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The most important things to talk about before marriage

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Getting engaged to the one you love is an amazing feeling. Whether you’re planning a big wedding or a quiet, personal union, it’s all very exciting. However, at some point, it will occur to you that there are certain important things to talk about before marriage.

In this post, we will look at some of those all-important marriage topics for discussion. The things to talk about before marriage range from emotional to legal to social to political issues. Legal topics are one of the least often considered so we will shine a spotlight on those below.

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To start with, what are the most important things in a marriage – the criteria that help to predict that a marriage will be successful?

RELATED: 11 Vital things to discuss before having a baby together

What are the three most important things in a marriage?

  1. Trust

You cannot be married to someone you do not trust. Of course, you technically can, but how do you fully open up and share yourself with a person if you do not trust them with your heart? Marriage is about more than physical intimacy. It is also about emotional intimacy. 

If you cannot be emotionally vulnerable with a person due to lack of trust, the marriage is on shaky ground.

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  1. Good communication

You can have all the best intentions for your loved one. You can have a million things in your head about how to improve your relationship as a married couple and how best to raise your family. If you cannot effectively communicate these thoughts to each other though, a lot of time and energy is wasted in arguing and going round in circles. 

Knowing how your partner best receives information and being self-aware about how you respond to different types of communication is important for a marriage. That is why I advocate for couples’ counselling to help to iron communication issues out. 

  1. Commitment 

No matter how alike you think the two of you are, if you are not truly committed to each other, the marriage will fall apart easily. It only takes one intense disagreement for you to decide that you are incompatible or leave you wondering why you ever thought you two could be together for life. 

Commitment means choosing to be with each other every day for the rest of your life regardless of what is happening around you.

With these three things in place, you know you have a solid emotional foundation for marriage. You then have to make sure you have a strong physical foundation before you take that final step, particularly if you want children together.

What should we check before marriage? – Medical Testing

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You need to know your partner’s medical status before marriage. The results will not necessarily mean you cannot be together if they are not what you hope for – they will just make you aware of what needs to be managed in order for you to have a healthy life together. Health is absolutely one of the most vital things to talk about before marriage.

  1. Fertility testing. Unless you do not plan to have children together, you need to know if you are able to and if so, how easily. Bear in mind that even if you think right now that you do not want kids together, you may change your minds after marriage.
  2. Blood group. Some blood groups are incompatible with others and can, for example, make carrying a child to term difficult. 
  3. Thalassemia. This blood disorder can cause complications like anaemia. This often shows up in tests during pregnancy or after childbirth. However, it can be tested for at any point. 
  4. Genetic testing. Due to bad record keeping and keeping secrets in families, a lot of people are not aware of their family history in regard to diseases. It is important to know this and be aware of the likelihood of passing genetic disorders down to your children.
  5. Genotype testing. This is important to know if either of you carry the sickle cell gene and if so, if your child is likely to have sickle cell disease.
  6. Sexual health screening. This is to check each other’s current sexual health status and make sure you are not going to infect your partner with anything.

Legal things to know before getting married 

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Of all the things to talk about before marriage, legal stuff is the least romantic. It is also extremely necessary.

The law differs from country to country and even within certain countries like the United States, marriage laws can be different from state to state or region to region. Check the specific marriage laws of your area. The following may or may not apply to you but they are great starting points for you to start to think about what you should be investigating. Some of them may be an advantage to you while others may pose a problem.

  • Your taxes may reduce or increase once you get married if you file together depending on your employment status and combined income
  • You will be in charge of making decisions for your partner should they become incapacitated
  • In the event of divorce, you may be legally required to financially support your partner to some extent

READ: Preparing yourself for divorce

  • You can usually be added on to your spouse’s health insurance plan
  • Once married, your spouse has more rights to any assets you own
  • Cohabitating couples have different rights from married couples

RELATED: Are you ready for moving in together?

  • You may be held jointly liable for any debt that your partner owes once you are married

These are only a few of the legal issues to take into consideration before making the decision to walk down the aisle with someone.

In speaking with your partner, you may gain clarity on some of those topics. The following 20 questions are also some of the most important and interesting things to talk about before marriage.

20 questions to ask before getting married 

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These are 20 questions to ask before getting married. They’ll lead you on to things to talk about before marriage. A lot of them may seem simple and from being in a relationship prior to engagement. You may think you already know the answers to a lot of them. Some of the answers might still surprise you. 

  1. What do I do that makes you know that I love you?
  2. What about me do you find the most attractive?
  3. How strong do you think our friendship is?
  4. Have you ever had a sexually transmitted infection?
  5. Is there anything I do that makes you feel insecure in our relationship?
  6. Is there anything you dislike about your family members?
  7. Is it important to have joint accounts when we are married?
  8. What happens if one of us loses our job or is unable to work for a long period of time?
  9. How should we divide time spent between our two families?

RELATED: Important things to discuss before starting a family together – Part 2

  1. Is it important to you that we go on vacations together?
  2. Is it important to you that our kids are raised with a religious background?
  3. How do you think you will feel or react to me gaining weight after we are married?
  4. Who should be responsible for household chores?
  5. Do you have any deep and dark secrets that you have not yet shared with me?
  6. What are your plans for retirement?
  7. Do you have a will? If not, are you open to making one?
  8. Are you comfortable with sharing your earnings with me?
  9. Are you comfortable with me going through your phone?
  10. How should we handle disagreements in our marriage?
  11. What is your vision for our married life together?

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If you plan to get married soon, which of these questions do you think yourself and your partner will find it most difficult to answer? 

If you have decided that all is in order and are set on taking the big leap, you might be interested in the following Couple’s Workbook. Is starting a family together the next big step for you? This workbook will inform your timing:

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