It helps to get everything down pat before the actual ceremony.
Just got engaged? Pop the cork on that fancy bottle of champagne you’ve been saving because, hey, you should totally be celebrating! Before you really get down to the nitty-gritty of what marriage entails, take a moment to enjoy the wonderful, fuzzy feeling of being betrothed to your best friend and the love of your life.
We all want our happily ever afters to fall into place ASAP, but marriage is a two-way street and a lifetime commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You and boo will need to do a fair amount of legwork to sustain your relationship in the months and years to come. So, before you set a date to walk down the aisle and take your vows in front of loved ones, consider this: Have you both spoken about what you truly want for yourselves and each other? If you have no idea what I’m on about, let me elaborate…
It’s all fun and games, while you’re still dating. But, the moment things become serious, some aspects that ought to be given careful consideration often get overlooked: Remember how you always disagreed about money? That’s not going to go away because you’re now engaged. Or the fact that you know he’d like to move abroad, while you’d like to live in SL. Since you’ve decided to spend your life together, and before you focus on the kinds of flowers you’d like for the wedding, it’s time to open up the floor, and talk about the ins and outs of your soon-to-be married life.
Goals And Priorities
You and your fiancé are two separate individuals, so it’s natural that you each have your own ambitions and thoughts on how you want to achieve them. Not only is this alright, it’s actually important that the two of you retain your own personalities as you build a joint life. So, how can you both navigate diverging outlooks without turning tail and running?
Look objectively at what you both want from life—pick the goals you can achieve together, and then talk about how you can support each other in those that you don’t agree on. Just because you tie the knot, doesn’t mean your life will revolve entirely around your S.O., but he should still be your most trusted advisor. Start a discussion (if you haven’t already!) and share your passions, dreams and priorities. This way you’ll both be on the same page pre-wedding, and there won’t be any nasty surprises later on.
It really does. Between juggling rent, a multitude of bills, groceries, credit cards and entertainment costs, you’ll likely be left with little to throw into your savings account. And let’s be honest, even when you’re managing finances for just one person (yourself), things get tricky toward the end of the month when your friends want to go out, but you’re literally counting the rupees. Imagine how hard it is to manage finances between two people?! Talking about how you’ll deal with money before you get married will ensure that you don’t feel overwhelmed when it’s time to set up house with boo.
Discuss how the two of you would split costs: Does he seem open to the idea of sharing all expenses (including your monthly manicures)? If so, perhaps you could consider opening a joint savings account, where you each contribute a certain portion of your salary every month. Alternatively, each of you can decide to take over specific expenses. Do this by listing out all your monthly fixed expenses and then decide who will pay for what. It really is a matter of figuring out what method works best for you both.
Call them what you may, but your clan, support system or loved ones are a huge influence in life. So, it’s natural that you’d want boo to mesh well with your family and vice versa—the last thing you need is a mother-in-law from hell! (Yikes!) We live in a very community-based society, so the kind of rapport you have with your parents and siblings (and your fiancé’s folk) can easily make or break your relationship. Does your partner’s home life appear to be unhealthy? It might be worth talking about it with him to address any potential issues and discuss how things will be different in your household. If the situation is worse than anticipated, such as an abusive background, consider seeking professional help to prevent any incidents from occurring when the two of you start your lives together. Plus, you’ll be better equipped to deal with any situation that may crop up as a result of past problems.
We’re all entitled to our own philosophies and ways of life. But, when broaching the subject with your future hubby, it can easily become touchy and explosive! So, tread carefully but don’t skip it. Although very challenging (especially when dealing with family!), maintaining different beliefs doesn’t mean a marriage can’t work. It’s just a matter of figuring out common ground and what your spiritual beliefs are as a couple. If you find that you’re both getting easily worked up, there’s no harm in bringing in a third party, who can objectively explain where each of you is coming from, leading to a speedy solution.
You’re probably thinking this is the least of your concerns, but I beg to disagree. Having a child takes two (obvs), but, this also means lifelong shared responsibilities. Perhaps you don’t want kids in your distant future, however, your fiancé might really want to start a family. If he’s excited to have them, gently explain your point of view, and see how you can best work around this. Clearing the air early on will help avoid awkward and hurtful conversations when it’s time to make babies! And you’ll know exactly where you stand in the bedroom, too, which is never a bad thing!
In any good relationship, communication is key. Once the channels are open for discussion, the both of you will begin to have a better understanding of each other. You can’t change your partner’s mindset, and really, you shouldn’t even try to get him to dance to your tune. But, disagreement or conflict doesn’t mean it’s the end of your relationship. It just means that you can’t work things out on the surface—you both need to dive deep into the issues to figure out how best to solve them. Work around this before you seal the deal, and try not to wait until after the honeymoon to grapple with disputes. Your relationship will be all the stronger for it.
This article was originally published as ‘Talk It Out: The Topics You Need To Discuss Before Getting Hitched’ in the July 2017 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more real life situations, grab a copy of our latest magazine.
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