You think and rethink your decision a dozen times before buying a new phone. But somehow, when you are planning to tie the knot, you tend to focus on minor things, like wedding planning, instead of discussing major life issues. Here’s a list of things every couple should discuss before jumping into the pressure cooker of marriage!
Both of you have expectations from the life you are about to start with each other. Talk about your expectations from your relationship, from this marriage and from each other. Don’t just focus on what you expect from your partner, try and focus more on what your partner expects from you.
This is essentially the most important thing you should discuss with your spouse-to-be. Do you both want children? When do you want children? How many children? Who’s going to name your children? Who is going to take care of their finances? Which one of you is going to stay at home when you have children? Is mom the only one responsible for nurturing the children? Will you consider contraceptives, adoption or abortion – just in case? Talk about everything! Don’t think it is too early to talk about children.
3. Parents and in-laws
Your parents are important to you and you have a responsibility towards them. Talk to your significant other about your relationship with your parents. What is the role of your parents in your life after marriage? Will they be a part of important decisions? Are they going to live with you? Will you support them financially in case they need help? What happens if they need to move in with you?
4. Decision Making
Marriage requires you to take the right decision at the right time. Who makes the decision is something most couples never talk about. Can one of you take a decision for both of you? Can your significant other make decisions on your behalf? Will you abide by the decision your partner made? This is something most couples fight about after marriage. Make sure you have this sorted before the big day.
This includes everything! From the location of your house to the colour of the curtains in your bedroom. How big is it going to be? Can you live in a small space for a long time? Will you allow your friends to crash in? Can you bring friends home? To avoid “you are home late” fights, you need to settle what ‘late’ actually means to you.
6. Household chores
This is very important. Life after marriage is less about romantic moments and more about everyday chores that you have to do. You need to discuss who will do what, divide the responsibilities and try not to interfere in your partner’s department. And even better would be if you two did everything together! Decide who will cook and who will do the dishes.
Every couple needs some time off from the routine life. Talk about vacations that you plan to take. Talk about how you are going to save money for the vacations. Mark out your favourite places, the budget, vacation time. Most importantly, don’t forget to discuss what will happen if you cannot go for vacations at the decided time.
You need to give yourself to your partner completely when you become their better half. There shouldn’t be any skeletons in the closet. Bring out everything on the table and tell your worst secrets to your partner. Let them love you the way you are.
You can’t keep your personal life out of your professional life. Talk about how you will manage your personal and professional time, about late shifts, about travelling for work, about considering a career opportunity in a foreign land, about giving up your job for your family.
Money can’t buy love but money can complicate your love life. Discussing money matters is important because you can’t do anything without money. It is important to know how much you earn together and how much you need to earn to raise a family. You should know how much money you need to able to give your children a quality life before making babies. How much money can each of you spend on your personal needs like shopping and grooming, has to be discussed. You also need to discuss who will you ask for help in case you are in a financial crisis.
Your spouse-to-be should know everything about your physical and mental health. Do not hide anything from them. Make sure you see a doctor as a couple before getting married. Do everything that is required to ensure a healthy life with your partner. Make sure you do something for your habit of snoring and bad breath too. It can be a problem – trust me.
12. Religious beliefs
You may or may not share the same religious beliefs with your partner. They may not be as religious as you or vice versa. You have to decide how much another can interfere in your religious concerns. You should discuss the religious values you are going to transfer to your children.
From a kiss on the cheek to late night sex – you should know what your partner likes and how much they like it. You should both know when it is okay to say no to a kiss or to sex. You should be able to say no to it when you are not ready for it. You need to discuss what can be done and what is forbidden. You should know the needs of your partner and be physically and sexually available to them. You should be able to express your love and they should feel loved even when you don’t say it!
14. Emotional needs
Marriage is more than just sexual needs. It is an emotional bond. Both of you should be there for each other. You partner shall never have to vent out their feelings in front of anyone else. You should know what their emotional needs are and what should be done, in case one has an emotional breakdown.
Your friends have a great influence on your life and things undoubtedly change after marriage. You need to know how important your friends are going to be after marriage. How often will you have a boys night or girls night? Will you share your personal problems with them? Do you discuss your spouse’s problems with your friends? What will your relationship be with your friends of the opposite gender?
16. Alone time
You need to have some “Me-time” because too much “We-time” can harm you. Everyone needs owntime and it is completely okay to have your time once in a while. Make sure your partner knows the duration of this time and that it won’t affect your relationship in anyway.
You need to set some boundaries for your relationship. You need to know what stays in the bedroom and what can be discussed with your loved ones. You need to define “cheating” and “betraying”. You need to know what is acceptable and what is not.
18. Second chances
If one of you messes up, will you give them another chance?
Who gets to hold the remote control is the question of every married couple’s life! When to watch sports and when to watch soap operas shall be discussed. When to turn off the television is something you should know without your partner telling you. Don’t make a TV show more important than the love of your life!
20. Old age plans
Growing old together is the most beautiful thing life partners do, but it is easier said than done. Discuss your old age plans with each other. Will you live with your children? Will you still share a bed with your partner when they are old and cranky? Make sure you have a plan to support the two of you financially.