parents live far away, how often will you visit them or how long their visits will be? What kind of help do you expect from parents if children are born?
How about loyalty and cheating?
Explore your beliefs about monogamy based on your religious beliefs, traditional sex roles, and personal moral values.
What is cheating for us? It would seem that everyone is clear about what cheating is, but in fact, everyone has a different idea of what it includes. For example, one person considers a kiss to be unfaithful, while another finds it unacceptable even to see a former partner. There are also people who think that falling in love with someone is already cheating. To avoid misunderstandings, spouses-to-be should discuss the acceptable level of intimacy with other people.
What are our dreams and plans for the future?
“Where do you see yourself in 5-30 years?” – this may sound like a job interview question, but one partner’s aspirations may not match the other partner’s idea of a happy marriage.
For example, one spouse is willing to live in poverty in order to become a successful artist, while the other needs a stable life with a steady income. By asking these questions, people will be able to imagine what their life together will be like.
It is natural that you can already imagine where you will live after the wedding, but do you have the same opinion about where your family will live in a few years? Do you want to buy a house outside the city, a bigger apartment? Maybe everything suits you, provided that a large-scale renovation is made in the apartment? By the way, talking about the home, you can also discuss pets. Do you want them? Which ones and how many?
How to share household chores
Specify in advance what you consider fair in sharing household duties. By doing all the housework, the person begins to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. To live without quarrels, it is worth agreeing in advance who is responsible for what chores.
What can be a good reason for us to part?
Each of us has something that we will not tolerate. It is wise to tell your partner about such things so that your life together could be comfortable. For example, the order may be very important to one spouse, while the other feels better in a “creative mess.” If you discuss these points in advance, then you can come to a common solution.