Marriage is a never-ending series of conversations. You’re always going to have something to talk about in your relationship. However, there are some important conversations to get out of the way before you get married. Check out these conversation topics from our premarital counseling experts.
Debt and Debt Repayment
Financial stress is one of the top causes of divorce in America. Before getting married, you should be transparent about your outstanding debts. How much do you owe on your vehicles, your student loans, your credit cards, etc.? What is your plan to pay off those debts? Will you each pay your own debts, or will you pay on them together? You need to make these financial plans to prevent conflicts later on.
Do you have any absolute deal-breakers for a relationship? These aren’t annoyances that you would be willing to work through. These are no-questions-asked, end-of-marriage circumstances. You need to be clear about these before getting married so your future spouse is prepared. You may not like your spouse having a separate bank account. Your spouse may consider smoking or drinking as a deal-breaker. Having these important discussions will reduce surprises in the future.
Plans for Children
Talk to your partner about your plans for children – if you want to have children, how many you want to have, how you will raise your children, and when you would like to have children. These plans may change as your life changes, but you need to be on the same page. If your spouse never wants children and you do, that will always be a source of conflict in your relationship.
Long-Term Living Arrangements
You may not know where you’re going to be in five years, but talk about your general plans for living arrangements. For example, you may want to rent a house for three years while you save money to buy one. You may want to live in your current city for awhile but ultimately move back to your home town. Perhaps you plan to travel as much as possible, so you don’t want to stay in one place too long. Make sure you are both in agreement about this.
Family Traditions and Religion
You don’t have to follow the same traditions or religion to have a happy marriage. However, you do need to be aware of each other’s traditions, especially those that are most important to you. You can find ways to accommodate and respect each of your beliefs. You simply need to know what you value most, and then find a compromise for your family.
If you would like help through these discussions, our premarital counselors would be happy to assist you. We have marriage counselors in Ann Arbor MI, Bingham Farms MI, Plymouth MI and Clarkston MI. You will be matched with the best therapist to fit your needs. Contact Heron Ridge Associates to find a couples therapist near you.