Here are some topics that could be useful to discuss before you set the date
There’s an expression that says marriage ‘isn’t all sunshine and roses’. Although these aren’t words many soon-to-be-wed couples wish to hear, taking time before your vows to discuss some important relationship topics is a simple way of understanding one another better and therefore easing potential difficulties.
Taking this approach may of course lead to some challenging conversations. However, maintaining an open heart and mind, being respectful of one another and listening to and respecting each other’s personal beliefs and wants at this early stage can be a solid foundation for a future life together.
Talk about the obvious
Some of the most difficult and complicated conversations might revolve around values and spirituality. What are each other’s deepest held convictions and beliefs? How will time, a family and careers impinge upon these down the track, or vice-versa?
When it comes to decisions about children and/or building a career, it’s critical that you are both respectful of each other’s personal wishes as you attempt to map out a positive path together in order to realize ambitions in a truly supportive environment. Candid discussion in tandem with good conflict management skills will be very helpful in dealing with challenges and difficulties as they arise.
Although the topics above may be extremely pertinent ones, and be amongst the most important to address, there are additional issues that frequently arise and are discussed in marriage preparation programmes:
- Marriage – what does it mean? Popping the question and getting engaged shouldn’t be the end of the discussion about what it means to be married. In a society with a variety of attitudes to marriage, understanding what it really means is essential.
- Family relationships: Families have many expectations for the couple choosing to spend a life together. This can often lead to conflict and stress so be sure to talk with your partner about how to deal with these from the beginning.
- Independent or interdependent: Some married couples like to/choose to spend almost every waking hour together, while others choose to act like married singles spending a lot of their time separate from each other. Somewhere in between may lie the happy medium, allowing enough time for individual pursuits while preserving quality time in each other’s company.
Discuss with your fiancé the issues that are important to you and what you both need, individually and together, to ensure many happy years ahead.