Before you get married, there are plenty of things to consider about your relationship with your fiance. If you haven’t sat down to seriously talk about these items, maybe you should. It might save a lot of heartache in the future.
Kids or No Kids
Procreation may be for some people but it ain’t for everyone. (That’s right, I used “ain’t”). Whether or not to have children is a serious consideration before you choose your life partner. It’s understandable that you say you don’t want kids in your 20s, but will you feel the same in your 30s? your 40s? Will your partner feel the same? Kids will undoubtedly take away your energy, your time, and your money. They will also be the cause of at least a couple of arguments between you two. Do you and your partner consider kids to be worth it? Another consideration, what if there’s an unexpected pregnancy? What will be your decision as a couple? What if you can’t have children? What would be your next steps?
Stance on Religion Integration
How much thumping do you plan to do with your bible? How strict are you on following religious traditions? Will religious differences matter to you? Religion can and will affect some of your major life decisions, particularly your children: circumcision for your sons, your children’s dating lives, what your family eats, or doesn’t eat. While you may not have the same religion (though that may be another conversation in itself), both of your levels of religion adherence have to match before you walk down the aisle. Literally. Before you walk down the aisle. As in, is the aisle in a church or a catering hall?
This is not necessarily a question of who will be the breadwinner. Job market’s iffy, kids might come into question, unexpected debts might occur. It’s a question of what your partner’s goals are in life, professionally. Unless you’re both rich, you can’t both be stay-at-home parents. If one or both partners decides to work, what is their ultimate goal, and will the other partner support that? For example, if my husband wants to start his own business one day, will I be able to accept the initial (or long lasting) financial costs and NOT be resentful? Or if my wife’s career field forces her to work long hours and travel most of the time, will I be able to accept that? You both have to peer into the future ball and have a deep understanding of what the other one wants to achieve in life.
How Much Debt?
“Awesome, he’s been paying for everything on our dates”
“Sweet, she comes from money.”
But let’s talk real talk. How much debt does the other one have? Debt in terms of credit cards, student loans, child support, auto loans, etc. Their debt becomes your debt when you say “I Do”. So can you deal? As some of you may know, people are accumulating student debt at unprecedented rates. Not being able to pay off your debts will affect your credit which will affect your financial status in all aspects of your life. Another consideration is how you both plan to adjust to debt together? For example, will you be a strictly cash only couple? Do you agree to put major purchases on a joint credit card? Or perhaps, separate accounts is the route you want to take? It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have but face it, if you can’t talk about money, how are you going to be married?.
Relationship with Family
I’m not just talking about your future mother-in-law. I’m talking about ALL of your future in-laws. How involved are they in your significant other’s life? How much influence do they have? As much as we all like to imagine that everyone gets along all honky-dory, and everyone agree and never fights, that’s unrealistic. There will be input on where you live, how you choose to raise your children, your job choices, etc. In a major decision or a major argument, who will your partner side with? If it’s not you, how will that affect your relationship? Perhaps they have a strained relationship with their family, will they let it affect your relationship? Some say it won’t but you never truly know. Some indicators would be how often your partner talks to their family and what they talk about.
If you’re planning to get married, ALWAYS remember, that this person will not only be your lover, your partner, your soulmate… but they’re also your roommate! Does their level of cleanliness match yours? Do you both see an equal distribution of chores or is one person expected to do most of it? Aside from cleaning habits, let’s consider the way in which they live their day-to-day life. On a personal note, I am the wife that likes to arrive 5 minutes before something starts. Husband likes to arrive 30 minutes before (curse you, military lifestyle). There are some people that are chronically late. I am the person that is very annoyed by those who are chronically late. Therefore, me and my husband’s relationship works for us. Other things to consider: willingness to compromise, commitment to promises, ability to let the small things go, and who gets the window seat when you travel.
How Much Influence His/Her Friends Have
Guy code, girl code, bros and besties, look at their circle of friends. I hate to sound like mom and dad, but are they good influences? Consider their dependence on your significant other and people around them. Do they constantly ask to borrow money or expect others to pick up the tab (does your s.o. always say yes?)? Do they always call/text with some sort of drama (does your s.o. always get involved?)? Do they consistently seem helpless but it’s of their own doing (does your s.o. always bail them out?)? It’s a tired saying but it’s true. You are the company you keep. You just have to figure out if you’re ok with the relationship that your partner has with his/her company.
Any other considerations before you take the plunge?
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