Being married is certainly way better than staying single. While many bachelors may insist that variety is the spice of life, having someone to come home to after a hard day’s work is certainly a better deal than being a misogynistic-40-something-beer guzzling-bachelor secretly hoping to find “the one” in some dark strip club.
Nevertheless, before you want to take that dive, talking out some things with your soon to be missus is imperative to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
Money. – One of the biggest sources of misunderstanding between couples is money. The general impression normally is that money should be pooled and that’s it. Ideally, this can be advantageous for the couple but a disparity in income as well as issues of debt and who gets to have the last say on money matters can be thorny issues unless ironed out early on in the relationship. Unless they have similar financial habits, money can become a source of arguments for couples.
If both partners don’t see eye to eye regarding finances, it’s best to discuss it before walking the aisle as marriage actually binds both partners together financially. That is why, if one or both partners are in debt, it is important to share it to your partner
Different people have different approaches to money. Some people are savers and misers, while others are carefree and don’t give it as much thought. How money was handled when you were growing up often has a big impact on how you deal with it as an adult (see #1 above). If your financial and spending styles are not on the same page, now’s the time to discuss how you will get them on the same page because a big part of marriage is the fact that it’s a legal contract that binds the two of you together financially. Discuss the need for a prenuptial agreement. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Prepare for the worst, in case, the marriage doesn’t succeed,
Living arrangements. – If both partners are living together, both won’t have to discuss chores and assignments. If they aren’t, both must take into consideration each other’s neatness and organization levels that will make each other comfortable. Otherwise, different decorating styles, and neatness can get in the way of harmonious relationship.
Which brings us to…
Religion and values – If you marry someone who shares your view on religion and values, the marriage could be successful. These are important topics to be considered since they become more important during the marriage than before. It can also become serious once children enter the picture. You and your partner may feel differently after you have kids but at least both of you will have a firm foundation on which to build discussions later on.
Extended Family – What’s your family life? History normally repeats itself. Your partner’s family will give you an insight of how he or she may handle stress, children and a host of other things. Although we are not doomed to repeat old habits, being aware of what to expect will allow you to enter the marriage with eyes wide open. Where to spend the holidays for example may not seem important on appearances but they can be a source of conflict if not everyone is getting their fair share of time.
How devoted you are to your extended family may also cause conflict in the future if importance of the in-law’s connection is not accepted. Families are demanding and peculiar and need to be managed.
Conflict resolution – Conflict is very much a part of every relationship. How you fight is a barometer of the state of your relationship. If the arguing is bad before the marriage, it may get worse during the course of the union. If arguments get real and personal fast, or one partner veers off topic and brings unrelated things into the argument, it can result to the blame game with someone being always right. Improve the way you communicate with your partner through concerted efforts. Relationships will always have its fair share if disagreements, it’s in how you resolve them that matter.