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Friday, 7 June 2013

What Are Some Not So Obvious Topics Every Couple Should Discuss Before Marriage?


Basic stuff but so many couples mess it up:
The money belongs to both of you. Don't ever imply that you make the money, you'll spend it however you please. If your spouse likes shopping, set a limit. A firm budget will avoid fights. My husband and I have a $200 mad money limit. Either of us can blow $200 unchallenged on something we want every few months. It can be a new outfit or a new toilet but whatever it is, no one says a word. Anything beyond that (aside from bills, insurance, etc) requires a discussion. We don't use the mad money card often but it has kept us from a lot of arguments. Your limit may be higher or lower depending on your bills, debt, etc. Find something you are both comfortable with.
Sex. Don't think for a minute that you will have matching libidos. You won't. Even if you do now, you might not in the future. Talk about acceptable outlets for your frustration. Discuss an acceptable middle ground and work to make sure your spouse is satisfied.

Children. Everyone thinks to talk about if/when they want them but they usually skip the important stuff. How to raise them, what kind of school, when to start saving for college, and if/when/what religion will be introduced. Some people are comfortable aborting fetuses that have certain defects. Some people will reduce a multiple pregnancy. Others won't even consider it. It is really important to understand where your spouse stands on these issues. His/her opinion will probably not change in the future and you need to make sure it's something you can live with.
Friends. Some people are social butterflies and love going out. If you are a homebody, this is going to be a little tough on you. Discuss boundaries and time management. My brother-in-law gave keys to the house to all of his friends and one of them popped over and caught my sister naked in the shower. Don't give keys away without telling your spouse (that includes your family members). Don't invite friends over all the time (once in a while is fine) without giving a heads up. Even if you don't do something, your spouse may have a problem with your friends doing it. For example, you might not get high but your wife/husband might not like it if your friends bring drugs into your joint home. Don't try to get away with things behind your spouse's back either. They will figure something is up and when they find out, they will be angry. It's great if your friends all get along but they might not and you need to keep your spouse as your main priority.
Distribution of responsibilities. Some men refuse to do any housework even if their wife also is working. My brother-in-law is such a person. He is a dinosaur of the 50's and won't lift a finger to change the baby, walk the dog, take out the trash, mow the grass, vacuum, cook, do laundry, or anything else when he is at home. If your spouse is a pig, they will probably continue to be messy even after you begin your life together. If you expect them to do some chores, talk about what you expect before moving in together. Your spouse is not a mind reader.
In-laws. You will have to see your in-laws and spend time with them. If you don't like them, it is not okay to make your spouse visit alone. It's one thing when a wife goes shopping with her mom and another when she spends Christmas without you because you hate her folks. If you can't decide how to split holidays, consider rotating Easter and Christmas (or Thanksgiving) each year until you have children. At that point, you can start having holidays at home and begin inviting family to visit you.
End of life. I know it's sad but you need to have your affairs in order for your spouse. You could die tomorrow. Is there enough money to float your wife/husband and the kids? How hard will it be to sell the house? Is there enough money for daycare if the other spouse needs to work (or work more/longer hours)? What about life saving services? Do you want to be hooked up to a machine? Do you want someone to unplug you if you are a vegetable? You need to decide what you want and have a lawyer informed of your medical wishes. If you aren't sure your wife/hubby will do the right thing, make sure your parents/siblings/children also have to agree with them before making certain monumental decisions. My husband wants me to pull the plug but we agreed that I would not do it if his parents weren't ready.
Pets. Some people love animals. Hopefully you already have a feel for where your spouse stands on this. Some people like bunnies, cats, dogs while others love bugs, spiders, snakes, ants, and worms. It's important to know what kinds of things your spouse likes. My sister-in-law had two cats that she put up for adoption because my brother has allergies. She knew he had allergies but still tried to introduce them into their joint house and nearly killed him. Don't doubt it when someone says they're allergic and don't force a pet on your spouse they don't want.
Dates. Dating gets a lot harder when you are married. Come up with a date night each week or every other week. You don't have to spend a lot - a redbox movie and takeout, a walk in the park, a picnic on the beach, a hike in the mountains. The important thing is to make time for each other regularly.
Find a good way to discuss problems. You will have arguments and it is important to keep your cool and not say anything mean (fatty, bitch, dickhead, etc). Your spouse will shutdown and ignore whatever genuine problem there is if you resort to hurtful statements. If your spouse starts saying hurtful things, call him/her on it and terminate the conversation until he/she is willing to discuss the problem rationally.
The past is the past - leave it there. Don't bring you wife's/husband's past mistakes/partners up. Some people think they are okay with their spouse's sexual history only to realize that they really aren't. Discuss your feelings (shame, loneliness) but don't blame them for things they did when you weren't together and don't bring things up when you know it'll hurt them.
Don't cheat on your spouse. Lots of people think that "slip-ups" happen but most people will not tolerate it. In return for the betrayal, your spouse will destroy you in the divorce. Where I'm from, the wronged spouse not only gets a majority share of the assets and the children but they also can sue your new sex toy for alienation of affection. If you find yourself thinking about cheating, get a divorce. Don't let your wife/husband keep thinking you love them if it's over. Don't think for a minute they won't find out either. They will and it will probably destroy them. Even if you work through it, your spouse may never fully trust you again.
TL;DR Money, Sex, In-laws, Friends, Pets, responsibilities, dates, arguments, the past is the past, end of life decisions, and be committed to your spouse by not cheating. If you think you'll cheat, don't get married.
By Fairlystable

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