I’m sitting across from my husband, Courtney. Staring at him as he rocks our son to sleep thinking “how did I get so lucky?” I honestly don’t even remember the first time we met. I just always remember us being friends. We were such good friends, I told him stuff you probably shouldn’t tell your future husband. However in my defense I already had a boyfriend and wasn’t thinking I would ever be dating him let alone marrying him. My husband, however, remembers like it was yesterday. When i originally did this post i told the story of how Courtney and I became a couple. However, I think the more important story to tell are the conversations Courtney and I had before getting married.
Having and raising kids
I’ve mentioned before how Courtney and I would joke around and talk about future kids as if they already existed. Some people thought it was crazy, because we had just started dating. That we were moving too fast and had so much time. We felt we were right on schedule. We are all adults, and at this point in our lives we knew we were looking for the person we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. So if either one of us didn’t want kids there is really no point in wasting time with each other. Once we knew we were on the same page with wanting kids we had to discuss how many. Something else we have encountered that people take for granted is the time thing. Everyone loves to tell you that you have so much time to start a family when the reality is that once you decide to start having kids it might not happen immediately so you have to decide as a couple, if it doesn’t happen immediately how far are you willing to go. I know a lot of couples who will tell you that this is something that can put stress on your marriage.
Religion and Values
I feel that this goes along with starting a family. If you decide to start a family, like we knew we wanted to, what kind of values are you going to instill in your children. When you are dating someone it might be okay for you to date someone with a different religion or values than you. However you then have to decide once you have kids, if you have kids, what religion are you going to raise them? Are you going to baptize them? Will you all go to services together? What’s important for you to pass on to your children? We were 100% on the same page from the start so we knew going forward we would be okay.
What roles will your family play in your lives? I know that family is important to a lot of people, but you also have to decide how involved you are going to let them be with certain aspects of your lives. Also, how you are going to handle holidays and special occasions.
What are your future goals? When Courtney and I were just friends he would always tell me that he was going to have a two income household. I would tell him that I wanted to be a stay at home wife and mother. He would laugh at me. However once we had gotten serious I let him know exactly how I felt about his two income household rule. We both travel for a living, we don’t have any family in the city where we live. I’m not okay with someone else raising our kids. After discussing it he was completely on board with me being a stay at home mom.
I once flew with a captain who told me he had been dating his girlfriend for 8 years, but wouldn’t marry her because she was in debt and financially irresponsible. I hadn’t ever really thought about that as a reason to not marry someone honestly. But it is something important to consider. Will you have joint or separate accounts? Is your partner financially responsible? What kind of debt you each have going into the marriage. How and who is going to be responsible for paying the bills? Do you plan on saving for retirement? How will having kids factor in? Since I was going to be a stay at home mom how would that affect us? Was he going to give me an allowance or set spending limits each month?
I got really lucky because what attracted me to Courtney was how much alike we are. Having these conversations with him wasn’t awkward at all. It actually helped solidify that fact that I was 100% sure he was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It’s important to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before getting married. You might find yourself disagreeing on some things, but if you talk through it you can discuss it and figure out how to handle it.
Did you have a talk with your partner before deciding to get married? What are some important topics to discuss?
Until Next Time!