I came across the following article on about.com, and I thought that it contained some excellent points and considerations for those who are not only thinking of getting married or have been recently married, but evn for those of us who have been married for several years. Of course, as a divorce attorney I see a lot of the intimate details of people’s family life, and the lack of compatibility and/or planning of some married couples never ceases to amaze me. No matter how you look at it, marriage is a serious, life changing decision, and it should not be taken lightly. There is a reason that over half of all marriages end in diovrce, and many shouldn’t have to. I encourage everyone to think about these things, and thanks to authors Sheri and Bob Stritof for their insight.
Discuss These Issues Before Walking Down the Aisle
Many marriage education experts caution that when couples believe in the myths of "happily-ever-after" or "love conquers all," problems in the marital relationship may surface within a short time after the wedding.
The success or failure of your marriage relationship may hinge on how well you deal with issues such as finances, sexuality, communication, conflict, parenting, in-laws, leisure time, family of origin, spirituality, expectations, and chores.
Even though you may be very busy with wedding preparations, it is critical that you make time to prepare for your life time together by exploring your relationship in more depth.
Communication, along with a willingness to grow closer together, is one of the keys to a successful marriage.
General Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· Why are we getting married? Pregnancy, financial security, loneliness or wanting to get out of the family home are not valid reasons to get married.
· What do we as a couple want out of life?
· Do you have a criminal record?
Family of Origin Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· What was your childhood like?
· Was your family an affectionate one?
· Do you think we will have problems with your family during the holidays?
· What values do you want to bring from your family into our marriage?
· What do you like and dislike about your family?
Self Image Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· How would you describe yourself?
· How do you think I see you?
· Am I a jealous person?
· Do I have trust issues or feel insecure?
· How important is affirmation to me?
· Do I handle compliments well?
Time and Chores Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· How are we going to divide up the household chores?
· What are your expectations about how we will spend our free time?
· Do you believe that we should be doing everything together?
· Can we each pursue our own interests?
· Do you need time alone?
· How would you feel if I want a night out with my friends now and then?
· How will we make sure we have quality time together?
Money Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· Are you a saver or spender when it comes to money?
· Do you want to have a budget?
· Should we have a joint checking account or separate accounts or both?
· Who is going to be responsible for making sure that bills are paid on time?
· Do you consider going to the movies and having a vacation every year a necessity or a luxury?
· What are our financial goals?
· Do you have any outstanding fines or debts?
· What are our future plans for purchasing a home?
Parenting Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· Do we want to have children?
· If we decide we do, how many children do you want to have?
· How long should we be married before having children?
· What kind of parent do you think you will be?
· What is your parenting philosophy?
· Will one of us stay home after we have children?
· What type of birth control should we use if we want to postpone or prevent parenthood?
· How do you feel about adoption?
· Do you have any children already?
Spirituality and Religious Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· Does religion play an important part in your life?
· Do you think faith and spirituality are important in a marriage?
· What is your image of God?
Sexual Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· Are you comfortable discussing your sexual likes and dislikes?
· What are your expectations of our sexual relationship?
Conflict Issues to Talk About Before You are Married
· How will we make decisions together?
· Are we both willing to face into difficult areas or do we try to avoid conflict?
· Do we handle conflict well?
· Are we both willing to work on our communication skills and to share intimately with each other?
Source for Post: www.about.com/marriage and written by Sheri and Bob Stritof