Being in love is a wonderful feeling, but staying in love is a wonderful skill. Every couple needs to develop the ability to talk about everything. You may think you know your spouse-to-be, there may be many things you folks have not discussed before marriage. Do it now so you can create that rewarding relationship!
Here are the top seven topics you should discuss before tying the knot:
1. Money: How will you both handle money? Who will pay bills, save, plan for spending and allocate fun money? Will you follow a budget? Is it often a good idea? How much should be saved? If one of us makes more does that mean he/she gets to control more of the money? Will you have a common "pot" or divided accounts? What is a necessity and what is a luxury (going out to eat, seeing a movie, cable, vacations, Starbucks, etc.)? How are debts or assets brought into the marriage and then viewed? Money is a big topic couples gloss over and then regret, and it is one of the top reasons couples give for getting divorced!
2. Kids: Do you both want kids at some point? Do we both agree on when, how many, and how we'll take care of them? What will be your parenting style? Are you able to work as a team and agree to present a united front? What should you do if that isn't happening? How will children be disciplined? Kids are a blessing, but definitely a stress-inducer for relationships—plan accordingly.
3. Career: How will work be negotiated? Will both of you work? How many hours a week? Will it be okay for one of you not to work and under what circumstances? If one of you were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other's family, are you prepared to move? How do your levels of ambition match or differ? Are you okay with them being different? If they match, does it cause competition and how do you handle that in the long term? Work is usually a big part of your life (taking up a third of a day) so it is important you both understand how it plays out in your future lives together.
4. Free Time: What do you enjoy doing together and apart? How have you developed "play" and free time? What are the expectations about how you'll spend free time once married? How much time will you each have together, alone or with your own friends? Do you respect each other's friends? How will you divide chores? How much free time will be devoted to chores? What does each of you dread or like to do as chores? What chores are important to each of you? After work, your free time and chores impact your relationship time greatly. It is important to have a balance in both. Keep reading...
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