It is easy to get carried away with your wedding plans and be totally consumed with the details for months before the big day. Regardless of how long you and your intended have known each other, or lived together, there are questions that need to be discussed between you if you want a good marriage.
For all its glamour and excitement, your wedding lasts one day in the rest of your life. Discussing the following questions could have a real impact on whether or not the two of you marry at all.
There are seven major points of contention that can make or break a marriage over time: sex, career demands, living location, money/finances, household chores, individual pet peeves and whether or not both of you want children.
#1…Are your sexual preferences compatible? You need to know whether or not either one of you has a sexually transmitted disease. Get tested together and be positive. Do you like sex at the same time during the day and on the same or similar frequency? Are you both willing to experiment?
A married couple’s sex life is a major part of their marriage and examining your sexual compatibility before you wed will predict marriage bliss or disaster. Even if you were living together before you got engaged, openly discussing what is expected after your marriage will go a long way to making your marriage a pleasant experience.
#2…If you are planning on being a two-career family, the time constraints and the opportunities for advancement are two topics that need to be discussed fully in advance of your wedding. Do either one of you expect to work long hours and weekends? Will either one be expected to travel out of town and overnight frequently? Will one of you need more education or training?
#3…Where will you live and in what type of housing arrangement? Apartment? House in the suburbs? Do both of you like the same living environment, like small towns, big cities or suburbs?
#4…How do both of your really feel about children? Do you want any? How many? When do you want to start building your family? Will you both continue to work after the first child is born? If yes, who will take care of the child while you both are at work? Can you afford daycare or a live-in nanny?
#5…Do you have deep differences on how you spend your money? Who will pay the bills? Do you argue now over spending money for gifts, dates or
vacations? Are you in debt already? How will you save for your retirement?
#6…Household chores are the starting point for many an argument in lots of marriages. Discuss who does the household chores, cooks and washes the dishes. Who goes to the grocery store or gets the oil changed in the cars?
Some chores are left to the weekends by married couples who both work. Who is going to mow the lawn or plant, weed and water the garden? Will you both recognize that your weekday jobs are stressful to both of you and that stress is not a reason to claim an inability to do more than watch TV on weekends?
#7…Have you identified each other’s pet peeves and tried to change your own behavior to keep peace in the relationship? Little things can cause a lot of bad feelings in a marriage and it is a good idea to get these pet peeves settled before they cause a tear in the fabric of your marriage. Discuss whether or not it bothers you if the cap is left off the toothpaste or the toilet paper roll is not replaced the way you think it should be.
When you are discussing these questions and you get “that feeling” that makes you feel uneasy or that you should have said “no” instead of “yes” when one of you popped the question, slow things down and rethink your pending marriage.
A wedding is an event, while a marriage can span forty or fifty years, or more. Don’t ignore major differences and think that you can just live with them. It doesn’t work that way.
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