You’re planning a wedding that will last for one day—but you’re getting ready to commit to a lifetime with your future spouse.
Just like you are putting time into planning for the biggest day of your life, you need to plan for marriage! Let’s start your marriage off strong with a little planning before you actually say “I DO!”. Today, let's talk about some things to discuss BEFORE you get married!
Money, money, money... this is the *MOST* important thing to talk about. As we discussed in our previous post, money is one of the leading causes of divorce. Before you get married, you need to set a financial plan in place—that way you do not have any surprises after the wedding. Discuss how much you and your spouse will make together from your earnings. Talk about how much you plan to save from each pay check (you need to have money in a savings account for a rainy day: car repairs, home repairs, etc). How are you going to pay the bills, and which one of you will write the checks to pay the bills?
Will you have a joint account, or separate checking accounts? You need to discuss if you or your fiancé have any debt: the total amount of debt, how is he or she paying it off, and make a plan to get out of that debt...hello, student loans! Make a budget together and stick to it! Decide together how your money will be spent by discussing the budget in detail. When making your budget, factor in how much you will spend at the grocery store each week, student loans, a mortgage, car note, insurance just to name a few things. Don't forget to include eating out (and how many times a month you will go out to eat—you do need a date night!), and always have a little cushion so you’re never actually going over budget.
Discuss if you want to have children. How many children do you want to have? When will you start trying to have a baby? How do you plan on raising and disciplining your children? Maybe your fiancé doesn’t want to have any children, and you do—how is that going to affect your relationship?
Holidays are the happiest time of the year! Family is a big part of the holiday season, and you need to decide how and where you will spend the holidays. Maybe you will go to Thanksgiving at one home, and then spend Christmas with the other family. Talk about family traditions that are important to you, and make your own family traditions together. Click here to read How to Decide Where to Spend the Holidays....it really does have some great tips!
Yep, when you get married you’re going to have double the laundry, a house to clean, kids and pets to take care of, and for some reason your always-hungry husband will expect to have supper to eat when he comes home! That sounds wonderful, yet exhausting, right?
Well, it won’t be if you and your spouse help each other keep the household running! Remember, you’re a team, so take on the household chores together.
My husband knew that he married a germ-a-phob, O.C.D, slightly crazy person...so he just embraced it! I expect a clean house, and he knew that from the very beginning. Nothing is grosser to me than things like toothpaste and hair remnants left in the sink (ewww! gag!). Or leaving dishes in the sink overnight, or something not being put away before I go to bed. So my cute hubby knew these things going into our marriage; and he is wonderful at not letting me get grossed out by toothpaste and hair in the sink, and helping out around the house. That makes my heart patter, y'all. We both work Monday-Friday, so we made a plan with a daily routine and household expectations that we follow daily, and it works for us. Find what works for you and your spouse, and make the plan on what each of you will tackle daily around the house... don't expect to do everything yourself.
*Disclaimer: I am NOT a marriage counselor. This is only advice that I found helpful when I was planning for my own marriage.
Stay tuned for the rest of our Love & Marriage series! This month, I’ll be writing about things you can do now to prepare yourself and your heart for marriage—not just for the wedding—because ultimately, that’s what we all want. We want that happily ever after, a thriving marriage, so start planning for that together today!