What do you HAVE to talk about before you get married?

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@MrsPanda99:  Yup, those are all the big ones that come to mind for me. It is quite shocking that some people don’t discuss any of this stuff before marriage. I think that at least in my case, my previous relationships taught me what I do/don’t want in a marriage. When I was 22 it didn’t seem that important to discuss some of these things so I am glad that I wasn’t making any super serious commitment back then!

Post # 4
Member
3948 posts
Honey bee

I think children and finances were the biggest one for us. After 5 years together, and owning a home together we already had discussed or had to deal with some of the issues you mentioned.

The only thing we are unsure of is our parents and what we’ll do when they age. We honestly have no idea and will have to deal with it when the time comes.

My SIL is getting married soon and they can’t agree on children. He wants one, she doesnt want any. I think its a mistake to get married without coming to agreement on this.

Post # 5
Member
5932 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@MrsPanda99:  I don’t think Mr. 99 and I ever sat down and talked about anything in a “We Gotta Hash This Out Before We Get Hitched” kind of way….and I think a BIG reason we didn’t was because we were so very transparent with each other from the start. 

I knew how he operated with money, he knew how I did, we were very clear about what we were looking for in a relationship from the get go and our obligations as far as family and friends went, it all fell into focus as we went along and by the time we got married I had a very good idea of who I was marrying and what our life was going to be like.

Post # 6
Member
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Going along with finances and residence – living arrangements.  Whether to buy or rent?  And if you buy, whether to get a townhouse, condo, detached house?  How far out do you want to live out or commute?  Does the house have to be move-in ready or can it be a fixer?  My FI and I have friends who aren’t engaged but are building a new house together.  The guy is paying for the whole thing, but hasn’t voiced any preferences for house size, style, finishes, etc.  We talked with him over the weekend and he said that he liked the house but didn’t love it, and he only wanted to live in it a few years.  His SO on the other hand talked about how they would live there for years and start a big family.  A lot of us know that this isn’t going to end well.

Post # 7
Member
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@MrsPanda99:  Along the lines of jobs, I think it’s important to discuss whether both parties will be employed throughout the marriage. If you have kids, will one person stay home? Which one? Is it OK if one person quits their job to go back to school? What about being a stay-at-home husband or wife?

DH and I discussed this and decided it will be best if I stay home with the kids until they’re at least 6 or 7. This fits right in with our timeline as my mom owns her own business, and she’ll be wanting to hand it over to me around the time that I would be able to go back to work. However, some people wouldn’t be OK with having a partner staying at home. That’s hugely important.

Post # 8
Member
4576 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@MrsPanda99:  In my most recent issue of Knot magazine, there was a section like this….and it said something to the effect of “before the wedding, it’s a good idea to make sure you are on the same page about important things, like how many kids you both want (or if you don’t) and what religion to follow.”

…..Huh? “Before the wedding“?? How about “before-you-date-seriously-especially-in-a-capacity-with-marriage-potential“??

So, by that logic, it would be totally reasonable for BF and I not to discuss whether or not we want kids until we are engaged…and we’ve been dating 2+ years.

I don’t get it.

 

Post # 9
Member
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Bostongrl25:  That’s the hardest one for us, too. It seems so far away, but depending on their health, it might not be. I don’t necessarily want his parents living with us, but I don’t know what else we could do with them. We certainly can’t abandon them.

Post # 10
Member
3806 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@MrsPanda99:  I agree with your list and I will add little things like “social interaction with the opposite sex”. We discussed just about everything on your list in our pre-marital counseling classes and when the topic of “will you get annoyed if your SO goes out to lunch or dinner with coworkers of the opposite sex? or befriends a friend of the opposite sex going through a divorce?” (as examples), FI and i noticed we had different opinions on this. 

it was good that we had the opportunity to discuss it instead of walking blindly into a similar situation and going through emotional strife. we also discussed decision-making…who has the last say and the expectations of our partner. we are Christians and believe that God is the head of our lives, then the husband is the head of the household. and even though we are pretty traditional, FI is logical in understanding that i might have more experience with something than him so he will allow me to lead in those cases. 

and in other cases, even if his final decision is the wrong one (something we may find out later), i will follow him anyway. it’s his job to get us out of that mess if we end up in one. i’m glad we created a plan…even if it wouldn’t work for someone else. it’s what works for us.

Post # 11
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I think that end-of-life decisions are important to talk about, even though a lot of people really don’t want to think about it. How you both feel about life-sustaining care, what kind of arrangements you want made after death, who potential children would go to, etc. 

I tend to be proctical to the point of morbidity, so it was very important to me. MrMojito and I were partners for a long time before we got engaged and we weren’t sure if we were ever going to get married. So a long time ago we wrote our wills and put durable power of attorny (both medical and finantial) in place. Signed, witnessed, notorized, the whole deal. It’s really, really comforting to know that if anything happened to him, I would not face any barriers in getting to be by his side in the hospital, make decisions for his care if he needs it, and  handle finantial matters. 

Post # 14
Member
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2022

I think a big one that a lot of people don’t think about is knowing each others’ views on divorce. I understand that nobody wants to think their relationship will end in divorce, but for me it was really important to discuss. For me, personally, divorce is a last resort. We talked about when and under what circumstances we would consider divorce, what other measures (i.e., counseling) we would take first, and how we would handle it if children were involved.

Post # 15
Member
4831 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Nona99:  Same with us, we are pretty laid back and don’t have “meetings” about things like this but of course we’ve talked about them! I don’t know how you could be with someone for years and not talk about these things…

Post # 16
Member
2788 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MrsPanda99:  Pretty much got it covered. It’s amazing how many couples get married without talking about any of this, especially kids. Some of these things are not compromise-able, you can’t have half a kid for instance. 

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