Marriage is a lifelong commitment. And while it’s exciting to think about spending the rest of your life with someone, it can be scary, too. Talking about these 10 things before you walk down the aisle can help to ensure you’re ready for all of the milestones, situations, and worries that you’ll eventually face together. Talking, compromising, and working together now will only help to make your union stronger in the future. Click “Next” to see 10 things that you should both agree on before you get married.
With student loans now the largest source of personal debt in the United States [Daily News] it’s likely that you and your partner will be bringing some debt into your relationship. Be open about the amount that you owe, and share your plans for paying off any outstanding loans.
Before settling down with your partner, talk about where you see your future together. Will you stay in one place, or do you plan on moving around a lot? Is there something, like a better job offer, perhaps, that would persuade you to move even if you currently love where you live?
Everyone has a different idea of their ideal home. Once you’re married, you’ll be combining two potentially vastly different views into one common space. Knowing what each of you values in a home - and areas for compromise - will ensure that your marital home is a happy one.
If your honeymoon will be your first vacation together as a couple, you need to talk about the types of trips that you both do or do not enjoy. For instance, if one of you prefers camping and the other only prefers 5-star hotels, that could lead to some friction in your relationship. Talking about your preferences, and how you plan to compromise, will help you to avoid some could-be arguments in the future.
If you choose to practice a certain faith, that religion can have a big impact in your life. Would you like your partner to share that with you? If you both practice different religions, are you able to support each other on your unique spiritual paths? If you plan to have kids, this discussion is even more important - talk about what religion, if any, you’d like to raise them in.
The holidays can be tricky when it comes to blending two different families and two different family traditions. Talk about your ideas for sharing time over the holidays with both sets of families - and how much time you’d like to spend with your parents and siblings the rest of the year, too.
From the dishes to laundry, when you own your own home there’s a seemingly endless list of chores. Talk to your partner about how you expect to work together to keep your house in order. Try and split the tasks so that you’re both not stuck with the one thing that you absolutely hate doing. If you both happen to hate the same thing, compromise so that one person isn’t stuck doing it every week.
Intimacy is an important part of a relationship, and like the other topics on this list, what really matters is that you and your partner are on the same page. It’s inevitable that you’re going to go through ups and downs in your relationship, however, it’s important that you feel comfortable talking about sex with your partner, and are able to communicate honestly and respectfully about your needs, likes and dislikes.
Do you want kids? While there’s no right or wrong answer, what’s important is that you and your significant other come to the same conclusion. Be honest about whether or not you hear the pitter-patter of little feet in your future, and when you’d be ready to start a family.
Most couples will fight over money at some point in their relationship. Help get your marriage off to the right start by talking about bank accounts and bill sharing before you walk down the aisle. Will you share a bank account? Keep individual accounts? Will you each put a percentage of your income towards shared bills?