5 must-discuss topics before getting married
Understandably, the wedding planning process can be extremely long-winded and demanding. With this comes the tendency to place greater focus on planning the wedding day than the marriage itself. Remember, the wedding is a one day event while marriage is a forever journey. It is therefore essential to lay a solid foundation for your marriage by discussing and being in sync on the issues we discuss below which are some of the greatest causes of conflicts in marriage.
Yes, we know. You don’t like talking about money, neither do we. Nobody does quite frankly as conversations about money tend to be quite difficult to have. However, as money–related issues continue to be one of the highest causes of divorce, it has become more and more important for couples to discuss this topic before tying the knot. Topics such as earnings, debt and credit scores need to be discussed to get an idea of each other’s financial standing prior to marriage.
Another aspect of finances that should be discussed and agreed upon is each party’s contribution to living and household costs. This may be based on each partner’s level and frequency of income e.g. All costs to be summed up and a percentage to be contributed by each partner, or one partner pays the rent/mortgage while the other handles utility bills and grocery etc. You should agree on a system that works for your relationship.
Many relationships consist of one partner being a saver and the other being a spender. This already may be a disaster waiting to happen as there will be an element of frustration or resentment from either party if not properly discussed or managed. The saver partner may feel that it is unfair that the spender partner sees every visit to the mall as a shopping spree, or the spender partner may feel it is unfair that they are unable to live their best life and enjoy the finer things in life due to always living on a budget. It is therefore important that couples discuss this topic and reach an agreement on their spending and saving plan.
Additionally, it is never a bad idea to set some money aside either individually or as a couple for rainy days or to fund future projects or investments.
Another of the topics to discuss before getting married is in regard to starting a family. Some people love big families while some don’t. Some don’t even want children at all. It is therefore extremely important that these conversations are had to discuss and agree on how many kids you intend to have if any, how long you’d like to wait before starting to try, and the ideal intervals between them.
Also, issues such as schooling plans, whether private or state education should be discussed. Although life may alter plans, a discussion beforehand gives an insight into each partner’s thought process regarding this. This may then be re-discussed or reassessed when it’s decision time.
Many Africans, especially Nigerians are very family oriented. As good a thing as this is, it sometimes comes with downfalls. To a reasonable extent, both partners must try their absolute best to be respectful, hospitable and welcoming at all times, however, topics such as how long in-laws can stay when they visit as well as boundaries must be discussed and agreed upon. A feeling of resentment and unfair treatment may be built if one partner feels that the other’s family are more welcome than theirs.
Although, in this day and age, family members are being more cautious, it must be generally agreed upon that contact must be made prior to visits so that issues such as family members showing up unexpectedly may be avoided. Ultimately, both partners must try to be understanding and loving enough to accept the other’s family however they are, difficult or otherwise.
At the point of being engaged and wedding planning, it is safe to assume that you would have already discussed and be aligned in your life goals. However, if you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! You should discuss topics such as your career paths and it’s expected demands, as a promotion or higher level role for either partner may demand more travel or perhaps relocation etc., which may be difficult to manage if one party isn’t keen on living in a different country/location for is example. Even if don’t know exactly how things will pan out in the future, it is essential to discuss so you are both on-board with each other’s ideas.
Any others you’d like to add? Comment below!