Understanding that you and your partner are different people in many ways is very important. When you understand this, you will see the need to know what their thoughts are on many things and voice your own thoughts and opinions too.
You can’t be having conflicting opinions about many crucial things in life with someone you intend to spend the rest of your life with.
I had a discussion with a few friends; married, newly married, about to be married, and singles about what partners should discuss before marriage.
I got a lot of interesting and helpful responses which I’m about to share.
So, if you intend getting married anytime in future, keep reading. You should also share with your friends who need to know these things.
I am certain that no one has ever gone into marriage 100% prepared but causes for disagreements can be drastically reduced when certain things are discussed and settled ahead of time.
From my personal knowledge and the discussion I had with my friends, I coined out the following.
What should we discuss before marriage?
lol, I tried hard not to make this the first but I couldn’t help it. Your finances when you’re single or dating is entirely different from when you get married. In fact, according to a research, money is the leading cause for divorce.
It is important to keep emotions aside and logically and clearly talk about money and money roles. Be clear on your mindsets about money. Are you on the same page in that regard? Discuss the following questions:
- Will both parties be working and earning money?
- Is any party indebted? Talk about debts.
- Are you both going to have a joint account?
- What percentage of your income goes into the joint account?
- Who pays for what? (Down to little things around the house)
- Spending habits (How much is too much to be spent on luxuries like cars, shopping, etc)
- Necessary investments to make and what percentage of income should go in that direction.
- Plans to secure the financial future of kids.
2. Daily Routine
Our lives are a sum of our daily activities. It’s easy to focus on the big and major stuff and discuss them while we ignore the “little stuff”. However, the seemingly little things now have the tendency to become a big deal in marriage. It’s better to leave no stones unturned.
“I feel Intending couples should invest quality time in talking about their daily routine. This is because the the couple would be spending the rest on their lives together Living each day at a time, so it’s good dig in to what each person expects on a daily basis. Nothing breeds frustration like assumptions”
Talk about your daily routine. Ask questions.
- What time should we be awake?
- What time should be dedicated to morning altar and what activities should be done? (Bible reading or just prayer, praise and worship?)
- How long should the morning devotion be?
- What devotional guide/study plan will be used (especially if you don’t attend same denomination)
- Time for night prayer
- Should a goodnight kiss become a tradition every night?
- When there is a misunderstanding, is it okay to go to bed that way and discuss when we are both calm or must we settle before going to bed?
- Do we sleep with lights on or off?
- Who does what? (Dresses the bed/arranges the room, cleans other areas of the house, washes and cleans the car(s), fixes dinner, takes out the trash, does the dishes and must dishes be done every night or it’s okay to carry over to morning?)
- Who does the final checks for the night (lock doors, switch on security/outside lights and switch of indoor lights, TV and other electronic gadgets)
Seeing that a christian relationship is not a Sexually active one, it’s best to leave it till it’s close to the wedding. But you can talk about what you think you’d like to know. Like how far you are willing to explore your sexual life, how far you are willing to go, how often it should be and so on. It is also pertinent to discuss health concerns, if there are any.
4. Extended family
We must understand that when we marry someone, we are marrying their entire family too. Family is a huge part of both your lives but you’re coming together to start a new family which should be priority.
It is important to create systems to help you still stay in touch with your individual families and show them love but still prioritize each other.
Boundaries should be set. It is important to discuss about every family member in detail with your spouse to be. This should be vice versa. Emphasis on mum, dad and family members whose voice matter.
Tell your partner about their attitude and how to relate with them. You have lived with your family members all your life & you know their love and anger button. Relate this to your spouse to be to help he /she in relating with them.
How much room is to be given to in-laws?
- Can in-laws visit? How long? What kind of in-law? (Just immediate family or everyone from the village?)
- What are you both allowed to do and give to your families?
- Do in-laws have a say in your marriage? In some families, some important decisions cannot be taken until certain people accept it. Who are these people? Let your partner know them. Could be an aunty, uncle, elder sibling.
Children are a big deal. Forgetting to discuss them is a recipe for many unnecessary future differences.
- Do you both want kids?
- Are you waiting before having kids?
- How many kids?
- Are you spacing them?
- Godforbid, but if the need arises, are you both open to the idea of things like IVFs, C-sections, Surrogacy?
- Dual citizenship for your kids? Are you saving up or praying towards that?
- Trust funds, and investments for the kids?
6. Family value system
Together, you should create your family value system while courting. Family value system is synonymous to family goals..
This is the system that guides your operation as a family..
For a Christian couple, you should have core values like love, forgiveness, joy, care, righteousness, peace, prosperity, healing, diligence, purity, good character, excellence, patience, faithfulness etc.
These goals will be passed on to the children when they come.
Generally, there shouldn’t be a limit to what can be discussed in a courtship/relationship. It is wise to speak up and ask questions especially about things you have concerns about. Communicate and avoid assumptions like a plague.
Special thanks to Mrs B. Andrews, Chef George, Mrs. O, and Chef Paul for their huge contributions to this post.
What other topics should be discussed before marriage? Leave a comment and let us continue the conversation below.