You know the saying: first comes love, then comes marriage … but what about the next part? Without getting into too much detail, it takes two people to make a child, so you better figure out now if that’s something you want. Because if you plan on having a horde of kids, but your spouse isn’t on board, then that’s going to end up creating some serious marital strife eventually.
According to some statistic I heard somewhere once (hey, if you wanted something authoritative then you shouldn’t have clicked on a GIF article), financial issues are the No. 1 cause of divorce. Remember, when you marry someone, you’re not just locking down a rockin’ body with a nice personality, you’re also chaining yourself up to whatever debt or bad spending habits they may have. Get to know what you’ll be in for financially.
3. Criminal Record
Hey, everybody has some skeletons in their closet. However, if yours are actual skeletons that are hanging around in your actual closet, you’ll need to let your spouse know about them. If you made some mistakes while you were younger and have since turned your life around, be upfront about it. If, on the other hand, you’re still in the habit of robbing banks, then your spouse will be much happier if they don’t have to hear about it on the evening news.
4. Extended Family
Just how large of a part will extended-family play in your life together? Will the mother-in-law be allowed into the home? What arrangements will you make to care for aging parents in the years to come? How to do you feel about changing adult diapers? Family is important, so figure out what kind of a home you’ll be stuffing Grandpa into before it becomes a problem.
Historically, conflicting religions haven’t really gotten along too well (the Crusades come to mind). This goes double for couples who practice different faiths. Sure, if neither one of you is all that devout, then you can look at your respective faiths as just interesting quirks. However, if one of you is a practicing Roman Catholic and the other is a Satan-worshiper, then eventually those differences are going to clash. Decide early on what part religion will play in your lives, especially in regards to what faith your kids will be raised in, because having the kids attend Mass one week and Black Mass the next might end up being a little confusing.
On to the good part — if you and your partner have already been bumping uglies, then this might be a conversation that you should have had a long time ago, but it’s still better late than never. Discuss what you plan to get out of sex. What kind of a sexual appetite do you each have? Also, be sure to share your sexual history with your partner so that they know what they’re getting into. You don’t have to go into detail about your premature ejaculation treatment or the time you almost got caught in a changing room, but a list of any possible STDs would surely be appreciated.
There’s nothing wrong with having an established career when heading into marriage. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with both spouses each having separate established careers. However, what happens when one spouse’s career demands a move to a different part of the country? What will you do if you have children and one of you needs to start staying at home? You’ll need to figure out who will be the primary money maker for your family, and you’ll need to do so soon.
Houses don’t clean themselves. If you’re getting married so that you can have someone to pick up after you, you should take some time right now to explain your plan to your significant other; it will save you some serious divorce expenses down the road.
If your marriage is a success, then one of you will get to experience what it’s like to lose a partner (unless you manage to check out at the exact same time). But, long before you ever get to see your spouse take a dirt nap, you’ll need to figure out what expectations they have regarding funerals and related services. And if you’re expecting your spouse to have your corpse taken to a taxidermist and then put on display in the living room, the will isn’t the best place to inform him or her of your decision.
10. The Wedding
This one is really the best of a bad bunch. Wedding planning can be really fun — just as long as you do it together. Be willing to compromise, however, and to give your partner what they want. The wedding is supposed to be a celebration of love, not the end of it. Oh, and if you think it would be funny to smash a piece of cake all over your spouses face, make sure to get the OK before hand; just because it’s your wedding day, doesn’t mean that you have the right to be an ass.