15 Things Couples Forget to Discuss Before Getting Married

Entering into a lifelong marriage is a significant step, and it is vital for couples to lay their expectations and personal histories on the table before uttering the words “I do.” This proactive approach allows them to build a solid foundation and be better equipped to face the challenges that may arise during their journey as spouses.

1. How are we going to combine finances?

Like chores, household expenses should be considered shared responsibilities. Couples must discuss how they plan to split the bills, depending on their salaries. Money talk should also include their outstanding debts and financial goals.

Partners must always be honest about money matters to avoid trust issues. The American Psychological Association shares tips on avoiding financial arguments, which include sitting down regularly to review expenses and savings plans.

2. What is your exact debt?

Confirming each others’ real debts can help you both to plan ahead on how to handle them. Nobody would enjoy being ambushed with their new spouse’s debt upon marriage. Anyone would feel betrayed if they only found out about the actual amount owed by their partner after the wedding. Plus, this could really affect the trust they have in their partner.

3. How are we saving for our retirement?

One day, everyone has to retire from work. And being married means needing to include each other in your retirement plans. You would need to plan to at least have enough for 2 people and include the possible medical costs in case either of you gets sick.

4. Do you plan to have kids?

Not everyone who wants to get married wants to have kids. And even if both spouses want children, there are other things to discuss, such as parenting styles, what you’d do if the kids have disabilities, or how you’d react if they grew up to be different than what you expected.

5. What will you do if we’re unable to have kids?

For some people, having children is a must. So if for some reason a couple can’t bear children, they would need to think about what to do next. They might choose to adopt a child, to get a surrogate, to go through IVF, or to get a divorce and marry someone else.

6. How will we split our duties?

From creating a calendar of things to do to discussing sleep schedules and personal boundaries, couples must compromise and set guidelines for living together.

According to one survey, bad bathroom habits can also cause break-ups. So agreeing on rules for the loo is important if you don’t want the relationship to go down the drain (pun intended). Who has priority use in the morning? Should the toilet seat be up or down? “Potty talk” is a must for harmonious cohabitation.

7. What do you consider cheating?

We might think that there’s a universal understanding of what cheating involves, but the term could mean different things to different people. For example, one person may think that kissing is cheating, while another might think that just meeting up with an ex is unacceptable. There are also people who think that falling in love with someone else is cheating. Therefore, a couple should talk about how comfortable they are with each other’s closeness to other people to avoid a misunderstanding.

8. What are your dreams and future plans?

“Where do you see yourself 5 to 30 years down the road?” This may sound like an interview question, but a person’s aspirations may not fit in with their partner’s idea of what it means to be happily married. For example, one may be willing to struggle as an artist before making it big, and the other may just want a stable life with a steady income. Asking this question could help people to picture what their shared life is going to be like.

9. What are your deal breakers?

Everyone has their own pet peeves, and it’s wise to tell each other what they are so that living together will be bearable. For example, a person may have the need to keep everything in order, while the partner may feel more at ease in a more chaotic environment. If these things are discussed early, a compromise could be reached.

10. How do you plan to care/provide for your parents?

Parents will get old and perhaps even ill, which means they may need to be taken care of. Decisions like whether or not you want to live with them, who’s going to take care of them, or how much you want to allocate to provide for them are all good to include in the list of things a couple should consider before getting married.

11. What are some everyday habits you have at home?

When couples start living together, they notice every quirk and habit that gets on their nerves — leaving dirty socks on the floor, chewing too loud, taking too long to get ready, and so on.

One way for couples to avoid driving each other crazy is to find ways of dealing with these annoying habits. Licensed clinical psychologist Daphne de Marneffe, Ph.D., also recommends assessing if the pet peeve can easily be ignored or if it’s a deal-breaker that needs to be discussed.

12. Where do you want to live?

Though this may seem obvious, people might neglect to talk about this before they get married. Whether they should settle in the countryside or the city could make a huge difference in the life they’re about to share. It might also lead to dissatisfaction if one of the spouses wants to live in an apartment and the other dreams of living in a house with a porch out front. Arguments could break out if one expects to live near their friends or family while the other thinks the home is only a temporary abode.

13. How much time do you want to spend together?

Cohabitation does not mean you have to spend every single waking moment together. Taking a breather and having alone time is healthy for relationships too.

Solitude allows us to reflect on many things, including ourselves and could help us become better people for our significant others.

14. What do you want to happen after you die?

This may be one of the hardest things to bring up, especially when people are just about to celebrate sharing life, but being on the same page is crucial. People prefer whether they get buried or cremated after they pass away. And everyone has a different opinion on what they want others to do if they’re on life support.

15. What are your expectations for our social lives?

Once married, people are expected to show up at certain events together. But sometimes, even married people want to hang out with their friends without their spouses being there. So it may be worth discussing what social events they intend to attend together and who they should get to know once they tie the knot.

Marriage is a big commitment, and before taking that leap, it’s important to really get to know the person you’ll be spending your whole life with. Ignoring key aspects of a relationship can eventually lead to a breakup, causing everything you’ve built together over the years to crumble.


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