By Christine Rudolph
Getting married may be very exciting. You get to plan months ahead for the big day and prepare everything; from wedding shoes to the venue to the clothes and food items, and much more.
But what about after the event is over?
Your actual life starts after the occasion, which is why you must plan your life with your partner ahead of time. You don’t know what’s coming beyond your vows and those sacred documents. Let’s shake that hazy cloud of love and wonderment and be practical for a second.
Several things must be looked into before you get married.
With our traditional upbringing, perhaps we are not quite as open and comfortable at communication with our future spouses, as most of the Europeans and Americans might be. But times have changed. The gender gap is no longer a big deal, and women ought to vocalize their opinions and plans.
Dave Ramsay says, “To be unclear is to be unkind.” If you have thought of it, it does not mean that they have to! It is quite unfair to the other person if you expect them to understand your thoughts, your responsibilities; shared or unshared, your finances, the household budget, and accounts, or your time apart from each other; for business or family. Just lay it all out on the table.
On a lighter note, you may favor white flower girl dresses for the flower-girls while they may be envisioning more color! So, talk it all out early on.
Both of you may get into this agreement with your own separate financial obligations and assets. A wedding merger is like no other. You have to discuss, clearly and specifically, the division of responsibilities.
Write out your financial worries; even debts or loans if you have them, and assets on a paper before you go into a discussion that bares it all. This way, you take your future spouse into confidence and are able to own up to which person gets to worry about a certain obligation. “One cause of divorce is money,” said Maggie Kirchhoff, a Certified Financial Planner and Vice President at Wisdom Wealth Strategies.
Hopes and Dreams
You have to be able to discuss the tough questions. Does your future partner want children, or is it just you? Perhaps they wish to adopt from an orphanage. It may seem too soon to ask this question but it is better to accept this reality and go from there.
Many couples may find a difference of opinion on the idea, so it is better to come to an understanding; or compromise, before getting married. Is your partner ambitious? Are they workaholics? Do you plan to start a venture soon, which may require a lot of your time and may not leave you with enough time to spend with your spouse? In the same way, one of you may have to travel quite a bit for work or business; decide how to tackle such an obligation afterward.
Family always comes first — spend time with each other’s parents, and have open discussions with them. Talk about the level of their involvement in your affairs, and their influence in your key decisions.
Now is a good time to think about the kind of parenting that you had, and the marriage that your parents had, because they have a major impact on your own marriage and way of parenting.
In this regard, your fiancé’s opinion has to be considered as well for a healthy future; you cannot leave this to chance.
Faith or religion is of primary importance for most people starting out a new chapter in their lives. It is imperative to consider each other’s views on the matter, and our level of comfort with differences in opinion. One may be more spiritual than the other or place greater importance on matters, like rituals for instance, that the other partner may not.
Sometimes, people have a difference of opinion when it comes to religion. But they manage to agree with each other at some point in their lives.
A mere mention of ‘legal’ documents should not be one to trigger red flags all over the place. Remember, the primary aim of an open discussion is to save yourselves from the injurious arguments aafterward. There’s estate planning, living arrangements, and even delicate things like prenuptial agreements to consider.
Muslim women may wish to consider any clauses that they wish to enforce or question any that have been revoked. You ought to think about your last will and testament, and healthcare decisions too and make decisions with mutual consent.
At the end of the day, the point of coming to the table for these unpleasant discussions is merely to discuss matters openly so as to save yourself from unpleasant scenarios in the future. No two people are created the same, and everybody comes with their own sets of hopes, expectations, and past, that have made them into the person they are.
The question is, are you willing to commit and give them the time and attention that they deserve? Are you willing to work towards honoring an important commitment like marriage, rather than running soon as things get difficult? Are you willing to give ccounselinga go, and pause to consider your actions before things turn ugly? If your answer is a resounding yes, then you are good to go. But first, talk it out!