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15 Things Every Couple Should Definitely Discuss Before Getting Married

It surprises me how many young couples put all their time, money, and energy into planning a wedding but direct none of these efforts into planning a marriage. Whether it be the measly two months or a ginormous decade of dating each other, couples forget to put this important conversation on their radar until a discord in their marital life demands that the issue merit their immediate attention. Not only is an honest and forthright communication of things that shall be very crucial in building a strong marriage important, it is mandatory that a couple sits down to have ‘the talk’ before getting married. You’d be surprised to note that more than 70% of marital problems would not occur if the couple had communicated their expectations about married life before tying the knot.

couple talking (5)

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Before getting married, it is important to know about your partner’s expectations from marriage and map out the tough talks to have with your to-be spouse before you walk down the aisle. Contrary to what people might believe, marriage is much more than deciding whether a television set in the bedroom is yay or nay or which movies to stream on Netflix on weekends or whether crummies in bed is ‘okay.’ There are things that a couple must absolutely know before getting married, and these build the foundation for a healthy and happy marriage they wish to live.

Suggested read: 13 questions the person you’re marrying needs to answer honestly

Here are the things that you should definitely discuss before you get married:

1. Money


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This is one of the top things that married couples fight over. To skirt the ugly arguments about finances later, it is crucial that you have a talk about money right away. It is important to decide whether you’d pool all your money together or maintain separate accounts and determine which accounts you’d draw from for everyday expenses and the big investments. Money might seem to be a benign topic before you get married, but can become cancerous later. It is not only important to figure about your bank accounts, investment plans, bill-sharing, and your debt situation but equally crucial to learn about each other’s saving and expenditure patterns. If one of you spends much more than the other or both of you put together can save, your marriage might be spent much before it can be saved. There is no right or wrong answer to what your couple-money-strategy can be. But you must be careful to be in sync with whatever method you choose to adopt, stick to the plan, be able to live peacefully within your means, and be reasonable and openly communicative about any hiccups encountered in the process. Being on the same page about money matters is extremely important. Not because money is honey – but because money can take you farther from your honey!

2. Kids


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Yes!! Even if it seems a far off dream, you might want to get a clear picture on this one. It is important to discuss whether or not you are both keen on having children. This discussion NEEDS to happen before you get married. However, the discussion shouldn’t just end at whether or noy you and your partner are open to the idea and flexible about the time frame within which you decide to plan a family and begin to try. You should be prepared for any eventuality that may happen if the situation turns around. You should not only discuss how many children you want to have but what you would do if you are unable to conceive. Would you be willing to adopt? Would you be open to the idea of a surrogate? Also, the conversation about kids is not merely about having them. The conversation should also factor in your views about parenting, how you intend to discipline them if they disobey, and other related things. In short, you must align yourselves along a mutually agreed-upon model of healthy parenthood. Of course, things shall take its own course and you will be surprised, shocked or even plain happy during the actual process of bringing up the children but this pre-nuptial discussion shall enable you to be well-prepared for the knock-downs and dragged out fights for later, if at all.

Suggested read: 10 questions to ask yourself before committing in a relationship

3. Career

Another very significant realm of life, it is important to discuss your careers and the expectations thereof, before you get married. How involved and committed are you to your career? Where do you see yourself in five years or ten or even twenty? Do you bring work home? Do you live to work or work to live? How does your work affect the familial domain? How do you intend to bring about a work-life balance? Are you working your dream job or plan to get there? If you are on the journey, how do you intend to sync the work-life timetables together? How does your work play in on your long-term future together – will both of you keep at your jobs when you have kids? Or would one of you be expected to stay back at home to raise them?

career goals

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It is very important to discuss these and many more related questions about your professional life that have a direct bearing on your lives together. Instead of subjecting yourselves to marital discord about competition in terms of your professional stature, insecurity stemming from your financial position or plain instability in your personal life owing to poor time investment in marriage due to wonky work hours, it is better to agree upon a path you can tread on together to carve out your professional niches. This could be in the form of trade-offs like working long hours in the beginning of marriage for a stable and secure future may be reasonable and might leave a partner better-positioned to take a step back from work to plan a family. However, that is one suggestion and as with money, there is no right or wrong strategy – only an optimal one that works best for the two of you.

4. Passion and interests

couple cycling

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While it may have been easy to extend convivial settings toward your partner to help him/her enjoy things they are passionate about separately whilst enjoying areas of mutual interest together when you were dating, it shall not be so in marriage. Marriage entails that you spend 7884 mundane Mondays together while tedious Tuesdays and weird Wednesdays follow close on heels. Marriage will not (well, not always) be about romantic dinners and walks in the moonlight. It shall be about that 3267th lunch you have together in the home that you took some precious years to buy and move into. It will not be about your honeymoon as it would be about the fourth day of the 78th vacation you take together. So, for a person you are going to spend SO MUCH time with, you need to have more in common with than a flimsy interest in similar movies. Probe the area and delve deeper to find out about your partner’s passion in life. Dig into their hobbies and interests and see if you share anything in common. Find out if you can enjoy gardening or river-rafting together. A lifetime is a long time to disagree about what you want to do on a lifetime’s worth of weekends!

5. Past


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Surprised?? Well, unlike what other relationship advice forums shall tell you, you are only going to get honesty served on a platter here. Even if it threatens to give you an upset stomach later. Discussing your past before getting married is extremely important for either partner to gauge what they are getting into. Our past has a role in shaping our present and a terrifying capacity to influence our future. No matter whether your past has been flooded with painful experiences or is painted in happy hues, it is important to share it with your to-be spouse. Getting real about where one is coming from enables one to have a complete picture while looking back at a past that can be conducively appropriated to become an enabling force in moving forward. I am not, even for a moment, implying that you scrape out every tiny detail or probe into off-limit areas such as intimate details about previous relationships (although this too is highly subjective and can vary from couple to couple, depending on their equation) but knowing about one’s past relationships, family history, childhood, and their experiences in life shall help you see them in a new light and understand a little more of how their reactions and behavior is, in some sense, a consequence of or a take-away from experiential learning.

6. Family


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An integral component of life, it is important that you be on the same page about the F-factor. Duh uh – the family factor! How close are you to your family? How involved do you think they would be in decisions pertaining to your lives together? How often would you want to be with your folks? What say would the family members have in disputes or family planning? How will visits, holidays, and special occasions impact your marital life? Will you pick your family traditions or begin your own new ones? Bringing two people together in holy matrimony is, in a way, bringing two families together in close union. Therefore, this element must be taken into consideration before one says ‘I do.’

7. Sex


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Are you on the same page about sharing the same bed for the rest of your lives? While our views on sexuality might have been shaped long before we tie the knot, it is important that the couple agrees on the expectations in the realm, beforehand. Is monogamy the hard-and-fast rule or is an open marriage up for negotiation? If not, how do you plan to keep the spark alive? How often would you have sex? What are the kinds of experimentation you’d be open to? Are you game for BDSM and other whacky and kinky romping ideas? How would you handle a situation where one of you wants it and the other does not? Would you ever drag out a fight on the topic of sex? How much understanding can you extend when it comes to extending/withholding ravenous romps? There’s only one way to know – TALK about it.

8. Dreams and expectations


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This is a tricky realm. Whilst some dreams are an absolute must-have (like owning a dream home), there might be other unrealistic ones like that of a cozy condo or macked-out tree house that you might be able to let go of. However, that does not preclude the need to share them with your partner. For example, if you absolutely must start your own venture someday, it would be a good idea to get your partner to hop on board. Similarly, expectations from life, love, marriage are all part and parcel of the being you are going to spend your life with and the onus that you’d be consciously or not-so-much accepting to shoulder. The only thing to remember here is to be completely open and honest about your dreams and expectations so that your partner knows what he or she is getting into. The pro tip, however, to remember in this case is to extend the fulfillment of expectations before you expect it.

9. Faith


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Whilst one may enter marriage thinking that this component isn’t all that important at all, it does surface once the couple has kids. A difference in one’s religious values may be a tough discrepancy to reckon with. Therefore, discussions about prayer life, reading God’s word, spiritual roles, theological beliefs, and denominational preferences are all things that need to be considered and discussed before you get married.

10. Boundaries


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Basically, this one encompasses anything and everything under the sun. From maintaining healthy boundaries to keep oneself sane and healthy (physically as well as emotionally) to agreeing upon mutually-decided ones about one’s code of conduct for family, friends, interaction with colleagues, and members from the opposite sex – the list is endless. There can be a discussion about whether or not work can be brought into the bedroom to a discussion about what you’d never do in front of the kids. If there is any topic that pops into your mind that is suspect to loosening those nuts and bolts that keep your marriage-machine going, here’s where you need to discuss it. And before you get married, please!

Suggested read: 8 scientific ways marriage correlates to happiness

11. Struggles


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Marriage magnifies everything – your strengths, your weaknesses, and even your love. So, in this weird yet delicious and delectable blend of paradoxes, you may encounter a few elements that tagged along but couldn’t have been more farther from desirable than another universe! These are your struggles or chains of bad habits. And before you steam up the pressure cooker of marriage, it is better to weed out the possibility of an explosion by removing the toxic struggles that may cause your marriage pressure cooker to burst without so much as a warning whistle. So, before you get married, have an open conversation about any such struggles that might surface in due course – addictive behavior or a short temper, perhaps? Anything that needs careful introspection and hard work to become better and conducive to matrimony.

12. Non-negotiables


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All of us have certain bucket lists and deal breakers. It is important that one lists out the negotiables and non-negotiables in the relationship right away. Befriending an ex might burn the bridge before you are halfway across it and infidelity might be an immediate cause for separation. So, it is absolutely crucial that a couple has a checklist of sorts prepared to list out what their negotiables and non negotiables are.

13. Coping patterns

man woman disagreement

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A person’s ability to handle fights, conflicts, stress, grief, depression, and hurt or anger are all crucial for marriage. Knowing how your to-be spouse deals with these situations enables you to lay down ground rules for acceptable fight-behavior or effective de-stressing or conflict resolution. It also helps to acknowledge all the behaviors that are off-limits and unacceptable – for example – sly manipulation, deceit, violence or blame-game. Whilst it is true that one learns more of the coping patterns when one is accustomed to living with the person, a good degree of self-awareness may enable you to have a talk that shall put your marriage boat sailing on smooth waters.

14. Division of labor

household chores division

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Dishes, laundry, cooking, yada, yada, yada … discuss how you plan to divide household duties. Having all the responsibilities fall squarely on your shoulder isn’t going to help your marriage. This shall not only make you tired and irritable but those frequent outbursts shall create cracks in your marriage that may increasingly widen into rifts and then unbridgeable gaps. An effective system of division of labor works best and it helps forge a healthy relationship. Barter, negotiate, and come to a middle-ground about doing things that are liked by each of you and divide up those that none of you are too keen on by drawing a schedule or plan. So, if you think this shall magically happen post-marriage, you’d better be prepared to do the laundry, empty the trash, and cook whilst also staying up to do the dishes, all by yourself. Have the talk before you get married and hold your partner accountable to the same.

Suggested read: Don’t plan a wedding, plan a marriage

15. Interpersonal relationships

interpersonal relationships

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How often do you expect me to see my friends? How close do you expect me to be with friends of the opposite sex? How do you feel about my family? What do you think I should be like with your folks? Do you expect me to be pally with all your friends, irrespective of whether I like them or not? How much information about our relationship do you expect me to divulge to others? What are your limits on my emotional or physical closeness with others? It is important that you address all such questions before getting married. A marriage binds two people in a relationship, wherein each partner has some expectations from the other about the behavior/attitude they have toward their close ones. So, discuss this and see if you can hop on board with the complete knowledge.

That’s our comprehensive list for things every couple must definitely discuss before getting married. Tell us if you’ve had the talk yet, in the comments section below. :)

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Article Name
15 Mandatory Things To Know Before Getting Married
70% of marital problems would not occur if a couple has 'the talk' before getting married - what about, you ask? Read about the things to know for certain.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."