Before Considering Marriage
We know the statistics related to the likelihood of divorce in this country is upwards of 50%. One of my best friends on the verge of marriage to her fiance spotted this article in the New York Times which, put simply, highlights the top things couples do not adequately discuss before saying their vows; the most common marriage deal-breakers.
- 1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver?
- 2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh?
- 3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores?
- 4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental?
- 5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect?
- 6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears?
- 7) Will there be a television in the bedroom?
- 8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints?
- 9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education?
- 10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends?
- 11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship?
- 12) What does my family do that annoys you?
- 13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage?
- 14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move?
- 15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?
Interestingly enough, as I read through the list I realized Special K and I have discussed everything on it in detail, save #7 (which by default is already a no, since neither one of us care for TV very much), and we're only in our 4th month of couple-dom.
How is it possible that these topics don't automatically make it to the forefront of a communication agenda with a serious significant other? It boggles my mind...