Choosing your life partner for marriage is a big decision, which is why you want to think about these 6 tips before you get engaged. No one wants their relationship to end in divorce, so it’s important to get on the same page before you pop the question.
While it’s easy to get swept away in the love bubble, don’t overlook these important factors before you get engaged and consider marriage.
Who is expected to be the provider?
Traditional gender roles have men bringing home the bacon, but recent trends show that more and more women are outperforming men in their salaries. Due to different career choices, being business owners, and more, some women make more money than their partner.
This might seem like an archaic question, but it can cause tension if it’s not discussed. Sometimes women choose to take breaks in their career for a season once children enter the picture, so money matters are important to discuss.
What kind of relationship do you have with your parents?
You’ve probably heard nightmare stories about the crazy in-laws. It’s important to understand the family dynamic that you each have with your families and how that could impact your marriage. Is your dad overbearing and his mom too clingy? When you get married and two become one, there isn’t room for a third in the picture.
While you still want to have good relationships with your parents (if that’s what you have now), once you’re married there should be some boundaries as to what that looks like.
Do you want children?
Some couples are happy to live a childless life. Others are not. It’s very important to be on the same page as your partner on this one. If one partner wants children and the other does not it can lead to major relationship issues down the road. If you end up pregnant but never wanted to be a mom, it’s easy to start resenting your spouse. And vice-versa. If he never wanted children but you end up pregnant, he could come to resent both you and your child. Don’t compromise on this one.
What kind of engagement ring do you expect?
Let’s be real. Do you trust your partner to pick out a ring you’ll love, or do you need to pick out the bling yourself? What kind of a budget do you expect him to have? While you don’t want to be a diva, it’s important to get a ring you’ll love because let’s face it, you’re going to be wearing it for a very long time.
Set realistic expectations based on what you know about his work, his spending habits, and his saving habits. If he’s making only $50K a year, you may not get a $10K+ engagement ring.
Fortunately, there are many beautiful, and affordable options for platinum, and white and yellow gold engagement rings. Whether you like the simplicity of a princess cut or the uniqueness of a marquise cut, places like Diamond Nexus have a huge variety to choose from. If you’re not sure he’ll pick your favorite, you could always send him a link to some of the ones you like best.
Where will you live?
Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or you just live across town, you’ll want to decide who should move. It’s not likely you’ll keep two houses or apartments. Moving comes with so many challenges. It might mean someone has to find a new job or find out if their work can transfer them to a new city. It might mean giving up some of your favorite local places to visit daily. It might mean a longer commute to work. All of these factors should be discussed before making the decision.
What about politics and religion?
While these topics are taboo at family gatherings, when considering marriage, they are extremely important to discuss. Sadly, different religious practices or political affiliation can become a source of contention. How will you celebrate holidays?
Where will you spend your time outside of work? Will you be volunteering with your religious faith? How much time will it take you away from home? What religions will we teach our children? It’s not that you can’t have a thriving marriage with these differences, it’s simply important that you get on the same page about how to handle the differing ideologies.
Marriage is an important decision. But getting on the same page about these issues before you get engaged may help you avoid some of the common issues that arise early in marriage. Communication and love go a long way to helping marriages thrive.
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