Five Conversations to Have Before You Get Married

When we were preparing to get married, we talked about a lot of things. Our lives were busy with work, school, and wedding plans. Most of what we talked about was related to the wedding or our lives together immediately afterward. We had conversations about some far future topics, but there are a lot of things that we've talked about since or situations that we've gone through together that I wish were part of our discussions before we were in the moment and before we got married. As I've watched other couples around me get married, I can't help but think about these topics even more, so I decided to put together this post as a point of reference for engaged couples. I feel that couples in any stage of life could sit down together and talk about these things and it would be beneficial to their relationship as well.

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5 Conversations Every Engaged Couple Should Have Before Getting Married

Family

Current

What traditions does your family have? Think about the big holiday traditions. Think about traditions that are unique to your family and come with vacations, birthdays or other special events. Think about daily, weekly and monthly rituals for things like family mealtime, bedtime, and certain days of the week.

Which of your current family traditions do you want to keep and incorporate in your marriage and family?

What is your family culture like? Attitudes, ideas, home environment, catch phrases, beliefs, etc.

What boundaries or rules does your family live by? How will those affect your new family unit and how which ones will you carry over in your own home?

Related: It's OK to Say No for the Sake of Your Marriage

How will you handle holidays with your families? Set realistic boundaries and expectations now, keeping in mind that you might have kids in the future that will change how realistic or stressful your traditions are.

Future

How many kids do you want? What baby names do you have on your lists already?

Do you value things or experiences? Would you rather take your family on a vacation or fun outing or purchase fun toys to use? How will the things that you value translate into gift giving, and what you spend your money on regularly?

What is most important to you when you're building a home? Talk about the physical house, but also the things that make your house a home. What type of atmosphere do you want to create? How will you build a space that feels safe to everyone in your family?

What is your family mission statement? Spend a lot of time on this one then have it printed up and hang it in your home where it can be seen always.

What will your parenting look like? Are there things that your parents did that you want or don't want to do with your kids? What are your views on some of the more controversial topics (immunizations, home schooling, spanking, etc.)?

What roles will each of you play in the home? Will you both work? Will one of you stay home while the other one works, if so, who will fill which role? How will you divide household responsibilities? Who is in charge of setting your budget?

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Finances

Will you be combining your bank accounts and your finances?

Related: How to Make Combined Finances Work in Your Marriage

Do you know what each other's income is?

Related: 43% of Individuals Don't Know This Financial Fact About Their Spouse

What will your budget look like? What things do you need to cut out of your current lifestyle in order to fit your new budget? Is there anything you aren't willing to give up? Is there something that's important to you to be included in the budget?

How do you feel about debt? Do either of you currently have debt? How do you plan to work as a team to pay off your debt?

Related: Viewing Debt as 'Ours' vs 'Mine' and 'Yours'

What is your idea of a "comfortable living"? How much money will you be making? Is it defined by the state of your house, the vacations your able to take or the financial security you have?

What financial goals do you have? What are your priorities for your money? What things are most important to you? What sacrifices are you willing to make when money is tight?

Are there any areas where you tend to overspend? How will you keep your spending within the budget you set? Could you benefit from a cash only system?

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Intimacy

What is your love language? If you don't know, take Gary Chapman's, The 5 Love Languages Quiz online. What can your spouse do to show love to you in your language? How does your spouse show love in their language?

How do you define intimacy? Are you both on the same page?

Related: The One Thing You Need to Know to Increase Intimacy in Your Marriage

What is your current understanding of intimacy in marriage? What did your parents teach you? What things have you learned from friends? What questions do you have?

Have you been sexually active with other partners in the past?

What form of birth control works best for your lifestyle and belief system?

What do you need from your spouse to be intimate with them? Mental, emotional, physical.

Related: 22 Ways to Increase Intimacy in Your Marriage

What aren't you comfortable with in the bedroom? What are you comfortable with?

How and when do you want to be approached if your spouse wants to try something new?

What are your expectations related to intimacy?

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Relationship

How will you continue to make each other a priority after you're married?

What rituals will you create to help you connect on a daily basis?

Related: Why You Need to Make Your Spouse a Priority Every Day

How often will you have date night? What does date night look like in your marriage? How can you make date night happen on a budget? What creative things can you do to enjoy date night at home?

How often will you make it a priority to get away together? What things make a romantic getaway for you? How will you use that time to connect on a deeper level and strengthen your relationship?

Related: Why Your Marriage Needs a Marriage Moon

What things will you do to put each other first when life gets busy?

Related: 10 Ways to Connect with Your Spouse in 10 Minutes or Less

How will you make each other a priority after you become parents?

Related: Why Your Kids Need You to Put Your Marriage First

What habits and routines can you create now to build a strong relationship that will last a lifetime?

In addition to the conversation starters mentioned in this post, I highly suggest this conversation starter pack from The Dating Divas {partner link}. It includes over 200 questions covering topics like family, finances, intimacy, quality time and romance. I've gone through a lot of conversation starter kits and books in my marriage and this has been one of my favorites. I keep a stack of cards in my purse, in the car, in my bedside table drawer and anywhere that we might find ourselves with a little extra time together to chat. We pull the cards out on long drives, on date night, or at the end of the day instead of turning on Netflix. It's a quality product perfect for couples in any stage of life.

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