Marriage talks about major issues are essential to have before the vows are made
Marriage talks about values are just as important as falling in love. Sometimes love is not enough. If you are afraid to speak about the negative things that might happen and what you’d do about them, then you may be facing trouble down the road. It’s a truism in relationships that the conversations that you tend to really want to avoid are the ones you most need to have. Before marriage, there are several things that you should talk about. While these conversations can be difficult in the moment, they can also be liberating, giving you far more insight into your partner and preventing some serious misunderstandings in the future. These are three big areas that many couples don’t want to discuss, but they should. If you’re not the marrying type, but combining households, these subjects are just as important things to discuss.
It’s good to talk about this first because it’s a major component of the other two conversations. Money is a taboo topic in many families, and in many others, it’s simply an unexamined one. Unfortunately, that lack of examination can actually have devastating consequences. Financial issues often lead to conflict and even divorce, but in many cases, if couples simply sat down and talked about money, this wouldn’t have to happen.
This is not just about who has how much money or debt but about attitudes toward money—your own and that of the family you grew up in. For example, one person may be a saver because one parent was a big spender and the family struggled to pay rent and put food on the table. Getting these attitudes out in the open and discussing how to compromise on them can head off a lot of problems. Couples might even want to work with a counselor on this one.
This is an even more unpopular conversation than money, but it’s another important one. What do you want to happen to your things if something happens to one of you? Do you need life insurance policies? Do you have children together, or do you plan to have children, and if so, who would you want to be their guardian? You should also talk about what kind of end-of-life care either of you would want since you will probably be responsible for the healthcare decisions for the other person if they are incapacitated. You can review an end-of-life planning checklist to make sure that you have covered everything.
Marriage talk about divorce is really important because so many marriages don’t last beyond seven years. Did you know that? Divorce is another thing that no one wants to think or talk about, particularly at the beginning of a relationship. People can even feel a little bit superstitious about it, as though it will never happen if they don’t discuss it. In fact, talking about the possibility and at least considering a prenuptial agreement is another important step. In some cases, if one, or both partners, has a fear of abandonment, these conversations in advance of marriage can make them feel more secure that each party is willing to do the work to prevent it from happening.
If you are not married, you may want to draw up a legal document to protect you financially. While divorce is rarely an easy process, having a document that specifies what will happen to your property can make it less difficult. This may be a particularly vital conversation to have if you have children from a previous relationship because you may want to make sure that you protect certain assets for them.
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