Before we got married, we did some premarital counseling, and now we recommend it to EVERYONE. When we talk to engaged couples, they also have some hesitation. Almost like there has to be something wrong with their relationship or they don’t see the purpose of doing premarital counseling.
Well, we want to share some of the discussions we had BECAUSE of premarital counseling. These are a few of the discussions that came out of our counseling and we would encourage any engaged couple (or serious dating couples who are thinking about marriage) to talk about.
This one doesn’t seem like a major conversation to have before the big day, but we PROMISE it’s going to make those first couple of months much easier. It was something we had never thought of until we were doing premarital counseling.
If you’ve lived with roommates, then you know how frustrating it can be if someone doesn’t help contribute around the house. The longer it goes, the more bitter you’ll become. The same is true in marriage, and what you saw growing up is probably going to play a role in your expectations.
If you expect your spouse to take out the trash because that’s what you saw growing up, you would start to get very frustrated if you have to keep taking out the trash every other day. Eventually, you’ll probably get frustrated.
Instead of that anger building up because of unmet expectations, having that conversation beforehand will make for a much happier adjustment to living together.
If you don’t already know about Love Languages, we highly suggest going out and doing some research. Figuring out what your love language is and what your future spouse’s is will help you understand what they value, what makes them feel appreciated, and how you can show that you care.
For Mitchel and I, we have very different love languages, which created a bit of miscommunication at the beginning of our marriage. While I appreciated the small gifts he would give me and his kind words, they weren’t what I really wanted, which was acts of service. Coming home to a clean kitchen and folded laundry was a much better way to show his love.
As much as we might hate it, money makes the world go around. If you’ve ever paid a car insurance bill you know how expensive life can be. The older we get, the more important having open communication about our finances becomes.
Before we were married, we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and it changed the way we looked at our finances, debt, money, and jumpstarted our conversations about those topics.
Poor finance management can not only create debt, but it can also create a strain on your marriage. Talk about budgeting, what you expect to spend, and your thoughts on debt, credit cards, and more.
When Mitchel and I were first married, we both were new to our careers and were still trying to figure out what our passions were, and how we viewed work. We didn’t have any career goals or how we would manage work and marriage.
While you can’t predict the future or what job you’ll have in 10 years, start to think about your career, what boundaries you’ll put in place, and how you will manage your work-life balance.
Some couples are willing to work 60 hours a week with specific goals in mind, while others will be more strict about how much time they will spend at the office.
I know this one sounds pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how often soon-to-be-married couples don’t have a legit discussion about kids.
Now, we don’t mean the basic conversation of “how many kids do you want?” or “do you have any baby names you like?”
We mean the real-life discussions about how many children you might want, if they will be going to daycare or a parent will be staying home, how you would like to raise your children, etc.
The older we get, the more we appreciate the holidays and the time we get to spend with our families during the holidays. We also realize how tiring it can be to spend so much time on the road and packing everything up. As we are about to have our first baby, we have already started thinking about what our next holidays will look like with a family of 3 and what traditions we want to start.
It’s never too early to start working through what holidays will look like as a married couple. Who will you spend Christmas day with? Will you alternate every year or will you want to spend the holidays at your own house?
There are no right or wrong answers, but having some of those conversations before the problems arise and make life much easier after marriage.