Figure out the way you communicate. No matter how perfect your relationship has been up til now, you and your future spouse will inevitably, at some point, get into an argument or two. Understanding the way you communicate with each other, especially when you’re upset, is essential to a successful marriage.
In my own relationship, I get what I like to call “ragey.” My face gets red, my heart starts pumping, and I tend to say things I don’t mean. It’s taken us a few years to get to the point where we both recognize it, but had I taken an introspective look earlier it might have saved us some hard discussions throughout our marriage. Now, we know better how to speak to one another, and in the end, how to love on each other more efficiently.
Are you a spender or a saver? Pro hint here: financial priorities rarely match up. That’s why having a conversation about what you value is so important. Are nights out on the town with your friends a priority, or would you prefer saving for a large expense? Are you an emergency fund saver, or prefer to wait until you know what you’re going to need to pay? Other conversations you should have include student loans, credit card debt, and if you will be combining finances or not. There’s no right or wrong way to do finances, but being a team sure does help. 🙂
3. Goals / Priorities
Speaking of money, is there something on your bucket list you just have to do? For me, I couldn’t live without traveling at least twice a year. If not, making a list of items you and your spouse are looking forward to, from children to travel, from to a home to a new job or promotion, setting goals together and separately can help solidify you as a team.
Talking to your future spouse about where you see your family growing, or staying, is a conversation that absolutely should happen before you get married. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind over time, but having that honest and open conversation from the beginning will again bond you and your partner closer. Know that this conversation can, and will evolve with your relationship – but open the door now.
5. Familial Obligations / Friends
Has Christmas morning always consisted of waking up to a crackling fire and coming downstairs in your Red Buffalo plaid pajamas to hot chocolate and stocking filled with care? Now that it’s not just you, making the decision about where to spend the holidays can be complicated, and stressful. If you talk about this before marriage it becomes easier to tell family what you and your spouse have decided – you can essentially manage their expectations before their feelings are hurt.
Does your fiancé have a boys night every week? Do you share everything with your best friend? You’re marrying your best friend, so have a chat about what quality time means to you along with your expectations throughout the week. Also, maintaining friendships can be challenging in the first year of marriage as many people tend to nest during this time. Encourage each other to continue those relationships that support and grow your marriage.