In the life of any person, getting engaged is a very exciting milestone. It is a period filled with promise, excitement and hope. Many couples start planning the wedding as soon as they get engaged. There is nothing wrong with this except however, many couples neglect to plan for their marriage because of the focus on the wedding.
With the present divorce rate being so high, it calls for a look at the importance of preparing for life after their wedding and honeymoon. These conversations are often difficult to have but they are very necessary for the long term success of your relationship.
You and your partner may have already come across some of your issues in the dating period. For example, maybe you are a very punctual person and your partner tends to be late. However, other potential issues may not be things you encountered yet, such as parenting or money differences. Sit down together and talk openly about the potential areas of conflict in your relationship. It will help you determine which issues you and your partner may continue to grapple with in your marriage and help prepare you to manage those differences.
Questions to Ask Before Marriage
What are your views about having children? Pets? How strong are your positions about this? What, if anything, would change your mind?
How much of each other’s sexual histories have you shared? How do you deal with each other’s past? What aspects of sex make you uncomfortable?
Messy or tidy, early bird or owl: How do the habits of you and your partner differ? In what ways does this affect you?
In what ways do your religious and/or political beliefs and practices, if any, differ from your partner’s? If you have children, with what beliefs and practices will you raise them?
How will you balance competing time demands of work and family? How will you balance who deals with home and family needs during work hours? During non-work hours?
How will you decide who is responsible for which chores? When the workload gets lopsided, how will you address the issue? Are you willing or able to hire an outside person to help?
What does having money mean to you? How much money is “enough?”
If one partner makes or spends more than the other, what feelings does this bring up for you? What financial goals do you agree on?
Ask and listen
As you answer the questions, it is important that you both listen to one another and try to understand each other’s perspectives, even if you disagree. Remember, you are going to disagree on most things because you are different people. Differences are not what tear a relationship apart. It is how a couple deals with their differences that matters. Do not argue; just take in what is being said and take a break if the conversation gets too heated. You can always come back to it another time.
Once you hear from each other, you can begin to find ways to manage these differences as a team. Remember, these are issues you will grapple with throughout your relationship so slow down, take your time, and work on acceptance and understanding. You will begin to find ways to compromise so that issues don’t cause disconnect in the relationship.
In conclusion, learning more about each other shouldn’t hurt your relationship and if it does irreparable damage, then maybe you shouldn’t be getting married. After you’ve heard from each other, start thinking of ways that you can handle your differences together. Like I’ve always advised, Compromise!! It’s a WIN-WIN.