It has been a rollercoaster of emotions since the day you got engaged. Now, as the happiest day of your life approaches, you probably don’t know what to feel. Take this moment to breathe and reflect. Before taking the final plunge, ask yourself the following questions:
Do You Share the Same Values?
You and your partner are way past the get-to-know-stage. Favorite movies, go-to musical artists, comfort food—all of these have been covered. By now, you can even tell how your significant other will react to certain situations before they happen. It’s like telepathy.
But do you know your other half on a deeper level? While recognizing the little things about them is a good start, the two of you must share the same core values for the relationship to last. After all, the beliefs that you uphold define who you are, so you must marry the person who connects with you on that level.
Before deciding to tie the knot, have conversations about the sensitive topics that you were taught to avoid as kids. As difficult as it is, you should talk about religion, politics, family dynamics, and lifestyle choices.
If it turns out that some of your values don’t align, know that it isn’t the end of the world. Having the same beliefs as your partner matters, but it’s not everything. The two of you can still make it work with shared respect and expectations, even if some of your values differ from each other.
How Will You Raise Your Children?
Most people think, “I was raised by my parents this way and turned out fine. It must work for my children as well.” The problem with this default thinking is that you and your partner were brought up by two different sets of parents. If both try to apply their parents’ methods in raising their kids, they are bound to clash.
When you decide to have kids, settle on a parenting style as well. You don’t have to cover all the bases at one go, but be sure to conquer the basics, at least. How will you discipline the children? Who will take care of them when you’re at work? Will you teach them a particular religion?
Another factor to include in the conversation is where to raise the kid. When you build a home for your family, you start a new chapter in life for yourself and the people you love most. Choosing the right place is more than about the house; the right community matters. As real estate CEO Cami Jones puts it, “It takes more than just a great house to find that perfect fit.”
Are You Financially Compatible?
Money problems kill marriages in a snap. Considered as the #1 culprit of divorces in America, financial worries remain to be the most significant hurdle to a successful marriage. However, you and your other half can set yourself up for better post-nuptial finances before you even walk the aisle.
Money matters aren’t always easy to discuss, but it’s better to talk about it now than find yourself in a difficult financial situation later. Throughout your relationship, you might discover that the two of you have different relationships with finances.
One is a saver while the other loves to splurge. You keep track of your credit scores, and your partner doesn’t care about theirs. This incompatibility might lead to financial friction down the road, but you can prevent that from happening by having the money talk now. Take time discussing your financial goals and planning your expenses as a couple.
Marriage is a life-long commitment. Along the way, you’ll find yourself facing challenges you’ve never encountered before. Full disclosure: It isn’t going to be easy. That’s why you have to make sure that you and your partner are ready for what’s ahead.