8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married
I’ve been writing an advice column in some shape or form for close to 10 years now, and I can say with confidence that at least 75 percent of the letters I receive from married people are about issues that could have been avoided if the couples had better communicated their expectations about married life before tying the knot But they’d be much more of a rarity if couples would discuss these 8 issues before getting married: 8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married 8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married
1. Outstanding debt.
Who has some and what is the plan for paying it off?
Do you want them? If so, how many? If not, are you sure enough about that decision to take permanent steps to ensure you don’t have them (like a vasectomy)? If you do want them, when do you want to have your first? Are you open to adoption or fertility treatments if you’re unable to conceive naturally? How long do you want to try to conceive naturally before trying different options? 8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married 8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married
If you practice a religion or have a particular faith, how important is it that your partner share the faith and practice it with you? How does your religion or faith affect your lifestyle? If you plan to have kids, what religion, if any, do you want to raise them in?
4. Bank accounts and bill-sharing.
Will you share a bank account? Keep individual accounts? Both? And what bills will be paid by what accounts? Will you each put a certain percentage of your income toward shared bills? Do you have an emergency fund? What if one person is out of work or decides to stay home to raise the kids? What’s your plan for affording that? 8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married 8 Things Every Singles MUST Discuss Before Getting Married
Do you want to sleep with just one person for the rest of your life? Can you and still be happy and satisfied? If not, you need to discuss either the possibility of an open marriage, strategies for keeping the spark alive, or waiting on marriage until the idea of monogamy isn’t a death sentence for you.
6. Family obligations.
How much time do you spend with your family now, how much do you expect to spend with them once you’re married and potentially have children, and how much time do you expect your spouse to spend with them (and vice versa)? How do you plan to spend your holidays and what’s your plan for giving both sets of families equal time with you/your children during the major holidays? Are you the type of person who likes to vacation with your family, and if so, how often?
7. The name game.
What’s your family name going to be? Will one spouse take the other spouse’s last name? And if not, what surname will you give any kids you have?
How committed is each of you to your careers? Do you live to work or work to live? How will your respective careers affect family life? Where are you in terms of living a “dream career”? Do you have more schooling and apprenticing to finish? If so, what’s the time frame for completing these steps toward obtaining the kind of job you hope for? What kind of personal sacrifices will you have to make to climb the career ladder of your choice?