I knew very quickly that I wanted to marry Zack (within the first 2-3 weeks). There really wasn’t a doubt in my mind, but when we started to lean towards marriage after only a month of dating, I knew we had to have some serious discussions before choosing to tie the knot. We were both in a place where we were ready for a long term serious commitment and neither one of us wanted to waste our time on a relationship that wasn’t going to end up in marriage. I know that’s kind of a weird way to enter into a relationship, but that’s what we wanted. We wanted forever. So it was crucial that we were on the same page on these seven topics:
KIDS OR NO KIDS?
This one was the most important to me. Do you want children? How many? How soon do you want to start a family? How will they be raised? How much family involvement do you want? Are you for or against spanking? What other forms of discipline are you okay with? Will you put them in daycare or will one of you be a stay at home parent? You need to be on the same page when it comes to raising your future children if you choose to have them. Parenting will be even more challenging if the two of you disagree and can’t work together as a team.
And if one of you doesn’t want kids at all, but the other one does then it’s probably not going to work out at all. It’s not fair to ask your partner to skip having children and it’s also not fair to expect your partner to change their mind and have kids if they don’t want them. One of you will end up unhappy and resenting the other. So don’t take this conversation lightly.
No one likes the money talk, but it has to happen at some point. How much debt are you each bringing into the marriage? Are you okay with accepting each other’s debts? What would your joint financial income be? What bills do you each have? Will you have joint or separate bank accounts? How good are you with your money?
Way too many couples argue over money and I knew that I was going into the marriage with a lot of debt and some horrible decision making when it came to money. Luckily, he accepted this and I’m much better with money nowadays (and all credit cards are paid off! Whoo!).
I’ve heard that this one can be a make or break it kind of conversation for some couples. I’m not a religious person in any way so this one really wasn’t a major discussion for us before choosing to get married. If you are religious, however, make sure you’re marrying someone with similar religious beliefs or beliefs you don’t mind incorporating into your life. It’s also good to discuss what religion you’ll be raising your children with as well.
Share your bucket list with one another. What do you hope to accomplish in your lifetime? After being with one of my past boyfriends, I knew I had to be with someone who had goals and wanted a similar lifestyle as me. Someone who wanted to travel and see the world and fully experience life. That was a very big deal to me. I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t feel the need to live. I didn’t want to be sitting at home all the time while friends and family lived their lives and experienced everything the world had to offer. I needed some adventure. And I’ve definitely had that these last four years.
Just like having life goals, it’s important to have know and understand what each other wants to do career-wise. It was very important to me for Zack to know and understand how badly I want to be an entrepreneur someday. It’s very challenging to work for yourself so I needed someone who would support me in that. His job is also challenging. He needs someone who’s going to be right there by his side, supporting him while he’s in the military. He’s worked crazy hours and has missed holidays and birthdays and special occasions. We’ve done so much long distance as well. His job required a whole lot of acceptance from me in order to make our relationship work.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
I absolutely needed someone who was close to their family. At the time when I fell in love with Zack, my relationship with my own family was a bit rocky at times. I didn’t want it to be that way on both sides of our family. I always dreamed of having a close, supportive, and loving family like in the television show, Parenthood. And now I have that. We both have very close relationships to our families and it means the world to us.
Lastly, I wanted to know about some of his past relationships. I know this sounds weird, but no, I wasn’t asking about his sex life with his exes or how many girls he’s been with or anything like that. He isn’t the type to sleep around or have random hook ups or short term girlfriends. Like me, he was a long term relationship kind of guy and had only been in love once before me. I simply wanted to know what went wrong. What caused those relationships to not work out? It turned into a discussion on our flaws and what types of baggage we were bringing into the relationship. I feel like this was the biggest conversation we had in our “getting to know each other” phase.
What conversations did you have with your spouse before choosing to tie the knot?