Better to ask the hard questions now BEFORE you get married
Marriage is a big commitment, legally and socially. Though it may seem uncomfortable to broach some of these topics with your intended spouse, ensuring that you are both on the same page can save you a lot of emotional stress and frustration in the future.
4. What Marriage Means To Them
Though it is a legal commitment, marriage as an emotional reality could mean something very different to you both. You should ask what, exactly, marriage means, including a discussion of what kind of examples of marriage they have had in their life. It is important to avoid canned answers, such as “marriage means never having to go to bed angry” and instead talk out the emotional reality of the commitment you are about to make.
3. Boundaries of Sexual Intimacy
The popular saying about married couples claims that most problems are caused by money or sex. The key thing to do is set expectations from the start, and remain in open communication along the way. For some couples, a weekly opportunity to be intimate may be enough, whereas other couples might require a greater frequency. Most marriages are completely monogamous, meaning that both partners completely forgo sexual activity with other people. However, this is still something that future spouses should discuss to ensure they are on the same page.
2. Financial Disclosures and Expectations
Sharing a life means sharing your financial life. You should disclose to your partner your financial history and situation, and visa versa. You should also carefully consider and discuss who will be responsible for what, how finances will be shared, and even what expectations you both have for financial support of one another. Money represents shared goals, and making an effort to save for the future or clean up your credit is the kind of positive goal you can build your relationship around.
1. Family Philosophy
Getting married is legally cementing not only your relationship with your partner, but your presence in their family. You should talk to your partner about their family philosophy to make sure the responsibilities and expectations are clear. Do you plan on having kids? Then you should talk about how you hope to raise them, and what kind of expectations you have for your partner’s involvement, even if you get divorced. Are your partner-to-be’s parents still alive? Then you should talk about if you or they will be expected to care for aging parents, and who will bear the responsibility.
These are the kinds of problems that may be difficult to foresee now, but could become major issues in the future if they aren’t discussed in the beginning of the relationship.