Getting On The Same Page For Marriage

Whether it’s a friend of yours or good ole’ Kim Kardashian, loads of people seem to be rushing into marriage without doing their due dilligence. Why do you think this is? I know there is an allure to planning and having a wedding and a honeymoon – and that often becomes to focus.  But, we need to remember that we are taking vows to be with someone for the rest of our life. So, why is it then that so many people don’t feel comfortable raising important issues and asking the tough questions of the person to whom you are vowing a life-long commitment? It’s koo-koo!

Why are some people afraid to even discuss the basics before they tie the knot these days?

Marriage is about becoming a team. To get there you have to lay out your individual needs, hopes and desires to one another before things get too far. A month or a year into your marriage is not a good time to realize that things aren’t what you were expecting or what you think will make you happy in the long run. I know a couple who 4 years into their marriage realized that they had totally different views on having children – one wanted children…the other absolutely did not. I’m scratching my head wondering how it’s possible to get to this point in a marriage and not have discussed this potential dealbreaker.

We all take time to plan loads of things in our lives – our education, careers, daily schedules, vacations, you name it. Why wouldn’t you commit a little time to plan your future together?

Before I got married a friend of mine gave me the book 1001 Questions To Ask Before You Get Married. I thought it was kind of hokey, but one day before leaving for a road trip I thought it might be fun to make a game out of it for the long car drive ahead. We randomly went through the book picking questions and answering them. It actually turned out to be fun, and we learned so much about one another. Plus, making a game of it ended up being a lighthearted way to bring up some things you really need to talk about, but there never seems to be a right time to ask.

You may not want to get a book, so if you want a shortcut, here are a few questions that I consider to be “must discuss” before you agree to walk down the aisle:

  • Do you want children? If so, when and how many?
  • Who will be responsible for the finances? Will we have joint accounts? Are we spenders or savers?
  • Where will we live?
  • How will we manage our extended families/in-laws?
  • How will we share the chores and housework?
  • Do we each value vacation time? How do we prefer to spend it?
  • Will we both work or will one of us stay home with children?
  • Are we religious? Are we both committed to the same religious practice? If not, what’s the plan for handling that?
  • Are you committed to being faithful?
  • Where do you see us in 10, 20, 30+ years? What do you want our life to be like?
  • How do we each handle conflict?

This is just a sampling to show you how many important things there are to agree upon before the ring goes on the finger. My husband and I attended a Pre-Cana course which is usually required before a couple can be married in a Catholic church. I thought it was going to be a drag but it turned out to really be enlightening. They provided really low-key forum to make a plan for how we will handle our finances, household chores and plans to have kids one day. I also loved that they made us read and talk about what our Love Languages are. If you haven’t done this, you can do it on your own…go to Dr. Chapman’s web site – it’s so interesting and helpful in better understanding one another!

Anyway, I hope I’ve given you something to think about…even if you’re currently single. Don’t feel sheepish talking about these things with a current or future partner.  Your relationship will be stronger as a result. And, you might learn something early on that could prevent heartbreak later.

So, what do you think? Have you ever found yourself in a relationship with someone only to discover that you were not on the same page?

Photo credit: epSos.de’s flickr photostream

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Categories: Marriage

Author:coupletastic

I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better place...one relationship at a time.

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6 Comments on “Getting On The Same Page For Marriage”

  1. January 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    For me its hard to bring up touchy subject/topics/questions with a partner when I’m not sure if I will like the response I will get. But it definitely makes sense to ask these questions before it is too late. Making it into a game seems to be a good idea, will definitely try it next time I want to ask hard questions. Thnx!

  2. adalamar
    January 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    THis is very good advice and you are right. There are things that shold be discussed before walking down the isle. It takes time to get to know someone. I rushed into things only once, and wil never do it again. We did not get married, Thank goodness, but if I w=had taken my time and done my due dilligence, it could have saved a lot of trouble.

  3. January 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Great advice! Thank you for posting it 🙂

  4. January 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    Great advice! It’s so true, there is so much attention put into “The Wedding Day” that couples forget that is just the first step, they are entering a committment for life and whether you have Roses or Lillies really just doesn’t matter in the long run! I think I may get this book even though I’ve been married almost 10 years, the second time around! We are past most of the questions you mentioned but it might still be fun 🙂

  5. Anna
    January 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    There’s such a lot of social pressure regarding marriage, people tend to rush into it (guilty as charged) without actually knowing the person they’re committing to; and of course regretting it almost instantly when you realise that he/she is nothing like you expected, and that marriage isn’t what you’d fantasised about at all.

    Excellent advice re. the questions, and may I add, if you’re scared to ask your partner, consider why this is…it may be that you know instincively that there’s a lot there that you wouldn’t like and don’t want to deal with. All I can say is, get your answers first, before you marry…or you’ll regret it for sure 🙂

  6. serenityluv1
    January 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Did I tell you how…my guy just started discussing these things mentioned here. I was like WOW did he read the same post….I think we are on our way to the next level! Yippee…getting on the same page is awesome!

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