Wedding season is almost upon us, and while arranging your nuptials is a time of excitement and anticipation, it should also be a time for contemplation and discussion between you and your bride or groom. After all, you aren’t just planning out your vows and flowers, you’re also planning your life together.
Between conversations about your guest list and budget, remember to make room for more serious topics so that, when the dust has settled, you are both heading in the same direction.
You probably know by now that you should discuss things like finances, career goals, and living arrangements, but what about things like religion, infertility, or long-term health? Read through this post to start a healthy and informative discussion with your partner now, so that neither of you are unpleasantly surprised in the future.A healthy marriage is built on good communication. How do you handle tough talks with your partner? Click To Tweet
Religious and Spiritual Expectations after Marriage
If you and your future husband or wife share a religion and many of the same morals, your conversation may be an easy one, but for couples whose religious or spiritual beliefs differ, it can be a point of conflict.
While you may have come to terms with having different faiths or ideals during your relationship, do either of you expect that to change after you are married? Will either of you expect the other to attend services or events that you wouldn’t expect your partner to go to now?
And what about if you have children—whose beliefs will you raise them into, and how do you both feel about that?
While many couples manage different religious and spiritual beliefs in their relationships, creating an open dialogue helps to encourage thoughtful discussion and avoid confrontation. Consider your personal feelings carefully, and share them with your partner so that you can both identify where issues may arise in the future, and how to best handle them.
Infertility, Adoption, and Abortion after Marriage
Some couples want children and others don’t. In all likelihood you and your partner discussed whether or not you would have children together before getting engaged. But, there’s a lot more to that conversation than just saying “yay” or “nay” to becoming parents in the future.
Before saying “I do”, spend some time talking about the following questions to get an idea of your fiancé(e)’s thoughts, and your own:
If either of you are infertile after deciding to have children, would you be open to adoption or surrogacy? If you couldn’t have a child of your own, would you be OK with having none?
What are your feelings about carrying and raising a severely disabled child? Would you both be willing to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments and sacrifices that would be required?
Whether you want children or not, would either of you be OK with abortion, and under what circumstances?
You may not have all of the answers to these questions now, but by starting the discussion now, you are creating a foundation of communication and openness for your marriage.
Senior Parents and Health Care after Marriage
Once you are married, your lives become even more intertwined than before. Often, you aren’t even just merging two lives, but two different families, and that can become complicated over time.
For example, have either of you considered what you will do if your parents need care later in life? Will they live with you, and are you both OK with that?
Life can take many unexpected twists and turns, and caring for a parent can be a jarring experience emotionally, financially, and even physically. Are you both willing to go through that, not only with your own parents, but with your in-laws?
Not only should you discuss potential care for your parents or loved ones in the future, you should also make your partner aware of your personal health care preferences. For example, do you want to be an organ donor? What are your feelings about resuscitation?
If you have already made a Living Will , make sure to let your partner know. If neither of you has one yet, you should both consider putting your health care preferences in writing and appointing each other as personal representatives.
Divorce and Separation
Of course you don’t want to discuss divorce before you are even married, but seeing as communication issues are one of the biggest points of conflict in marriages, you should both be willing to explore a variety of conversation topics, even if they feel a bit uncomfortable.
Some of the most important things to talk about surrounding a potential separation or divorce include things like:
- What marriage means to you and why you are getting married
- What the reasons for a divorce would be
- How you would want to navigate a divorce if it were to happen
- How you will handle disputes throughout your relationship
- If either of you would be open to separation before deciding to divorce
- Whether you think a Prenuptial Agreement is necessary
Although these questions may seem unpleasant to ask, relationships are about understanding, trust, and honesty. It’s important to remember that not everything in a relationship or marriage is positive, but by showing willingness to understand each other and share opinions early, you can gain a new perspective and level of understanding towards your partner that might help you to communicate when an issue does arise.
Talking About Tough Topics
Being in a relationship or marriage doesn’t mean that you and your spouse need to agree on every issue that you come across. What’s more important is that you are both willing to communicate your honest opinions and thoughts with each other so that if you can’t come to an agreement, you can at least begin to understand each other.
As long as you both treat each other with respect and show a willingness to not only share, but to listen, you can start to create a strong and stable foundation for your relationship.
What do you think are the most important premarital questions to ask?