Thursday, April 25, 2013

5 Conversations You Should Have Before Tying The Knot

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You may be in premarital counseling now, or it might be the last thing on your mind. Either way, you already know there are a few delicate issues engaged couples are "supposed" to talk about before making it official. Here's what a few seasoned couples therapists say you should talk about before saying, "I do" (via

1. The Kids. If you haven't brought it up yet, now is the time to talk about whether you want children. But you shouldn't stop there. The experts think it's also important to discuss where each of you stand on issues that'll come up when you start trying to have kids and when they're actually around. For example, are you open to adoption if necessary? Or, how should the kids be disciplined when they disobey? These issues can become huge fights later, so it's better to go over them now.
It's okay to disagree on: The number of kids you want right now. "Once a couple has their first kid, they'll have a better idea of how many children they really want," says Jaclyn Bronstein, a licensed mental health counselor in New York. The number isn't as important as long as you agree on a timetable -- how many years you want to wait before you have children, according to Vivian Jacobs, a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York.

2. Money and your careers. Since one of the biggest things married couples fight about is finances, talk now to avoid arguments later. Decide whether you'll combine all your money or keep your accounts separate. Also, figure out which accounts you'll draw from for daily expenses and for large investments. If one of you is a spender and the other one is a saver, decide on amounts to set aside for the future and for personal spending that you both will be happy with. "No one has the right answer to what your money strategy should be," Jacobs says. "You just have to live within your budget, figure out what works for you, and be reasonable and communicate." Additionally, talk about your career plans. Where do you want to be in five years? How do you see your career, and your salary, progressing over your lifetime. Getting your expectations in line with reality will reduce money-related arguments later on, Jacobs says.
It's okay to disagree on: The number of hours you should be pulling at work right now. "If someone has a busy job and works 12- or 14-hour days, that might be a big issue at the beginning of a marriage," Bronstein says. "But maybe they agree that getting financially stable is more important in the long run." That's a trade-off that works, she says. 

For the other three tips, check out our source, 5 Conversations to Have Before Getting Married

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