In my practice I encounter a myriad of couples with different love stories. Although the terms ‘love, engaged, fiance, marriage, family, parenting, etc.’ are known to both parties, the expectations may vary significantly and unfortunately, in the years of dating there are still many topics the couple has not discussed which may become problematic in a marriage.
Prior to becoming engaged (or after) here are a few questions to discuss:
- What are your expectations of me as your fiancé, wife/husband?
- Are there particular chores/duties that you believe are gender specific?
- Ideally, when would you like to have children?
- Do you believe in corporal punishment (spanking) of children?
- Private or public schools for our children?
- What are your thoughts about finances, separate, joint or both?
- For joint accounts, should both deposit a certain dollar amount/or percentage?
- Who handled the finances in your family during childhood? What were the pros/cons of this approach?
- What are your deal breakers?
- If we encounter an issue in our marriage, are you open to counseling/therapy?
- What are your thoughts about independent friendships with individuals of the opposite gender?
- Are you willing to relocate (city, state, country) if an opportunity became available for one of us?
Of course one never knows how they will respond when faced with certain experiences, however, you can learn a great deal about self and each other by exploring these various topics. A few recommended resources are:
- Things I wish I’d known before we got married by Gary Chapman
- Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform your relationships with easy to learn, proven communication by Georgianna Donadio
- What is the tone of your communication: effective keys to preventing relationship breakdowns by James Olah
Healthy, loving, fulfilling marriages require more than physical attraction and a beautiful wedding ceremony. Be proactive in your relationships; make the investment and become a connoisseur of loving, effective communication. © - Misha N. Granado