I got married in my late 20s, and like most people that age (whether married or not) I was, in retrospect, more or less clueless about what made for a loving, lasting marriage. Now that I’ve been married close to 10 years, we have had a chance to go through enough ups and downs and learn about each other enough that I can see a clearer picture of the most important issues that can make or break a marriage.
To be clear, I strongly believe that it’s not nearly as important to be sure you marry the right person, it’s more important that you be the right person.
That being said, here are 3 issues you and your partner must sit down and talk about before tying the knot.
Kids can be a flash point because there’s no way to compromise on them. Do you want kids? Do you picture a childfree adult life? Do you want 1 child, but she wants 4?
Small differences (wanting 2 vs. 3) are likely easier to resolve. After all, once you have a child and see more clearly the full reality of raising a child, including both the highs and lows, many people change their mind on how many children they would like to have. Some might feel like they want to do it all over again, while others might feel overwhelmed and decide their family is just the right size as they are.
Add in the fact that around half of all people in the US were accidents and it is easier to see that it might be best not to make a big deal over some differences of opinion.
However, if one wants to be a parent and the other does not, that could spell trouble in the future. Especially if one person sees it as a no-compromise issue.
Check out this article for more tips on having a conversation about kids.
Money is the number one reason for divorce in the US. Naturally, we can see money as providing a sense of security, and so money issues can make our future and security feel threatened, setting off a stress response that only increases conflict.
Add in the fact there are power issues, especially if only spouse works, family issues, and financial pressures from mortgages and kids and money can be a bomb waiting to explode.