Crucial issues to discuss before tying the knot

Sunday January 17 2016

Finding someone you want to marry is a wonderful feeling. Now all you can think about is arranging the wedding! But before you tie the knot, there’s some talking to do  ILLUSTRATION | IGAH

Finding someone you want to marry is a wonderful feeling. Now all you can think about is arranging the wedding! But before you tie the knot, there’s some talking to do ILLUSTRATION | IGAH 

By CHRIS HART
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Finding someone you want to marry is a wonderful feeling. Now all you can think about is arranging the wedding! But before you tie the knot, there’s some talking to do — because there are issues that need to be settled before you wed. Especially as they’re easy to talk about while you’re engaged, and much harder to raise later. 

And if you let the opportunity slip by? Chances are, there’ll be some serious trouble sooner or later. So talk now, before it’s too late!

Like you need to have discussed whether you both want to have children, and how many. Obviously, you can’t make a final decision about that right now, but it’s still important that you’re both on the same page. You’d be surprised how many engaged couples just assume that their partner sees children the way they do — only to hit a roadblock years later.

You need to talk about money. To start being completely honest with each other about your income, investments, debts and so on. You need to discuss how you’ll manage the household bills, and how much each of you will have for private spending.

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You need to share any hopes and dreams that will need funding, like further studies, starting a business, buying a house and so on. You need to agree on what you’ll be saving — and how. You need to be comfortable about each other’s financial habits, like maybe one of you is a very careful planner, while the other is a spontaneous big spender…

You need to be talking about intimacy. Sex is hugely important to the success of a marriage, especially as the years go by and you become busier, your responsibilities grow and you have children. Developing the habit of talking about intimacy now, while things are easy, will ensure you keep the spark alive when things get tough.

Talk about your in-laws, and if there are any issues, fix them before the wedding.

If either or both of you is religious, talk about your beliefs and how you’ll practice them as a couple, especially if they affect your lifestyle. If your beliefs differ, talk about how you’ll participate in each other’s religious life. Agree how you’ll share your differing beliefs with your children.

Talk about your lifestyle. Whether you’d be willing to move if either of you had to relocate because of work. How you’ll divide up the chores — and whatever you agree, start doing it right now! Discuss your interests and social life - and how much time you need on your own.

Talk about your past, especially important childhood or relationship problems that you faced. Be sure that there are no trust, insecurity, communication or control issues.

Be sure you’re truly in love, and not just excited or lusting after each other! And if you’re left with any doubts? Then see a counsellor straight away. Because if you can’t fix problems like these now, then maybe you’re not meant for each other…