So this is that season once again! The weather is warming up, the flowers are coming up and we are perking up! This is also the season that many brides are lined up to take that much awaited walk down the aisle. I remember that day very well! It truly is an amazing feeling to walk towards the love of your life and step into your future. BUT WAIT!! AS your Marriage Enthusiast, I must share this with you. If you are near engagement, this is a must read. If you are already engaged this is a MUST read!
Here are the top 5 conversations that must be had in depth before you send out any wedding invitations:
1) SEX- Of course!! The number one reason we get married, right? Well…not exactly, but if that’s the case for you, make sure your mate is aware!! Talking about sex often seems like an unnecessary conversation. Most couples believe sex is a given and we’ll be making love at least four times a week. That’s really not the case for a lot of couples so it is important to know an acceptable minimum. Know what turns you on and what turns you off! Be clear on how creative you are willing to be and what your sexual boundaries are. This is never an area to ASSUME…..
2) MONEY- Another given conversation…budgets, investing, 401k…blah, blah, we get it. But do you really get it? A lot of emotions are tied to money that couples often do not pay attention to. How do you feel about making more money than him? How does HE feel? When is it appropriate to “dip into your savings”? What are your savings really for? How are you planning for school for your children? When do you want to retire? This conversation must go below the surface and it never gets old, but it is up to you as a couple to keep it fresh.
3) RELIGION- Religion and spirituality are often overlooked in relationships and often cause major damage in marriages. What do you believe? Do you believe that worshipping together is a must? What are your beliefs around praying and fasting? Do you believe a difference in faith can survive in marriage? How do you believe you would feel if your mate changed beliefs? If you believe it, you will be it.
4) CHILDREN- So I’m sure that if you are in a serious relationship, you have already discussed whether you want children and probably stated how many you want. The next step is to add details. How close do you intend to have them? How soon after marriage do you want children? How do you perceive your parenting style? What do you believe are “mommy duties” vs. “daddy duties”? Getting clarity on what your family life looks like will save unnecessary confusion for the children.
5) LIFESTYLE-This conversation is often the least discussed conversation for pre-married couples. Your overall lifestyle is what defines you and what attracts you to your mate. Without clear communication, this can also repel your mate over time. It is important to talk about your views on “Me time” and “We time” as well as the activities for those times. If one of you is a homebody and the other is an adventure seeker, it can be attractive while you date, but over time it can be annoying if you do not feel the compromise. Have you asked your mate about his views on what’s appropriate with friends? How do gender roles play into your relationship? What does teamwork look like for you? Can friends and family drop by unannounced? What time should the phone stop ringing at night? Set boundaries within your relationship so that you are a united front when you address the world.
Clarity is key in every form of communication and in every relationship. Your marriage represents the closest relationship you will ever have on earth. Focus on openness to lead you to happiness.
Kristin Michelle Young is a wife, mother student, teacher, speaker, coach and marriage ENTHUSIAST! She founded Living the Vows as a platform to promote the joys of marriage and to minimize the perils of divorce. Kristin and her husband, James, have been living the vows through a victorious marriage and are committed to guiding other couples into the greatness that marriage was meant to be. They are the proud parents of 5 beautiful children and 5 grandchildren. See what she has for you at www.livingthevows.com.