Authored by: Jim Emerson
November 13, 2018
You have spent months planning your wedding day, but how much time have you invested in discussing situations and events that may cause stress in your marriage? So, before your big day talk through a few of the following potentially touchy issues and consider how you will work through them if they occur at some point during your marriage.
When you’re married, your family unit becomes you, your spouse, and your children. But how about your parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews? These extended family members can bring some of the greatest joys to your marriage, but they may also be some of your relationship’s greatest challenges. How much time do you spend with your family now, and how much do you expect to spend with them once you’re married and potentially have children?
Bringing two families together, the arrival of your own children, or decision not to have children, are issues that can cause family tension. Ultimately, you are a team, and you should present a united front when any inter-family arguments arise.
Having and Raising Kids
This is a biggie. If you haven’t already openly communicated your feelings towards starting a family, now is the time to discuss where you each stand on the issue. How many children do you think you want – if any at all – and how long into your marriage do you wait to have kids? If you are bringing kids into a new marriage, how should they be disciplined?
If there are fertility issues, are you open to adoption, becoming a foster parent or is IVF an option? These topics may not be the easiest to talk about,but chatting about how you’d handle these issues will make it easier if the event ever arises.
Religion can be an extremely divisive issue in a marriage. If you practice a religion or have a particular faith, how important is it that your partner share the same faith as you? It may not be a major consideration now, but problems may arisewhen children arrive and you’re deciding on how to raise them. What religion, if any, do you want to raise them in? So, talk about your faith, and how you see it affecting your shared life, nowand down the road.
Finances is one of the biggest causes of stress and tension in many relationships,but it’s a conversation you absolutely must have before marriage. So, instead of avoiding the subject or sweeping it under the rug, have an in-depth discussion about the specifics of your finances, your expectations and budget.
Decide whether you’ll pool your money or retain separate bank accounts. If you decide on separate accounts, who will be responsible for paying what expenses, how will you address gift-giving or charitable donations, or large investments? What would you do if one of you won the lottery, gained an inheritance or lost your job? Do you have an emergency fund and how will you contribute to the fund?
On the other hand, if you combine your financial resources, have you planned and budgeted how to pay off your existing debt or save for the future? There isn’t a single answer that works for every couple, and that’s why you need to communicate your expectations before marriage and not after it develops into an argument.
How committed is each of you to your careers and how will your choice impact your marriage? You might have touched on your career goals and aspirations, but have you discussed what you’d do if one of you needed or wanted to relocate for work? Where do you want to plant your career roots? Whatever that looks like, make sure your partner is on board. Even if it’s not in the cards right now, it’s worthwhile having a game plan.
Till the End
Although an inevitability, death is still a difficult topic to talk about. Talking about it, however, can help you face the realities and cope a little better when you experience bereavement. Who will be your beneficiary, and who will raise your kids should something happen to both of you. Do you both have wills?
In Sickness and Health
Changes in your own health or the health of a loved one can be a source of great anxiety in any marriage. What would happen if one of your parents or extended family member required a lot of support or needed to be moved to an extended care facility? Discussing your feelings and possible options before marriage, may help you both one day.
Some couples prefer spending time together participating in shared interests, while others value keeping up separate friendships through sport or other avocations. How much time together is just right for you?
The biggest issue of all however, is will you have a TV in your bedroom? Answering this all-important question before you get married and the season begins, could provide valuable insight into how you see your married life together
About the Author: Jim Emerson
Jim has helped over 1,100 couples reduce the stress of creating their personal and unique wedding ceremony. He is a husband, father, friend, author, triathlete, handyman, teacher and passionate about his family and work. Jim can help you imagine, create and celebrate your dream wedding ceremony. Contact him today, he’d love to hear from you.