You’ve found the person you want to marry. Congratulations!
What else could you possibly need to know, right? Slow your roll and plant your feet on the ground. Marriage is far more than fairy tales and romantic comedy. It requires a commitment to steady work and self-awareness. You also need a healthy dose of preparation before you tie the knot.
To begin such work, it helps to work together to make a list of what you need to know more about. What topics require further discussion now and ongoing discussion from now on? Here are some suggestions to get you started.
What You & Your Partner Need to Discuss Before Tying the Knot
Expectations are a good place to start. Thanks to pop culture and societal pressure, we may develop unrealistic expectations. We put far too much pressure on ourselves, our partner, and our relationship. Instead of looking to be “completed,” make time to talk about how you visualize this marriage going in a variety of areas, e.g.
In the early stages, you may be certain you’ve got this covered. Don’t take anything for granted. Talk openly about sex, sexual style, and other styles of affection and intimacy.
This conversation can begin with a question as basic as: “Where?” It can be expanded to include potentially tougher subjects like division of domestic labor and having children or not.
It’s not breaking news that we live in a divided society. Don’t wait until a fight starts to be open about stances in areas like religion and politics. This is not to imply that you must march in lockstep. Rather, it’s learning the nuances of each other’s opinions. Different perspectives can be incredibly helpful when it comes to learning from each other. However, that process begins with open communication now.
Extended Family Obligations
Speaking of hot-button topics, you must make an attempt to get on the same page about your extended family. In-laws and other new relatives may stick their noses into your couple business. Such a situation can drive a wedge between you if you haven’t discussed it upfront.
You love your partner’s company, but you still shouldn’t try to spend every minute together. Talk in advance about sustaining independent social lives. For example, if you have an opposite-sex best friend, get busy now clearing the air about that. Your marriage will thrive if you both maintain independence. But that must be accompanied by transparency and coming to an understanding of how much time you spend together and how much time apart, as well as how much time as a couple alone and how much time as a couple with others.
No two people view finances the same way. Start right away when it comes to finding the compromises you need to make in areas like:
- Outstanding debt
- Bank accounts
- Career choices
- Indulging in luxuries, vacations, etc.
The above six topics will eventually lead to conflict. Disagreement is fine and it is inevitable. The key to success is committing to healthy conflict resolution. Early on, during the honeymoon phase, everything may seem like sunshine and rainbows. Discuss how you will deal with future issues that you’re not able to resolve together. Many couples make an agreement that if they hit a speed bump in the future, they will commit to couples therapy to deal with it.
No two people attach with others in the same way. Your attachment style is formed in childhood and impacts your adult life in major ways. Within the realm of attachment theory, there is a clear distinction between secure and insecure styles. Thus, it makes sense to dig deep and start figuring out where you two intersect and how you can improve that bond.
An excellent way to prepare in advance is premarital couples counseling. Why not reach out today to set up a time to communicate and work through your concerns? Please contact me soon for a consultation.
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