Developing healthy and open conversations is the key to building trust and intimacy in a relationship . There are significant benefits when couples engage in open, two-way conversations on topics surrounding life before tying the knot. As marriage is a lifelong commitment, it is vital that you have a clear view of what is ahead before jumping into it. Besides understanding your partner's views and desires, these conversations can also reveal any dealbreakers and your long-term compatibility .
Here are five conversations to talk through with your partner before getting married:
Family Planning: Will you have children? It can be challenging if both parties do not have a mutual agreement on whether to start a family. Finding compromise might be difficult and negative emotions like resentment or anger could arise in such situations. Be intentional to talk through your feelings and try to reach an understanding . If having children is in the plans, talk about how building a family would look like for both of you. We bring in different parenting styles into marriages, and they are mostly based on our upbringing . Make sure to reconcile any differences in the way you were brought up and discuss how you wish to raise your children in the future.
Career: How important is your career to you? The level of importance a job is to a person would determine how much work would encroach on their lives . Spending an extended amount of time at work may pose problems in your marriage as it compromises on your time together . Lay out your priorities and work through any possible disagreements. Your career choice could also affect where you live, how you plan to retire or even start a family. Communicate openly with your partner about your career plans and goals before reaching an understanding about your future together .
Finances: Will you have joined or separate bank accounts? Talking about money is not easy but necessary for couples who wish to get married. Discuss how you and your partner will manage all sources of income, and how you will divide your financial responsibilities such as house mortgage, car, utility bills and household expenses . Be honest about any debts, credit cards, and potential overdrafts before making the commitment . Seek to understand each other’s spending habits and adapt to it. Setting expectations and some common ground can be beneficial for the couple .
Lifestyle: How do you relax after a long day of work? Find out if your partner’s way of loosening up is spending time together or having their personal space to unwind. Understanding this will minimise potential conflicts or misunderstandings. There is a good chance that the two of you have different hobbies and interests. While it is fine to spend time apart from each other, engaging in quality time together is essential to grow a strong marriage. Read up on things that interest your partner or play their favourite game with them. Make an effort to learn and enjoy each other’s hobbies .
Extended Family: How much influence will your extended families have on your marriage? Their influence can be in the area of providing financial advice, taking care of the children, or making frequent visits to your place. We were all brought up differently and that could have shaped the way we manage conflicts and communications . Learn about each other’s views, form expectations upfront and decide how much time should be given to your extended families. As a married couple, it should ultimately be your priority to establish your own traditions, values, and boundaries.
Creating a successful marriage is not a bed of roses but it is possible with hard work and commitment. Take time to engage in these open and honest conversations before stepping into marriage. Prioritise communication and keep having these conversations as you journey together.
Interested to learn about how you can prepare for a fulfilling and life-long marriage? Contact TOUCH Marriage Support at [email protected] or click here to find out more.
TOUCH Marriage Support aims to enrich marriages to build a strong foundation for families. Through a range of holistic programmes led by experienced marriage educators and counsellors, TOUCH Marriage Support prepares young couples for marriage, strengthens spousal relationships, guides couples through conflict resolution, and empowers couples to navigate and cope with the stressors and challenges which they may face in their marriage.
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