What To Do Before You Say “I Do”
The engagement and the lead-up to your marriage is the perfect time to make sure you and your spouse-to-be are on the same page about the important things in life, like finances, household responsibilities, and how you communicate as a couple. If you need to have a deep and meaningful discussion with your partner, relationship author Susan Ziegelhofer has this advice on important topics for you to cover.
Relationships are exciting and as you transition to the engagement stage as a couple or cross off another year in your relationship, there are many things to ask your partner before you begin your lives together. Have you asked each other the tough, scary questions? Below are 7 important questions you and your significant other should discuss and agree upon before marriage (or even if you’ve already tied the knot):
1. How will you deal with your each other’s pre-existing debts? Discuss through your college loans, car loans, child support, previous house liens, credit card debt, etc.
2. Who will be in charge of what household duties? These include groceries, cleaning, yard work, household maintenance, car maintenance and finances. Be fair and rotate chores if that works best, that way they will always be equal.
3. Are there potential red flags that need to be discussed prior to the nuptials, such as excessive drinking, flirting or intrusive parents, family members or friends? Be honest and open with your partner if you noticed some potential problems. Deal with them now and determine if you are both willing to compromise.
4. Is having a date night important to you and your partner, fiancé or spouse? Get into the habit of having one night, without technology, for just the two of you to share. It may not seem important now, but if you decide to have children later it will become a very important habit.
5. How will you as a couple share ideas, problems and issues fairly? Make sure there is mutual respect for each other’s opinions. Keep this in the back of your mind when arguing over something irrelevant (which is truly the bulk of the arguments). Think about how important the argument really is in the scheme of things. Would you rather be right or happy, then move passed it.
6. Do you understand the difference between the way men and women handle situations? It helps to remember that most men are analytical, problem solvers and think in black and white. Most women are emotional, intuitive and think in gray. If you understand the way the other thinks, you may understand each other better in the long term.
7. Are you prepared for unexpected obstacles that will arise in your relationship? Is at least one of you flexible to change? Early on in the relationship you may think you understand your partner and can handle problems like unemployment, job transfer(s), a disability, partner becomes ill, etc. As you both face new situations in your married life, you will discover how little you may know your partner or spouse. Truly knowing and understanding someone comes with time and experience. Stay open to change, again be flexible.
These is only touching on some of the important issues that need to be addressed. Couples at all stages can benefit from an open and honest conversation discussing the questions above. I have never heard, “I am getting married so I can get divorced down the road.” Yet, it happens. Stay prepared for every relationship scenario by knowing what to expect!
Susan Ziegelhofer has a Master’s degree in Education, with minor in psychology. Growing up, her father was a school psychologist, so she was drilled on analyzing people and solutions for as long as she can remember. Susan is the author of “What To Do Before You Say ‘I Do’”. She wrote this book so that her two children, who are in serious relationships, wouldn’t repeat her mistakes. Susan’s personal experience, education and mistakes gave her the wisdom to share what it takes to have a happy, healthy relationship. Follow Susan on Twitter and Facebook, and buy the book on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.