9 Topics to Discuss Before Saying “I Do”!

Tips For A Successful Marriage

My grandmother, Catherine, was born in Ireland and raised in Scotland. She was barely five feet and had a thick Scottish burr. Her sense of humor was dry, and she often conveyed a great deal of wisdom in a one line delivery or a short poem. I remember my older sister discussing her impending marriage. She was dewy-eyed and in love, so excited to start the next phase of her life with the man of her dreams. I never forgot what my grandmother said that day to my sister in her thick Scottish burr.  “Awk now Judy, jist rrremembare, loove is blind boot marriage is an eye-opener!” I was eighteen years old, and I giggled to myself. But after thirty-one years of marriage that one line is so very right. We tend to keep a blind eye to anything during courtship, but when you finally tie the knot, your eyes will open wide to reality. (Whether you like it or not.)

I was twenty-five years old when my husband proposed. I asked him if we ever ran into issues would he be open to therapy. He didn’t miss a heartbeat and replied yes. Well, that sealed the deal. I knew the best of marriages need tweaking. It was important for me that he be open to the occasional “wedlock tune-up.” That might have been a deal breaker for me if he did not respond with a yes.  I’m not going to fib. My marriage has had its challenges. All marriages do. But we created a blueprint to follow that has worked for us.

Our matrimonial plan based on the grace and strength from God is the foundation. We stay tethered to His word and love.  A continuous dialogue of needs, desires, and expectations, even when you are sick of talking! A fierce love for each other. The unwavering support from good family/friends and our church ministers. Then throw in a good amount of patience, understanding, the true meaning of forgiveness and a strong sense of humor, well, I can say, our blueprint blessed us with one heck of a rich and full marriage!

Begin your matrimonial blueprint before you get married.  Talk about your views on what your marriage will look like in the first year, five years to thirty-one years. Address relevant topics that could pose concerns when you are married. Here are nine topics to get the conversation rolling. Pour a glass of wine, snuggle up and open your hearts to open and honest dialogue before you say “I do!”

Finances

It’s essential to discuss finances.  It is a delicate topic for most couples. The way we handle our funds may be different from our partner’s so when a discussion ensues make sure you establish a ” judgment-free zone “when going over each other’s views on money, salary, bank account balance, and credit scores. Also, dig deeper and get your partner’s thoughts on savings for retirement and figuring out how to manage the day to day flow of money for rent, groceries, electricity and other bills. It’s great if both of you have the same mindset on handling finances. It’s more of a challenge if one is a saver and one is a spender. Having a clear understanding and game plan of who will be handling the finances should be discussed.  One of you may have to step out of your comfort zone and compromise on things like enrolling in automatic bill pay, using cash instead of credit and drawing up a household budget, but doing so will help in the long run from having financial conflicts.

Children

Discuss whether you want children or not. If you both want children, dig deeper like when would you try or what if getting pregnant becomes difficult. Dealing with infertility can be stressful and exhausting. A discussion of what to do if things do not go according to plan is advisable. Find out if your partner would be open to options such as infertility treatments and adoption.  Having kids is a significant life changer knowing your partner’s thoughts before times get tough may help you prepare for those difficult and often expensive decisions.

In-Laws

Coming from close families and learning to strike a balance between visiting In-laws and spending alone time as a couple may cause issues for your marriage. Your families may not have conveyed expectations until after the “I do’s.” Discuss a solid plan beforehand you get married in regards to seeing family on the holidays/vacations. It’s also important to carve time for yourselves for holidays/vacations so you can develop your traditions. Some families feel like you are not a family until you have your children. That is far from the truth. You and your partner started your family unit when you said: “I do!” Start discussing, planning and conveying your major and minor holidays/vacations to your partner and your extended family before you tie the knot.

Establishing Spending Limits

You may decide not to merge your finances, in fact, most pros recommend to keep separate accounts for “fun money” and a joint account for shared household expenses.  If you do decide to have one communal pot, it is important to know where your partner stands on purchases made from the joint account. Coming up with a number that you can both agree upon will prevent you from questioning your spouse’s every transaction and establishes a mutual trust in keeping financial goals in mind. It also helps when you are buying gifts for each other.

Spilling Relationship Secrets

Disagreements happen but many couples share with friends or family then go home and work it out alone. Many times you don’t go back to say you kissed and made up and this is indeed not fair to your spouse. Family and friends may harbor negative feelings based on what you share, and it can negatively impact their opinion. Having someone outside your marriage to confide can be helpful but it’s important to share both the good and the bad, so they have a well-rounded view of your spouse.

Religion

How important is a religion to you and to your future relationship? If two people come from different religious backgrounds do you pursue your religious affiliation or try to blend? Religion and religious tradition usually become an issue when children add to the mix.  It is best to discuss your views and how you would handle children’s religious education before you start a family.

Sex

A healthy relationship will include discussion of how important is sex to you and for your partner. Make sure you have an open dialogue of what intimacy is for you and how to maintain the romance. Many different factors can affect your sex life such as finding time, stress, children, careers.  Open and honest conversations are crucial to keep the love light glowing.

Delegating Responsibilities

We all had a less than the ideal roommate. Dishes are accumulating in the sink. Dirty laundry is littering the entire apartment. You get the picture. A conversation about household chores and the expectations of keeping house should be discussed to prevent feelings of resentment and fatigue. Studies show that sharing household responsibilities plays a leading factor in a happy marriage.

Be Open to Wedlock Tune-ups!

No marriage is perfect. Be open to therapy if you and your partner have exhausted a situation that you can not make right on your own. Sometimes having an outside input from a third party can help you and your partner to see the issue in a different light and move you in a positive direction towards healing and restoration.

 

Post Written By PKM

September 15, 2018

9 Topics to Discuss Before Saying “I Do”!

Tips For A Successful Marriage

My grandmother, Catherine, was born in Ireland and raised in Scotland. She was barely five feet and had a thick Scottish burr. Her sense of humor was dry, and she often conveyed a great deal of wisdom in a one line delivery or a short poem. I remember my older sister discussing her impending marriage. She was dewy-eyed and in love, so excited to start the next phase of her life with the man of her dreams. I never forgot what my grandmother said that day to my sister in her thick Scottish burr.  “Awk now Judy, jist rrremembare, loove is blind boot marriage is an eye-opener!” I was eighteen years old, and I giggled to myself. But after thirty-one years of marriage that one line is so very right. We tend to keep a blind eye to anything during courtship, but when you finally tie the knot, your eyes will open wide to reality. (Whether you like it or not.)

I was twenty-five years old when my husband proposed. I asked him if we ever ran into issues would he be open to therapy. He didn’t miss a heartbeat and replied yes. Well, that sealed the deal. I knew the best of marriages need tweaking. It was important for me that he be open to the occasional “wedlock tune-up.” That might have been a deal breaker for me if he did not respond with a yes.  I’m not going to fib. My marriage has had its challenges. All marriages do. But we created a blueprint to follow that has worked for us.

Our matrimonial plan based on the grace and strength from God is the foundation. We stay tethered to His word and love.  A continuous dialogue of needs, desires, and expectations, even when you are sick of talking! A fierce love for each other. The unwavering support from good family/friends and our church ministers. Then throw in a good amount of patience, understanding, the true meaning of forgiveness and a strong sense of humor, well, I can say, our blueprint blessed us with one heck of a rich and full marriage!

Begin your matrimonial blueprint before you get married.  Talk about your views on what your marriage will look like in the first year, five years to thirty-one years. Address relevant topics that could pose concerns when you are married. Here are nine topics to get the conversation rolling. Pour a glass of wine, snuggle up and open your hearts to open and honest dialogue before you say “I do!”

Finances

It’s essential to discuss finances.  It is a delicate topic for most couples. The way we handle our funds may be different from our partner’s so when a discussion ensues make sure you establish a ” judgment-free zone “when going over each other’s views on money, salary, bank account balance, and credit scores. Also, dig deeper and get your partner’s thoughts on savings for retirement and figuring out how to manage the day to day flow of money for rent, groceries, electricity and other bills. It’s great if both of you have the same mindset on handling finances. It’s more of a challenge if one is a saver and one is a spender. Having a clear understanding and game plan of who will be handling the finances should be discussed.  One of you may have to step out of your comfort zone and compromise on things like enrolling in automatic bill pay, using cash instead of credit and drawing up a household budget, but doing so will help in the long run from having financial conflicts.

Children

Discuss whether you want children or not. If you both want children, dig deeper like when would you try or what if getting pregnant becomes difficult. Dealing with infertility can be stressful and exhausting. A discussion of what to do if things do not go according to plan is advisable. Find out if your partner would be open to options such as infertility treatments and adoption.  Having kids is a significant life changer knowing your partner’s thoughts before times get tough may help you prepare for those difficult and often expensive decisions.

In-Laws

Coming from close families and learning to strike a balance between visiting In-laws and spending alone time as a couple may cause issues for your marriage. Your families may not have conveyed expectations until after the “I do’s.” Discuss a solid plan beforehand you get married in regards to seeing family on the holidays/vacations. It’s also important to carve time for yourselves for holidays/vacations so you can develop your traditions. Some families feel like you are not a family until you have your children. That is far from the truth. You and your partner started your family unit when you said: “I do!” Start discussing, planning and conveying your major and minor holidays/vacations to your partner and your extended family before you tie the knot.

Establishing Spending Limits

You may decide not to merge your finances, in fact, most pros recommend to keep separate accounts for “fun money” and a joint account for shared household expenses.  If you do decide to have one communal pot, it is important to know where your partner stands on purchases made from the joint account. Coming up with a number that you can both agree upon will prevent you from questioning your spouse’s every transaction and establishes a mutual trust in keeping financial goals in mind. It also helps when you are buying gifts for each other.

Spilling Relationship Secrets

Disagreements happen but many couples share with friends or family then go home and work it out alone. Many times you don’t go back to say you kissed and made up and this is indeed not fair to your spouse. Family and friends may harbor negative feelings based on what you share, and it can negatively impact their opinion. Having someone outside your marriage to confide can be helpful but it’s important to share both the good and the bad, so they have a well-rounded view of your spouse.

Religion

How important is a religion to you and to your future relationship? If two people come from different religious backgrounds do you pursue your religious affiliation or try to blend? Religion and religious tradition usually become an issue when children add to the mix.  It is best to discuss your views and how you would handle children’s religious education before you start a family.

Sex

A healthy relationship will include discussion of how important is sex to you and for your partner. Make sure you have an open dialogue of what intimacy is for you and how to maintain the romance. Many different factors can affect your sex life such as finding time, stress, children, careers.  Open and honest conversations are crucial to keep the love light glowing.

Delegating Responsibilities

We all had a less than the ideal roommate. Dishes are accumulating in the sink. Dirty laundry is littering the entire apartment. You get the picture. A conversation about household chores and the expectations of keeping house should be discussed to prevent feelings of resentment and fatigue. Studies show that sharing household responsibilities plays a leading factor in a happy marriage.

Be Open to Wedlock Tune-ups!

No marriage is perfect. Be open to therapy if you and your partner have exhausted a situation that you can not make right on your own. Sometimes having an outside input from a third party can help you and your partner to see the issue in a different light and move you in a positive direction towards healing and restoration.

 

Post Written By PKM

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