5 conversations you should have with your partner before getting married
Written by the Marriage Expert – Stephen van Basten
Are you 100% sure you love me and want to spend the rest of our lives together?
Marriage is a commitment for life. It is a serious step which should not be taken lightly. Most people get married in their later twenties and we are living up 90 years and longer. If you think of how you have changed from when you were a baby to now around 30, Imagine how you will both change over the next 60 years. While there is no guarantee of future happiness, at least be very sure the answer to this is a resounding, “YES!”
Are you realistic about marriage and do you know that our commitment will be tested?
While you are courting and in the honeymoon stage, things are easy and congruent. It’s like the two of you have become one. This changes over time. Life happens. Humans make mistakes. Fortunes come and go. Parenthood adds pressure. You both meet new people and have different needs. You will have to forgive each other for lots of minor and some major transgressions.
Do you want children and if so, how many and how soon?
I assure you that after you get married the question will change from, “When are you getting married?” to “When are you having your first kid?” It would seem that women have an intrinsic trigger to become moms and the older they get, the more urgent it becomes. I feel that men have a more romantic idea about parenthood but are not aware of the time and effort required to bring children up. This is an area of difference very often with couples I work with before marriage. I suggest you agree this one up front with very clear communication.
What is your vision for the future?
Successful business usually have a very clear mission and vision statement with short, mid and long term goals to achieve them. Added to that, the management team are all committed. I believe that creating and sustaining a long lasting fulfilling marriage is the same. It is a choice rather than a mere outcome. Have a frank discussion about the future. Where would you like be 20 years from now? Where would you love to live? How do you both earn money? Where do the kids go to school? Where do you love to travel? What do you love to do most? What is your real passion, your meaning in life?
How do we manage money?
The greatest cause of divorce is money. Not who makes it, but how we decide to spend it and who makes the decisions. There is nothing more demeaning than for one spouse to have to ask the other spouse for money. There are actually 4 money personalities and your spouse will probably be different. Agree on a system that works for you
For more information on this subject, go to: http://www.stephenvanbasten.co.za/marriage_expert.html or download Stephen’s book on staying married at www.stephenvanbasten.co.za/author.html