Relationships are often difficult because people are complex. After the romance fades, you see the actual person you married rather than the person you fantasized them to be. There are a few touchy conversations that you must have before getting married. Even if you approached the whole idea of getting married rationally and carefully chose someone who matched your criteria for a life partner.
Specifically, you need to share your opinions about raising children and adopting pets as well as discuss career goals and money management. One approach you can take to start this conversation is to arrange a convenient time when you can both talk about these things in depth.
You can’t avoid talking about having kids. The best time to have this conversation is before you get married. It’s a mistake to presume that you know how your partner will react when you talk about children. Similarly, it’s also an error to defer this conversation for the “right moment.”
Clarify where you both stand on parenting. Ask direct questions: “How many children would you like to have?” “What should be our approach for disciplining them when they misbehave?” “How can plan ahead to provide them with an excellent education and the best opportunities in life?”
If you both love pets, and if you both love the same types of pets, then all is well. But if, say, you’re a cat lover and he is a dog lover, then things can get a little challenging.
The situation can be especially difficult if you have strong feelings about dogs. Perhaps, you’re afraid of getting sued if your partner’s dog bites someone while out on its daily walk. This, incidentally, is not an unlikely scenario if you live in a city and your partner’s dog is wary of strangers.
How do you and your partner see your careers and your salaries developing over the years? Where do you see yourself in the next 5, 10, 15, or 20 years? Although neither of you may have a clear idea about career goals, now is the time to think about such weighty issues.
Once you have some clarity, then you will be able to figure out how to support each other through the transitions that career growth entails.
If one partner is highly ambitious and the other has almost no ambition, this is a clear sign of trouble in the future — because one person will see themselves constrained by the relationship while the other will feel neglected by the ambitious partner’s lack of interest in their life. You should address this looming conflict as early as possible.
Although money and career intertwine, it’s important to discuss both separately because future prosperity is something of an abstraction. Before achieving any type of career success, a couple has to decide on how to manage their current income.
Should you pull your money together to manage everyday expenses? Or should you keep separate accounts because you both have unique views about handling money? A shared account, for instance, might stir arguments if one partner is a spender and the other is a saver.
Before you hit the big career breakthroughs that one or both of you are planning, you will have to create a mutually agreeable household budget.
These conversations may seem too awkward to bring up or it may seem too early to express strong views about things that could upset your partner. However, it is always better to sort out these potential issues before getting married. It’s unnecessary that both partners agree on everything. What matters is that they become familiar with each other’s perspectives and agree on how to manage things.