One of the keys to a long-lasting marriage is honesty. Through open and honest communication, you can truly count on each other as partners. You can talk before any major decision, decide together, and handle issues with each other's insights.
Whether you got engaged already or if you're simply contemplating marriage, there are certain aspects of life that you need to talk about. If you don't, it could lead to fighting in the future. The worst case scenario? Your marriage could end just because you don't understand where the other is coming from or you couldn't accept your differences in opinion.
It's best to sort out these issues before that lifelong commitment. Here are the topics you need to discuss first before you tie the knot.
This is the most important thing to talk about especially if you are living in different provinces or cities. Will one of you need to adjust and move to his or her partner's hometown? Will you both live in a different place, so there will be no hard feelings in the end? Will you relocate to be closer to your workplaces?
Most of the time, or because of tradition, the woman goes to where her husband's home is. Some families, however, find it more convenient to move in with the wife's family, such as those cases wherein the wife's parents are the ones taking care of the couple's child.
Some married couples also live with their family to save costs while they're still starting out, while others consider renting or save up for a house before marriage to live independently. These are the living situations that you need to consider.
You also need to ask each other on the type of housing you prefer, Will you rent an apartment, buy a condo, or build a new house? What will your budget allow? Ask yourselves these crucial questions.
Love knows no religion, they say, but this topic is very crucial especially if your partner is devoted to his or her religion or if his or her family wants you to be a member of a religion that's not the same as yours. This is an important topic when it comes to wedding preparation, too, since different religions have different marriage traditions.
If you end up deciding to change your religion, you need to discuss the process. Usually, there are ceremonies you need to attend, such as a baptism. Aside from knowing about the rituals, you have to schedule when you will have them accomplished, especially if they coincide with your wedding preparations.
If you do not wish to adopt your partner's religion, tell your partner honestly, and he or she should understand. We all have different beliefs, and we need to respect that. You can be married through a civil wedding in that case. Another consideration in case you have different religions would be what your kids' religion will be.
You have probably known a few or a bunch of secrets that your partner keeps. It's part of getting to know each other better, after all. It's good to exchange secrets and dig deep every once in a while. You don't want to spend your life with a virtual stranger, right?
Although it's farfetched, your partner could have committed a crime before. You never know, right? Kidding aside, your partner could be dealing with serious problems that you will eventually share or deal with once you get married.
Some people could have a massive debt they're trying to pay off. Some people could have mental health issues they're overcoming every day. Some people could have people they're avoiding. It's better to know about it before tying the knot.
4. What are your career paths like?
If you are both career-oriented, you have to make sure your choices won't be detrimental to your relationship. If you think that your partner's job isn't going to be ideal for married life due to a super busy schedule or a distance problem, do not be afraid to tell him or her that. Maybe he or she is thinking about it, too! If your partner is planning to live somewhere else and you need to leave your job, this should be discussed.
Some couples might decide that they need two incomes, so they can afford their lifestyle. Others might be able to maintain a one-income household. The guy is usually the breadwinner, but the woman could be, too. Sometimes, you could agree to save up for a business and resign from your respective jobs once you're ready. Make sure that both of you find it fulfilling, whatever your career paths would be like.
Do you both want kids? If yes, how many and when will you have them? If one of you doesn't want to have kids and the other does, will you be able to live with that difference and compromise? Not all women dream of becoming a mom and not all guys see themselves as a dad in the future.
Some people might prefer adopting rather than bearing a child, too, while others would like to "build their own basketball team" because they dream of a big family. Make sure you know what your partner's stand on having kids is.
Kids will affect your career, too. One of you might need to stay at home to watch and take care of them, or you'll need to get a helper. Most of the time, it's the woman who decides to stay at home and leave her job, but men can be stay-at-home dads, too! The decision will need to be discussed seriously, either way, and both of you must be comfortable with the decision.
As several marriage advice experts would tell you, money is the source of several people's arguments. Who's going to pay for the household bills? Who's going to pay for the kids' tuition fees? What are the luxuries you can afford, and what are the non-necessities you need to let go of? Some couples tend to forget these crucial details, so they end up having misunderstandings.
Don’t be afraid to ask your partner about budgeting. Discuss the monthly expenses, your investments, your savings (if you are going to have separate accounts or not), and your emergency money. Make sure you assign someone to be responsible for all of the bills or agree on how you will split them. If one of you makes more money than the other, don't let this be a source of insecurity or distrust. These are just a few of the money issues you have to sort out.
If you've been together for years, you have definitely experienced various fights during your boyfriend-girlfriend stage. You may have experienced serious and possibly relationship-ending arguments. During wedding preparations, you could even have clashing wedding ideas that might be the source of bickering. Fights during your married life could be way different.
When you fight while you're still dating, you get to know about each other's different personality traits and clashing preferences. You could get annoyed by your partner's quirks, and you could even consider breaking up because of incompatibility. When one of you cheats, you end the relationship and say goodbye without looking back.
When you fight after getting married, you have to learn to live with each other's flaws already. You can't just give the other the silent treatment because you live together already. You can't leave your partner without thinking it through, especially if you have kids already. When the husband or the wife cheats, it could be considered adultery, and he or she could be held liable by the law. It could be grounds for annulment, which would be a long, tiring, and expensive process.
Obviously, these are serious considerations, so talking about how you deal with fights as early as possible could ensure a harmonious relationship and a lasting marriage.
The easy topics under this would be where you will spend major holidays. Will you spend Christmas Eve at the husband's family, and then Christmas Day with the wife's parents? You should also talk about the family parties, yearly reunions, and other traditions that would be integrated into your life as husband and wife.
Beyond this, you'll have to tackle more serious issues like giving monetary support to your parents (if your situation calls for it) and lending money to some relatives. As mentioned previously, some couples might also need to live with their parents. These are touchy subjects, but if you get married without discussing these issues, it could lead to serious arguments.
It's very important for married couples to be sexually compatible, and some would be able to determine this while they're still dating. If you decide to wait until after marriage to have sex, there has to be a discussion, too. Whatever your decision is, you must consensually agree to the plan.
Likewise, you must both be aware of your reproductive health and your stand on issues like contraception. It would be ideal to have fertility checks, especially if you're planning to have kids. For women, see an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN). For men, see a urologist.
Both of you should also have routine medical check-ups since some conditions like hormonal issues and some medications could affect your chance of getting pregnant. When one of you has fertility problems and you only find out about it after tying the knot, it could cause severe marriage strife, so it's best to know about them before getting married.
The key to a successful marriage is to have goals. Send your kids to your preferred school, have a small business before you retire, travel the world when you reach the age of 40—things like that. Goals like that would make the couple feel like they have missions together to accomplish after getting married. They also give you direction and become the most important considerations when you come across major decisions.
Some people think that marriage is somewhat the "happy ending," so they stop dreaming after the wedding. However, getting married is just the start of a new journey. It's even better since you won't be alone in trying to fulfill those achievements that are important to you. Set your #lifegoals, and accomplish them with your other half.
There's no definite timeline nor an ideal number of years together to determine this. Sometimes, the discussion happens only after the guy (or the girl) proposes. Whatever the case is, you have to be open with each other when you will be ready to tie the knot. In the first place, you have to know that both of you are in a relationship with that goal of having a legal union.
Will you wait for a certain career milestone? Will you build your savings first, buy a house, or accomplish anything before taking your relationship to the next level? Will you live together prior to getting married? Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about these things.