The moment you get engaged is one of the most exciting times in your life. It is then followed by the excitement of planning your wedding, honeymoon, and the start of your new life with your spouse. That said, with being caught up in the planning and celebrating leading up to your wedding day, there may be some important questions that may have gone unanswered or even unasked. You may think you know everything there is to know about your partner, but there are certain topics that should be discussed pre-marriage.
Here are seven questions that I think are worth asking before tying the knot that could help you avoid a separation in the future.
- Do You Want to Have Children?
This may seem like a fairly obvious one, but you would be surprised how many couples neglect having this very important conversation. For example, not seeing eye to eye on wanting children can be complex and lead to challenges down the road. And, not wanting children, but being forced into it could lead to catastrophic circumstances on a child’s mental well-being. While this conversation can be exceptionally difficult to have, it is imperative to avoid unhappiness that will almost certainly lead to an inevitable separation.
- What if We Are Unable to Have Biological Children?
Many couples struggle to have biological children, meaning that they then have to discuss avenues in bringing a child into their home. For some, one option is adoption. For others, it may be surrogacy. And of course, there are other options in-between such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). These conversations are important to have because the road to having children can be wrought with hardships from fertility issues to the heartbreak of miscarriage. While these conversations are exceptionally difficult, having them prior to getting married can save you a lot of pain and heartache in the future.
- Evaluate How You Handle Conflict
While less of a question and more of an exercise, conversations around conflict resolution is very important. Ask yourself the following: How does your partner currently handle disagreements? Do you feel that either you or your partner make more compromises than the other? Who is more likely to raise his/her voice in a disagreement? Do either you or your partner feel as if you can openly voice your concerns and frustrations? Taking time to strengthen these lines of communication prior to beginning your marriage will help to keep you both on the same page throughout your relationship.
- What Are Your Non-Negotiables?
Everyone has them. That is, the beliefs that have been with us since birth or that we established as we were maturing. Our relationship deal breakers can span over many issues including religion, children (as outlined above), career aspirations, or where you want to live both now and in the future. We all know what our non-negotiables are in life, but in order to be sure they line up with your soon-to-be spouse, the questions need to be asked and followed up by a conversation.
- How Well Do You Adjust to Change?
While for some it may not seem like it, a marriage is a change to your relationship. How well do you adjust to a change in day-to-day norms? How does your partner adjust to new routines or even just the societal pressure of being a married couple? Marriage can unintentionally cause a disruption in your life plan even if it was in the cards. Communicate with your partner and express how you could help one another through this period of change and adjustment.
- How Will You Navigate Independence as a Married Couple?
For some, their pre-marriage and post-marriage partnerships will look exactly the same. But for others, there are inevitable changes. Some people believe that married couples should do everything together, and others value their independence and may require a certain amount of alone time. While some couples may have navigated this topic earlier on in their relationship regardless of their marriage status, it is worth ensuring that communication lines remain open so that either one or both people in the partnership don’t feel suffocated.
- What is the Meaning of Marriage to You?
In contemporary society, the definition of marriage is much more diverse than it once was. You could be in a room with ten married individuals and each of them may have a different definition of the term “marriage” as well as different outlooks on what that relationship looks like. Discussing your expectations from this partnership will help to ensure that you share the same vision of what this marriage will be. Starting off this next chapter on the same page is of the utmost importance.
Of course, asking all these questions does not guarantee that you will avoid a separation. Things happen. Life happens. Sometimes life circumstances happen that permanently change a relationship, or it can be as simple as two people just growing apart. With that said, having these conversations will help open the lines of communication and help to make sure you are on the same page prior to entering your marriage.
At Barari Family Law, we are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have ahead of getting married. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (647) 483-2971 or email [email protected]; someone from our Office will be more than happy to assist you.