Things to Discuss Before Marriage

Talking with your partner about these issues before marriage can save you a lot of heartache 

and frustration down the road.

Most couples will have the conversations about whether or not to have children, where they would like to live, or where they want to go with their careers. But there are a few important topics that couples should be talking about before marriage, yet they rarely do. Checking in with your partner about these important topics could save you both from a lot of arguments once you are married.


Household Duties

Everyone grows up in families with different family dynamics, and we can make assumptions based on the way our families operated and carry those assumptions into our own relationships later in life. For instance, one partner may have been raised with a father that worked full-time and a mother that stayed at home and took care of all the cooking, cleaning, and managing of the household. The other partner may have grown up in a family where both parents worked full-time and split household duties. Many people are raised in single parent families, or by grandparents, or in any number of scenarios, each helping them to form different expectations about how to handle household chores. Whether your expectation is that your family will run your household the way you grew up, or whether you plan on doing something completely different, you should discuss your thoughts about how to handle household duties with your partner and make sure you are both on the same page and can find what will work for you.


Debt

Many couples don't often think of outstanding debt when they are planning their wedding and preparing for marriage, but it can easily become a huge issue down the road. Couples may mention their debt in passing, but it is important to really sit down and have a conversation about it. Take a look at the amount of each debt, the payment structure of each debt, and the interest rate of each debt and work together to come up with a plan for how the debt will be paid off. It may be "your" debt, but once you are married it will affect both of your lives.


Making Decisions

As hard as it may be to imagine, you and your partner won't agree on everything. Discuss a plan for handling decisions on which you just can't agree. For some things, you may be able to agree to disagree. But for others that are much more serious and need a plan of action, you may decide to consult a couples therapist or an impartial advisor. Or maybe you just flip a coin! Whatever you decide, have options for resolving conflict ahead of time because it can be difficult to come up with a solution in the heat of the moment.