Of course you know your honey’s name, age, where they came from and what they do for a living, but do you REALLY know who they are? What are their passions? What are their strongest values?
Butterflies in our tummy, sparkle in our eye and a mountain of hopes and dreams all hanging in the balance before the big wedding day! With all the time, energy and money that goes into just the one day, how do we know if it will all be worth it?
What is it that makes a marriage last? Is it chemistry, similar values, similar views of the world? Or is it enjoying the same things, working toward similar goals or understanding one another? The answer is yes, yes and yes. It is all of these things! You would think that by the time a couple decides to spend the rest of their lives together, they would know everything about each other, but many times, the most important things are not discussed.
The truth is, after the “courting phase” many couples tend to get caught up in their daily routine and often find their discussions to be about logistics and minutia. Here are 5 of the most important things that need to be discussed BEFORE you say “I do!”
1. Who are you really?
Of course you know your honey’s name, age, where they came from and what they do for a living, but do you REALLY know who they are? What are their passions? What are their strongest values? What kind of husband/wife/mother/father do they want to be? What kind of legacy do they want to leave on this planet? How do they see their life playing out? How do they handle difference and conflict? What is their communication style? What is their “love language?” What are their emotional and physical needs? It’s true, they may not even know some of these things themselves, but this is a great opportunity to discover them together!
2. How important is sex and intimacy?
I never could understand how couples could have sex, but never talk about it. Having a clear understanding about where you both stand on this topic will not only make your relationship the best it can be, but there have also been studies that suggest that when a couple is satisfied in this area, the likelihood of infidelity goes way down. Depending on where/who we came from, our ideas and beliefs about sex vary. Some people have a great sense of shame and guilt about sex stemming from adolescence that seeps into the relationship. If this is the case, it’s not the end of the world. A healthy, open honest talk about where each other stands in this department can make an enormous difference and save the marriage from a lot of headaches.
3. What are your beliefs about money?
Along with sex, the subject of money is one that can be touchy and easy to avoid up to a point. But eventually, life events unfold revealing each individual’s views about money and it will become a problem if the right questions are not asked. Some of these questions include: Are either of you in debt? How are each of you planning for the financial future? Should big purchases be discussed before money is spent? Do you live on a budget? What about a pre-nuptial agreement? And perhaps the biggest question in this area: Should you merge funds?
4. How do you feel about family and children?
This is nuts, but I have worked with couples who were about to get married when they discovered that their wife/husband to be did not want to have kids…EVER! Can you believe it? One couple was literally one month away from the wedding when they broke up because one wanted to be a parent and one was totally against it. It was heart breaking, but at least they saved themselves years of disappointment and even more heartache in the future. Being on the same page about kids and family is imperative in order to enjoy a healthy, happy life-long marriage. For example, what type of priority does your future spouse feel extended family should be? Are they the type of person that must see their parents at least two times a month? Maybe you’re not that close with your family and aren’t sure you’d be up for a bi-weekly family reunion. How does your partner feel about children? Do they see kids as a way to get the house cleaning done for free? Do they think that kids should be seen and not heard? How do they plan on disciplining your children?
5. Are you a social butterfly or a wall flower?
Odds are, you know if your honey is an introvert or outgoing, but do you know how they will want to be socially for the term of the marriage? Of course this may change over time, but for example, does your guy need at least 1-2 nights out a week with the boys? Does your lady need a romantic date at least that much? How do you each handle being out at parties and do you have an understanding about how you feel about opposite sex friendships? Socializing is one of the things in life that inspires fun and happiness. Figuring out how you two will do it, will ensure success.
Of course there are many other things that may need to be discussed in your relationship. I encourage you to make a list of some things that are very important to you and make a date to have a meaningful conversation with the person that means most to you! Not you silly - your honey! You’ll be happy you did!