You fell in love! The butterflies in your stomach and sweet feelings seem like they’ll never go away. Marriage is the next logical next step.
Before you take that plunge, many say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. Have a serious conversation with your partner. Here are some very important things to discuss before marriage so they don’t become points of contention.
- Expectations: It’s very important to discuss expectations when it comes to career, living arrangements, future planning and even household duties. What is your professional trajectory? Who will wash the dishes and take out the trash? Who will cook dinner? Where do you want to live in the future and raise your children? The problem with expectations is that we don’t even realize we have them until they are not met. Unmet expectations can cause disconnect and result in conflict.Couples discover they have new expectations throughout their marriage but there are some common expectations that most couples have. Be open and honest about your expectations. You may disagree, but it’s good to have a conversation about it so that you can reach compromises.
- Maintaining Boundaries: It’s not uncommon that you may be speaking on the phone with your parents or family members and share about a fight you just had with your partner. This can have severe and long-term negative effects on the relationship. You are your partner need to establish boundaries and remember that you are a team. There needs to be an agreement that you will both protect each other and the relationship. Assure each other that protecting the privacy of the relationship is the priority. You are committed to each other and can work through the conflict privately, and in a healthy way.
- Children: Starting a family often comes after you get married, so it’s a big discussion to have. Talk about how many kids you want (if you want them at all) and how to raise them. How far apart should you have them, do you want to adopt? Also, have religious conversation with your partner about what religion if any you want to teach your children.
- Finances: Are you a spender or a saver? Will you join bank accounts? Who will manage the money? What are our saving goals? Finances is one of the most important issues to talk about with your partner. From bank accounts and bill sharing to debts you already have, make sure you get it all out in the open. At least 35% of marriages have problems related to finances. By talking about it ahead of time, you can make sure you and your partner operate as a team and in control of your finances.
- Prenuptial Agreement: Do you or your partner want a prenup? Prenups have become more popular and it doesn’t have to mean you don’t trust your partner. Its purpose is to settle financial matters in advance in the event of either a divorce of death. A Prenuptial agreement may seem unromantic, but many experts feels it’s being smart about your financial planning.
Before you make marriage a priority, make your relationship a priority. Studies show that premarital counseling can drastically lower your chance of divorce. You can learn strategies on how to communicate, discuss money and debt and learn how to communicate. These are all important issues in making sure you and your partner manage expectations and continue to feel satisfied in the relationship.
If you want to learn how to prevent and work through arguments with your partner we are a group of skilled therapists specializing in couples/marriage counseling. Since Covid started we have been working with couples providing Online Couples Counseling in New York, New York City including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, South Hampton, East Hampton, Montauk, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Westchester County, Scarsdale, Larchmont, Saratoga Springs, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Albany. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.
Due to Covid we are also providing Virtual Couples Counseling in New Jersey, Hoboken, Jersey City, Princeton, Chatham, Morris, Westfield, Union, Bergen County, Millburn, Montgomery, Somerset, Colts Neck, Tenafly, Alpine, Ridgewood, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Franklin Lakes, Hillsdale, Glen Rock, Montvale, Mahwah, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramapo, Westwood, Glen Ridge, Rumson, Red Bank, Wayne, Little Falls, Hillsborough, Watchung, Summit, Springfield, Livingston, Montclair, Maplewood, Morristown, Berkeley Heights, Warren, Basking Ridge and Millstone. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.