You’ve talked about how many guests to invite to the wedding, where to go on the honeymoon, who should choose the menu at the reception, and how many attendants will be in the wedding party. But have you talked about the stuff that really matters?
Here’s a Checklist:
- Have you discussed having children and if you both want children, have you discussed an approximate timetable?
- If you have different faiths, have you agreed in which religion the children will be raised?
- If you both have careers, how will the household costs be shared?
- Have you decided who will do the banking, pay the bills and balance the books monthly?
- With which family will you spend Christmas or other important holidays?
- How much money do you expect to spend on gifts for your in-laws?
- How much time do you each expect to spend with your in-laws? Would you go on a holiday with your in-laws?
- Would you agree to take the other’s parent into your home if they were aged or ill and needed care?
- Do you feel it is necessary to give up a same-sex friend if your spouse really dislikes that friend?
- Which do you consider most important – going on a honeymoon, or paying off debts?
- Should you share household expenses equally or should they be based on the amount each earns?
- Who should have the final word on major social decisions?
- Who should have the final work on major monetary decisions?
- Have you set mutual goals for the next five years?
- Have you agreed on how much time each should have with their same-sex friends?
- Does either of you suffer from inappropriate jealousy and if so, have you agreed on how to handle this?
- Does either feel that, except when working, you should be together all the time?
If the same problem results in verbal fights over and over again, will you both agree it could be productive to talk to a therapist?
Beyond the wedding
It is suprising how many couples think love will conquer all and overwhelmingly in love, throw themselves into planning their ideal wedding. They avoid any subject that could cause a ripple in the relationship. But it bodes ill for a marriage if the tough day-to-day lifestyle choices aren’t discussed and negotiated before the wedding.