For most people getting married is a huge step. And not just a step into a loving future, but also a step into uncertainty. No matter how much time you spend with your man, how well do you really know him? Do you know what he wants/desires/dislikes and how this fits in with your life?
For some religions couples counselling is required prior to getting married. It’s a way to make sure you want the same things and share similar values. But what about everyone else?
To make sure you’re on the same page it’s a good idea to have a heart to heart with your mate. And it doesn’t need to be big and heavy, so go ahead, open the wine, light the candles and share, share sugarbear. Listen with open ears and speak with no consequences. It’s a great way to get to know where your mates heads at, and see how his answers work with yours.
1. Do you want to have children?
How many? Who will take care of them? How will you afford them? For many couples this is a hugely important issue. Make sure you share values and get a chance to see how each of you feel about your roles/responsibilities. Does he want you to stay at home? Are you okay with that? Does he want one and you want six?
2. Can you talk about money?
Do you agree on spending/saving habits? How much money do you need to have a good life? Is that realistic? Who is/are the breadwinners? These are all really important questions to clear up and put out on the table. Make sure you share money values – this is one of the major reasons couples fight and/or split up. If your answers are not 100% the same that may not be a deal breaker, but if you can’t agree on anything take it as a red flag.
3. Can you talk about sex?
Do you have the same sex drive? Can you talk openly about what you like/don’t like? Sex is another couple breaker upper, and taps into some of our deepest worries/fears/concerns so have a good chat about it. It’s better to find out that he wants an open marriage and you only want vanilla sex sooner rather than later.
4. What’s your dream life?
This one is so open ended, and can be tricky…but that’s why it’s also great. Find out what your mate really wants, and make sure this works for you. Does he have an idea of what he wants, or a plan on how to get there? Some girls are willing to just wing it, while others need to know what’s in store. But best be careful here, and make sure your ship is sailing in the same direction, even if you have slightly different paths make sure you have the same general goals.
5. How are your parent’s relationships?
Many couples fall into the same patterns as their parents. If you want to make some changes how are you going to do this? Could you benefit from talking to a professional? These are pretty tough questions to answer, and many people resist doing anything other than talking about what kind of people they don’t want to become. If you want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes as your parents you may benefit from some help.
6. What are you willing to do if things get really rough?
In this day of a 50% divorce rate it’s really important to figure out how you, and your partner, view commitment and what you would be willing to do if things got really rough. Would you be willing to give up your career aspirations and stay at home, or move to a small town to simplify life if finances got really tight? Ask yourself some tough questions to figure out where your priorities are, and what that means for your relationship. If one of you is willing to change everything and the other can only handle minor sacrifices you may have big value differences that are better to figure out before you get married.
7. How involved will your families be in your life? What about friends?
Family involvement and social time can be a big issue for some couples. If you want to cocoon with your own family but your husband wants a big fat Greek family dinner five nights a week it’s something you should know about. If your honey places hockey nights with his buddies over spending time with your sisters and best friends that’s something you should also pay attention to. Things won’t change that much when you get married, so take a clue from how you live now, and figure out if you still want to live that way five years down the road.