"Till death do us part," it's a pretty intense promise to make when you get married. Unfortunately, it's not something that many people actually consider before they get up there in front of their friends and family and make the lifelong commitment to one person. Marriage doesn't quite have the same seriousness attached to it as it used to. You can thank Hollywood for that, as we have watched celebrities get married and divorced every time the wind seems to shift.
When it comes to getting married, what you know about the person you are about to commit to isn't the problem, it's what you don't know that can end up becoming a deal breaker. Communication is key both before and during marriage, and it's time to start asking some tough questions before making the life-long commitment.
Here are 7 things you should definitely talk about before you decide to get married.
1. How important is sex? And what are the boundaries.
Contrary to popular belief, all people aren't sexually compatible. There is no data on just how many marriages end because the sex is just that bad or infrequent, but it is safe to assume that uncompatible sex-lives has crushed its fair share of marriages. Before you get married, talk to your partner about what you want from a sex life, and get their feedback on what they want and expect. If you both expect to go in different directions, you just saved yourself a major head and heartache.
2. Where do you see yourselves in 5 or 10 years?
Everyone has their own individual dreams and goals. Sure, people have goals for themselves as couples, but often times those can be outweighed by what they want on individual levels. Have a discussion about the future to see if you both see yourselves being able to do these things together. If one of you wants to travel the world, while the other wants to stay local and raise a family, maybe things aren't going to work out.
3. What about the in-laws?
There are any number of cliched jokes surrounding in-laws. And for the most part, they are just that, jokes, but sometimes those jokes just aren't funny because they hit way too close to reality. You might be marrying your spouse, but you're also marrying into their family, whom they are likely quite loyal to.
If the in-laws are going to cause a lot of undue stress to your marriage, it's time to find out early on. Ask you future spouse what they honestly think about your parents and ask them for an honest answer.
4. Is my debt our debt, and vice-versa?
It's a very rare occurrence to meet someone these days that doesn't have at least a little bit of personal debt. Often times that debt can be quite high, and when you marry someone you also marry their problems. So in order to avoid any feelings of resentment towards having to fix past problems that had nothing to do with you, talk about it beforehand.
5. How important is religion?
When two people fall in love, they bring their own personal and family traditions into play, and sometimes these center around religion. It is a hot button topic, and it can have major implications for how you choose to live the rest of your lives. If religion is going to play a bigger part in one partner's life than the other, it is important to talk about it beforehand to see if it is going to work out for everyone involved.
6. Are past relationships going to end up being a problem.
Most everyone has at least one ex-partner when they eventually find that person that they want to marry. Those past relationships can carry a lot of baggage, especially if it was a past marriage, or there were children involved. Some of those ex-partners can end up being a little crazy as well, so it is important to talk about whether this is going to pose a problem to the validity to your marriage. It's important to avoid situations that will cause resentment.
7. What about children?
Speaking of children, are you planning on having any? It was a moot point to ask this in decades past because everyone seemed to want kids, or at least think it was their social responsibility to have them, not so much anymore. Kids aren't so much a mandatory ingredient for a successful marriage anymore, and when one partner in a relationship wants kids, and the other doesn't, it can lead to major problems that will end up in divorce.
Communicating with your future spouse is far less dangerous than not doing so.