20 Things You Should Discuss Before You Get Married
Marriage is a lifelong commitment that requires open communication and a shared understanding of each other's values, expectations, and goals. Talking about important topics helps you assess compatibility, identify potential areas of conflict, and develop strategies for navigating challenges.
Discussing important topics beforehand will also help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. If you have reached the point of getting married, you probably have already discussed the following 20 things naturally. But if not yet, then this article might be useful for you before saying "I do."
1. Living Arrangements
If the couple plans to live together before marriage, discussing living arrangements is crucial for a smooth cohabitation experience. This includes decisions about moving in together, dividing responsibilities, and adjusting to shared living spaces. It also includes considerations like city vs. suburb, type of housing, and lifestyle choices.
Some questions can be:
- Where do you envision us living after we get married?
- Are you open to buying a house, renting an apartment, or living with family?
- What kind of neighborhood would you like to live in?
- How important is proximity to work, schools, or family?
- Are you open to relocate after marriage if anyone of us gets transferred due to career?
These discussions ensure both partners are aligned in their expectations, fostering a shared vision for their home. Identify what are your deal-breakers and how you can communicate to avoid any conflict related to this.
2. Career Goals
Career can hugely impact a relationship. Especially if you are a workaholic and give a lot more importance to your job and career. So, discussing each other's career aspirations and how your careers may impact your lifestyle and future plans is important. Some questions can be:
- What are your long-term career aspirations?
- What do you hope to achieve in your chosen field?
- How do your individual career goals complement or support each other?
- How will you manage your careers together while maintaining a fulfilling personal relationship?
- How important is work-life balance to each of you?
Talking about these things will not only help you to check compatibility but also get you informed about each other's dedication. You might respect each other even more. Many families choose best jobs for family life after their marriage depending on the scenario.
3. In-Laws Involvement
Respecting each other's parents and families is really important in any marriage. But there needs to be some boundaries and expectations from your in-laws. Clarify how you and your partner can be supportive of each other when it comes to interactions with in-laws. This includes handling any potential conflicts or challenges that may arise. Some important questions are:
- How involved do you want your in-laws to be in your lives?
- How often do you anticipate seeing your in-laws?
- Do you expect your in-laws to be involved in major decisions, such as buying a house, having children, or career choices?
- How do you envision celebrating holidays and special occasions with your in-laws?
- How will you establish boundaries and expectations regarding in-laws' involvement in personal matters, such as child-rearing or household decisions?
These conversations should be conducted with an open mind and a willingness to compromise. The goal is to foster a harmonious relationship with your in-laws while prioritizing your relationship as a couple.
4. Religion and Spirituality
Share your religious or spiritual beliefs, and discuss how you plan to incorporate them into your married life, especially if you have different faiths. Some important points can be:
- What role does religion or spirituality play in your life?
- How do you envision incorporating religious or spiritual practices into your daily lives and family traditions?
- Are there any specific holidays or celebrations that hold significant importance to you?
- How do you envision your partner's involvement in your religious community?
- How do you envision raising children in terms of religion or spirituality?
Religion and spirituality can become a source of strength and harmony in your relationship if you establish a foundation of understanding, respect, and shared values.
5. Friends and Social Life
Consider your social preferences and how you'll balance time with friends and family versus alone time as a couple. Some people forget about their friends completely right after they get married but thats not healthy. Humans need social life and friendships are as important as any other relationship. So ask these questions:
- How much time do you want to spend with your friends and family?
- How will you balance your social life with your marriage?
- What types of social activities do you enjoy doing together?
- How will you approach situations where your friends or your partner's friends may not get along well?
- How involved do you expect your friends to be in your personal life?
- How will you maintain connections with old friends while prioritizing your new life together?
Understanding each other's social needs and establishing certain boundaries for friends in your married life is crucial for all.
6. Physical Intimacy and Sexuality
This is a personal topic, but it's important to discuss your expectations for physical intimacy before getting married. Have open and honest conversations about your expectations, desires, and boundaries when it comes to sexual intimacy. Here are some opener questions.
- What are your preferences for physical touch, affection, and sexual expression?
- How comfortable are you discussing your sexual needs, kinks, fantasies and desires with each other?
- How will you define and respect consent for physical intimacy and sexual activities?
- What are your expectations for safe sex practices and contraception?
- Are there any sexual history and potential risks for STIs you both should know about?
- How open are you to exploring different aspects of physical intimacy and sexuality together?
There can be many more questions about this and if you cannot be open about this beforehand, it might create problems in the future that can even lead to divorces.
7. Health and Wellness
You need to discuss your health and how you will take care of each other if one of you gets sick. Be open about all your history and health struggles if any. Consider the following queries.
- Do you have any allergies?
- Are there any chronic health conditions that I should be aware of?
- What medications do you currently take, if any?
- What is your attitude towards regular exercise, and how do you like to stay active?
- What are your typical sleep patterns, and do you have any sleep-related habits or issues?
- Are there any hereditary health conditions that run in your family?
If one of you has a mental health condition, you need to discuss that too and find out how you will support each other. All these informations will keep you informed and will be easier in case of any health emergencies later. You can build a lifestyle plan that will keep you both healthy and happy.
8. Partner Expectations
Everyone has certain expectations from their partner. Communicating about this can contribute to a deeper emotional connection and ensure that both partners feel loved and valued in ways that are meaningful to them. Consider the following things to ask him or her before getting married.
- How do you express and prefer to receive love (e.g., words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, gifts)?
- What kind of emotional support do you need during challenging times?
- How often do you expect expressions of love and affection?
- How do you define quality time together, and how often do you expect it?
- How do you balance the need for independence with the desire for togetherness in a relationship?
- How do you see our love evolving over time?
- How can we best support each other's emotional well-being?
This is one of the most important conversations to have before getting married. You need to be honest about your current financial situation, including your income, debt, savings, and spending habits.
Some people abstain from asking anything related to finances just for the fear that society may point them saying a "gold digger." No matter how much you say money doesn't matter in love, it does. So, here are some questions you should ask.
- What is your current income, savings, and debt situation?
- How do you envision dividing financial roles and responsibilities?
- Who will be responsible for bill payments, investment management, and long-term financial planning?
- What are your views on investments and retirement planning?
- What types of insurance (life, health, property) do you currently have?
- How do you plan to manage insurance coverage as a couple?
- Are there specific expenses or savings priorities that you would like to discuss?
10. Joint vs. Separate Accounts
Just talking about financial history and income sources won't be enough if you don't have proper budgetting and financial planning. Specially if both of you are working individual, you may have shared expenses. Decide whether you'll have joint bank accounts, separate accounts, or a combination of both, and establish financial transparency.
- Do you have an emergency fund, and if so, how much do you think is necessary?
- How do you plan to handle unexpected financial challenges?
- How can you both work towards securing a comfortable retirement?
- How will you manage shared expenses, such as bills, groceries, and housing costs?
11. Household Responsibilities
Many marriages fail when they do not have clear expectations regarding household responsibilities and gender roles in their shared home. Discussing about it beforehand is important in ensuring a harmonious division of labor.
- What household chores do you enjoy or dislike?
- What are your expectations regarding the cleanliness of the home?
- How do you plan to handle cooking and meal preparation responsibilities?
- Are there specific items or brands that you prefer for groceries?
- Who will be responsible for handling home repairs and maintenance tasks?
- If you have or plan to have pets, how will you share responsibilities like feeding, grooming, and vet visits?
- Who will take the lead in decorating and organizing shared spaces?
- How do you feel about having guests over, and how often do you expect to host?
If you want to have children, you need to discuss how many children you want, when you want to start having them, and how you will raise them. This can be a sensitive topic, so it's important to be patient and understanding with each other.
Here are some questions you must ask.
- Are there specific life milestones or goals that you want to achieve before having children?
- What methods of family planning are you comfortable with?
- Have you discussed fertility concerns or explored the possibility of fertility testing?
- How were you parented, and how might that influence your parenting style?
- How do you plan to share childcare responsibilities?
- How do you plan to ensure the safety and well-being of your child?
- How do you envision involving extended family in your child's life?
13. Hobbies and Interests
Share your interests and hobbies, and find common activities that you can enjoy together or support in each other. You need to find ways to balance your individual hobbies and interests with your time together as a couple.
Discuss the importance of personal time and how you both can maintain individual interests and friendships. Here are some topics related to hobbies you should think about.
- How do you typically spend your free time?
- What activities or pursuits bring you joy and fulfillment?
- Are there any hobbies or interests you've always wanted to try but haven't had the opportunity?
- How open are you to trying new activities or hobbies together?
- Are you willing to support and encourage each other's individual hobbies, even if they differ from your own?
- How will you ensure that both partners have enough time and space to pursue their personal passions?
14. Travel Preferences
Open communication about your individual travel aspirations, budget considerations, and preferred travel styles can help prevent conflicts, create a sense of shared excitement, and plan memorable adventures together.
Some questions to explore can be:
- Do you have any travel bucket lists or dream destinations?
- Are you interested in exploring new cultures and cuisines together?
- Are you open to adventurous experiences or prefer more relaxing travel styles?
- How do you prioritize travel expenses within your overall financial plan?
- Do you prefer spontaneous or planned trips?
Having open and honest discussions about travel preferences helps ensure that both partners are aware of each other's expectations, and it provides an opportunity to find common ground and compromise when necessary.
15. Stance on Infidelity
If you are getting married, you must share your personal values and beliefs regarding infidelity in relationships. Discuss the importance of loyalty, trust, and commitment in a partnership. Also, clearly define what constitutes infidelity for each of you. Discuss emotional infidelity, physical infidelity, and any other behaviors that may be perceived as a breach of trust.
- How do you define infidelity? What behaviors or actions would you consider infidelity?
- Do you differentiate between emotional and physical infidelity?
- What are your expectations for monogamy and faithfulness in a relationship?
- How important is monogamy to you? Are there any exceptions or circumstances you consider acceptable?
- What boundaries do you want to establish regarding communication with others, flirtation, and emotional attachments outside the relationship?
Open and honest communication about your values, expectations, and boundaries regarding infidelity can help prevent conflicts, foster trust, and establish a shared understanding of monogamy.
16. Past Traumas
You should share your own experiences of past traumas, and encourage your partner to do the same. This can help foster a sense of empathy and understanding for each other's emotional history.
- What types of traumatic experiences have you had in your life?
- How have these experiences impacted your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors?
- What are your triggers or emotional cues that can bring back memories of your trauma?
- How has your trauma impacted your life, both personally and in relationships?
- What coping mechanisms have you developed to manage your trauma and its effects?
By approaching these conversations with empathy, understanding, and patience, you can strengthen your bond and create a space where both of you feel safe, supported, and loved.
17. Food Preferences
Talking about each other's favorite cuisines, types of food they enjoy, and any dietary restrictions they may have is important before you get married. It can help prevent potential conflicts and ensure that both partners are happy with their food choices.
Here are some questions that you can ask them:
- What are your thoughts on veganism or vegetarianism?
- How does your food preference impact your lifestyle?
- What are your expectations for food in a relationship?
- Are you open to trying new foods?
- What are your thoughts on healthy eating?
- What are your expectations for meals when we have guests?
18. Social Media Boundaries
One of you might enjoy sharing everything about your life on social media while one of you might be too reserved. Respecting each other's privacy and deciding what goes on social media and what not is necessary for a relationship to thrive.
Ask these questions first:
- Are you comfortable with sharing your relationship status on social media?
- How often do you plan to post about your personal life on social media?
- Are you okay with your partner sharing pictures or updates about you without asking?
- What are your guidelines for accepting friend requests from ex-partners or people from the past?
- How do you feel about your partner tagging you in pictures or posts?
- Are you comfortable with your partner connecting with people of the opposite gender on social media?
- How do you feel about your partner commenting on others' posts, especially those of the opposite gender?
19. Political Views
Political views can significantly impact a marriage in various ways, influencing everything from communication styles to decision-making processes. Divergent political views may lead to differences in core values, potentially causing challenges when making decisions about family, career, and lifestyle.
Here are some considerations and questions to explore:
- What political values and beliefs are most important to you?
- How politically engaged are you, and what forms of political participation do you find meaningful?
- Are you open to participating in political activities together, such as attending rallies or volunteering for causes?
- Do you affiliate with a particular political party, or do you consider yourself an independent?
- Are there specific policy positions that are non-negotiable for you?
- Are there any family expectations or traditions related to politics that you feel strongly about?
- How do you envision teaching children about political issues and fostering political awareness in the family?
20. Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution is a critical aspect of any relationship, and discussing how to handle conflicts before marriage is crucial for building a strong and resilient partnership. Here are several reasons why addressing conflict resolution is important:
- Can you share an example of a past conflict and how it was resolved or not resolved?
- What are your typical responses to conflict or disagreements?
- How do you prefer to communicate during disagreements? Are there specific communication styles that work best for you?
- What does a healthy resolution look like to you?
- Do you prefer to address conflicts immediately, or do you need time and space to process before discussing?
- What are some behaviors or words that you find hurtful during conflicts?
- How do you feel about seeking external support, such as couples counseling, during challenging times?
Understanding each other's natural tendencies can provide insights into how conflicts may unfold. Similarly, establishing boundaries for respectful communication helps create a safe environment for discussing disagreements.
Now that you're aware of all the essential topics to address before marriage, consider exploring our comprehensive list of 21 Wedding themes that are popular today.