The top 5 discussions to have with your fiance before tying the knot
Before you marry someone, you have to talk to them about some important issues that will affect your futures.
Getting ready for marriage is far more than just picking out flowers, cakes, and caterers. You and your fiancé have to sit down together and make sure that you discuss important issues pertaining to your future together. Here are the top five discussions to have with you fiancé before tying the knot:
1. TO BE OR NOT TO BE… PARENTS.
You and your partner should share with each other your feelings about raising children. If you have always dreamed of having a large family, but your fiancé would rather enjoy your lives without the responsibility of children so that you can travel and be more devoted to your careers, then you might not be able to compromise enough to make this marriage work. Having children is often the single most important goal in a woman’s life, and if your mate is not committed to raising a family with you, then you should not sacrifice your dreams of a family to get married. You will end up bitter and resentful. If you wind up having kids with a man who doesn’t want them, he may not be there for you and your children in the way that you would want him to be. It is not fair to either of you. However, you might just discover that he wants three children, and you wanted two, which would be a far less daunting compromise to make. You also want to find out when your partner would be interested in getting started on the family… a year after the wedding? On the honeymoon?! 5 or more years? If you want to have more than one child, how far apart in age do you think you would want the kids to be?
2. HOW WILL YOU RAISE YOUR KIDS?
If you are both decided upon not having children, then you have one less discussion on your hands. If you are going to raise a family, though, then you have to talk about how you want to bring them up. What do you envision your parenting style will be like? What type of punishments are you comfortable with? You might be very uncomfortable with spankings, whereas your fiancé may have no problem with it. You have to make sure that there are no differences that you cannot compromise on. When you are parents, it will be very important that you present a united front for your children.
3. WHAT ROLE WILL RELIGION PLAY IN YOUR MARRIAGE?
There are many inter-faith marriages that work very well. The most important thing is that you are able to accept and respect your partner’s individual spiritual beliefs. If you are not able to accept your religious differences, then you have to decide if one of you is willing to join the other’s religion. This is a decision that should not be entered into lightly, and it should never be forced. If you are unable to accept the other’s religion or conform to the same religion, then you should not make the promise of marriage to each other. Also, discuss the role that religion will play in your lives. Do you want to go to church every Sunday or just on holidays? What are your feelings about donations to the church, and what percentage of your income do you want to donate, if any? If you plan on having children, what role will your religion or religions play in their lives?
4. WHO IS GOING TO MAKE THE MONEY?
There are many married couples who earn a double income, and both the man and woman have full-time jobs. However, this is not the ideal situation in everyone’s mind, and you have to talk about your plans for work outside of the home before you get married. If you are going to have a family, the woman may opt to stay at home, or she might at least want to stay at home during the first few years of each child’s life. The first thing to consider here is if that is a financially possible option for you. Supporting a family is an expensive undertaking, so you have to make sure that your budget can be supported by one income. You might decide to have one of you working full-time, and the other part-time. If being a stay at home mom is a non-negotiable issue for you, then you have to be sure that your partner supports that choice.
5. WHO WILL HANDLE THE FINANCES?
Both of you can jointly make financial decisions, but most of the time one of you will handle the majority of the monthly bill paying. Figure out who is the most responsible with money, and who has the most time available to devote to the bills. Make sure that you talk about your investments, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, credit card accounts, and loans. Figure out what your priorities for saving are — do you want to buy a house within the next five years, or start a family in a year? Whoever is handling the finances should always consult with their spouse on big purchases, consolidations, and changes. Once or twice a year, you should both sit down together to go over your money matters.