Communication is key in fostering a healthy, loving, and long-lasting relationship with your spouse. While some couples can easily chat about virtually anything, others may feel at a slight unease when discussing certain topics—especially their future.
But, you probably already know that there are some talks that are absolutely necessary, if not at the beginning of your relationship then definitely before you tie the knot. Need an idea on where to start? Here are a few of the most important topics to bring up with your fiance(é).
Your Daily Home Life
Where and how you plan to live together is not a topic to ignore. In addition to various preferences such as house vs. apartment, or city vs. suburb, you should also try to picture your day-to-day routine together. At the very least, decide who’s going to take on which chores, what your cleanliness expectations are, and what (if anything) is an absolute pet peeve. You might have some idea of this already if you’re been living together. But if not, now would also be a good time to plan a move-in date, whether that’s before or after the wedding.
How to Raise Your Kids
This may seem like an obvious topic, but it goes beyond the basic questions of “Do you want to have them?” and “How many?” When discussing the subject of children, you should also cover how you plan on raising them. Some key points include vaccination, faith and/or religion, education, and parenting style. Do you plan to fund your kids through university or will you allow them to live independently?
In addition, it’s also wise to ponder a “what if” scenario. For example, maybe both of you are OK with not having children—but what happens if one of you changes their mind? Or, what if you plan on having children, but discover that you physically can’t; will you consider adoption?
Your Approach to Finances
Money is always a hot topic and arguably the number-one reason for fights among couples—which is why it can be considered the most important conversation you’ll ever have. While no one is asking you to become an accountant and come up with a strict budget plan, there are several important questions you need to have answers to, if at least on a basic level.
For example, how will you divide your earnings and how will you spend them? Think about what will happen if one of you loses a job or decides to take a few years off for furthering your education. This is also a good time to cover retirement plans, such as your savings and age goal.
This is also a good time to fully disclose any debt you may have and share your credit scores. Once you get married, a problem on one side will become a problem for both sides—and no one needs that kind of surprise!
You may be living in a bubble of bliss right now, thinking you and your beloved will never fight about anything—but you have to be realistic. There’s going to be a quarrel sooner or later. In which case, know how you will deal with it in a healthy manner, whether it’s having a discussion, taking a time-out, or even seeking counseling.
Financial matters aside, retirement is crucial to discuss for other reasons (especially if you plan on growing old together!). Retirement goals will also shed light on the lifestyle you may end up living. Take, for instance, the fact that you may want to retire very early, while your partner is keen on working well into old age. That may cause you both some problems going forward.
How you plan on getting there also matters. If you’re set on retiring early, you may want to work very hard to achieve this goal, (e.g., saving as much as possible, taking on a high-pressure position) while your spouse may want to live things on a lighter note.
And, of course, your plans after retirement matter too. Are you looking forward to making the most of your airline points or settling down in the quiet countryside? Knowing you’re both aiming for the same goal will prevent disappointment going forward.