Another wedding season is about to begin, so you might be thinking about taking the next step with your partner. Before you look at engagement rings together, you have to think critically about marriage. This isn’t as romantic as browsing through wedding dresses online, but it’s a crucial part of making your marriage work from day one.
Check out what to know before getting married so you feel confident about your future when you get engaged. Starting a few tough conversations now will save you and your partner from potential heartbreak later.
How Do You Handle Stress Together?
It’s easy to feel deeply in love when life seems great, but the good times won’t always last. You and your partner will have to overcome challenges both together and alone during your marriage. This could be what makes or breaks your relationship.
Think about how you’ve both handled stress in the past. You’ll know you have a healthy foundation for your marriage if you support each other when things get tough.
How Do You Both Receive Love?
Sometimes there’s a divide in relationships because you don’t know how your partner expresses and receives love. You can always foster your love after learning about the five love languages and interacting with your partner in a way that they naturally understand as love.
You might do more acts of kindness around the house or spend quality time with them before thinking about yourself. When you and your partner feel equally loved, your marriage can conquer anything.
How Do You Handle Finances Together?
Whether you share a bank account or not, money will become a significant influence on your marriage. Recent studies show that 29% of baby boomers and 41% of Generation Xers blame money for their divorce because they disagreed about handling their income or tackling debt.
Talk with your partner about your financial habits to avoid the strain of arguing over money after every paycheck.
What Expectations Do You Carry?
Do you have existing expectations of your partner? You might want them to change certain habits or accomplish goals in a specific time frame. Even if your motive for these expectations is to help your partner grow and thrive, they will ultimately hurt your marriage.
You and your partner will both feel free to grow personally and together when you let go of your expectations and choose to love each other as you are instead.
What Happens When the Love Fades?
Right now, your partner gives you butterflies when they walk in the room, but that won’t always be your reality. Your marriage will become a normal part of your life like anything else, making love fade with time. Everyone experiences this, but how you both handle it will determine if it’s the reason you divorce or become stronger together.
Think about if there are any underlying insecurities. Will you get jealous when the love fades and your partner makes new friends that you view as a threat? Will you fight for your marriage?
If you think your relationship is in a bad place, something as simple as prioritizing date nights can change your relationship for the better, so you can start your marriage with a healthy view of love.
Are You Good Roommates?
Chores won’t be on your mind while you plan your wedding, but you should both know if you’re good roommates together before committing to a lifelong relationship. Discuss how you each live if you’re currently in separate places, or move in together before getting engaged to test your roommate compatibility.
You can also take a long vacation together if you don’t want to live together before marriage. Learning how to be a good roommate is a great way to know that you’re marrying the right person and will feel right at home waking up to them every day.
What Are Your Personal Struggles?
You’ll both carry personal baggage into your marriage, but you can work to minimize that baggage before you get engaged. Consider if you or your partner struggle with addictions, family problems or other personal challenges. Working on yourself improves your relationship because your significant other becomes part of your support system and not the solution to your problems.
What Are Your Future Plans?
You might not usually think too far into your future, but making plans with your partner will clarify any lingering differences before you walk down the aisle. Start conversations about when you want to buy a house, what you want from your career and if you want kids in the future.
After you bring these topics up, you can hash out parenting debates and discuss how you’ll both tackle your respective careers before you get married. No one should walk into a marriage when their partner wants something different that keeps them from their ultimate goals in life.
Talk About Everything
Now that you’ve learned what to know before getting married, you can recognize what common denominator pulls these tips together. The most important thing is to talk about everything that concerns you or your partner before getting engaged. Get on the same page about as many things as possible to understand what the future holds for your marriage.