Talking to your "to-be" BEFORE saying "I do"
Your engagement, or planning stage, is a direct investment into what will be your Marriage. Elated Brides and Grooms are so focused on the festivities and stresses of the wedding day that they don't realize they are planning for both the reception AND their life-long union! Here are 5 topics that are imperative to discuss with your spouse-to-be:
It is true: money doesn't buy happiness. However, with your two lives merging sooner than you think, you must discuss how your bills will be paid and how your daily needs will be provided. Will both of you work? Who is the SOLE bread winner? Will they work full time or part time? Which bills will you be responsible for? Who will keep track of when certain bills are due? Compare your work schedules to coordinate which days each of you have off and how you can factor in alone time to work on your newlywed-ness.
Are you a dream chaser? Is there a passion you want to pursue, a business you want to start or a goal you want to achieve? Supporting each other is essential, and if one of you wishes to trade your traditional rat race shift to go full time in building your dream, be sure that there are supplement funds that will take care of bills and other financial obligations. Remember: YOU'RE A TEAM! Make it work...
Let's keep it blunt: there's a chance you may not "like" all of your fiance's friends. If you have any concerns, reservations or opinions on the people in your fiance's life, be upfront and disclose these feellings to them. It's better that they get upset or are made aware of you telling them your true feelings instead of keeping them to yourself, going into a marriage with concealed feelings that may negatively grow in the future. You should feel 100% comfortable with the person you are going to marry, so be specific, find common ground, voice your opinion and set realistic boundaries together.
The truth shall set you free!
Do you like FRUIT?
The Bible says, "Be fruitful and multiply." These days, society has found alternatives to the natural and traditional rules of 'multiplication', or having children and growing your family. However, discussing if and how you will build your family is essential! Do you want children? Does your fiance want children? How many? What type of parents do you wish to be? Do you have a support system intact? Who will baby sit? Will you be able to provide for them emotionally, financially and morally?
This is also a great time to discuss parental expectations and role identities. Failure to plan is a plan to fail.
You've got to FIGHT for your right...
"We've never argued."
"I love her so much!"
"He's my Mr. Right."
Guess what? It WILL HAPPEN!
Your "first fight" is both inevitable and common. All couples, no matter the race, culture, nationality or era, have issues when undergoing life changes such as integrating lives. Having a set plan to fight for your right to a healthy marriage is key to bouncing back from any disagreement or mishap.
Pre-marital counseling, relationship education, daily devotional readings, a bottle of wine, writing letters to each other, having a safe place within the house to resort to get breathing room: no effort is too small to make sure you keep your marriage on track when experiencing roller coaster turns within your relationship. Keep your issues current, learn the power of forgiveness and NEVER GO TO BED ANGRY.
Religious and spiritual views will effect, permeate and manage every area of your lives together. Discussing your religious perspectives and morale expectations will affect family structure, financial management, choice of friends, choice of clothing, choice of food, everyday language, and your outlook on life. Discussing these core aspects EARLY ON will set the tone for your marriage, your relationship, your home and your family. Being a devout Christian with an upstanding spouse who's atheist may have more challenges than the couple that may have different views that were thoroughly discussed. Being on THE SAME PAGE with each other on a spiritual standpoint will serve as great ammunition to banding together as a couple, standing your ground and being "one".
I truly hope this was of some assistance to you! As important as food selection and programs are for your wedding guests, be sure to put the same (matter of fact, MORE) emphasis on investing time into planning what your marriage foundation will be. Merging two lives together isn't an easy feat or seamless segue, but with your love for each other and life-long promise to your bond, it'll be worth it!
See you this Friday for
your guide to all things "event planning"!