With all the wedding planning and focus on the big day, it can sometimes be overlooked that the relationship part will actually last longer than your wedding day (crazy right?!) Whilst church weddings still require pre-marital counselling, most couples go into marriage without necessarily having addressed the big issues, that will inevitably come up during a long-term, committed relationship. Relationships can be the best thing since sliced bread, but here are a few topics that could cause headaches further down the track.
It's a non-fun subject, but one that needs to be raised. If one of you is in a lot of debt and overspends, it will impact the other and can cause problems down the track. How do you each like to spend money? Are you comfortable if your partner earns more/less than you? Would you be ok to support your partner financially? Money is said to be the number one reason why couples separate, so it's definitely one that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
This is potentially an awkward topic to bring up on your wedding day, so make sure to discuss this beforehand. There is no right or wrong, but it's important that you find an option that both you and your partner are happy with.
Make sure you are open and honest about what your life goals are, so that there are no surprises further into your relationship. Of course new goals come up, but if your idea of happiness is a life in the suburbs with three kids, while your partner wants to travel the world - you may need to make some compromises to make both dreams come true.
Have this conversation early on. It is important to believe your partners stance on having kids, rather than thinking they will change their mind later down the track. Also check in on your own beliefs - what would you do if your partner decides they want kids or changed their mind that they don't want children? How do you feel about Fertility Support/Adoption/Fostering?
How You'll Raise Those Kids
It's funny how much our own childhood shapes us in how we raise (or don't raise) our children. It is likely that your partner and you have had two very different upbringings and two very different interpretations of how you wish to raise your child. Discuss things like routine, discipline, rituals, religion, schooling etc. in advance.
How do you wish to care for elderly or ill parents? This needs to be a decision that you can both agree on. Would your partner be okay with your parents moving in, or living close by?
What is important to you and what would you like to maintain in your own family. This can include mundane things like eating at your dining table, to how you celebrate holidays or how much religion plays a part in your relationship.
What does an ideal marriage look like to you?
The reality is that marriage has its ups and downs, and a relationship takes commitment, honesty, perseverance and forgiveness. However, it's important to talk about what an ideal marriage looks like to both of you so that you can have an open and honest conversation before saying I do.