Out of every 1,000 people that marry in the United States, an average of 2.9 of them will end up divorced. While that’s a lot less than the false statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce, it’s still terrifying to think of divorce when you’re ready to marry. But, there are certain steps you can take before your marriage, to help improve your odds of happiness.
Keep reading to discover three things you need to make sure you and your partner do before getting married.
1. Ask the Big Questions
One of the major steps to take before getting married is to sit down together and discuss the big questions. Regardless of how long you’ve been together or if you’ve discussed these things casually before, it’s a good idea to revisit the important subjects.
A few of the main questions to ask before marriage include:
- Do you want children and if so, how many?
- What are your long-term goals, both career-wise and life-wise?
- Will there be boundaries with our families and parents?
- What are your deal breakers for our marriage?
- How will we communicate when things get tough?
Plan a few nights to sit down over dinner and drinks to discuss these things openly and honestly.
2. Be Open About Finances
The subject of finances is important enough that it deserves its own category. While some people may group it in with the big questions, there are too many facets to figure out in one conversation.
First, you’ll want to discuss each other’s current financial situations. This includes how much debt you have, how much you make, and what your monthly budget currently looks like.
Then, you’ll need to talk about how your finances will be handled once you marry. Will you open up joint accounts and share everything equally? Or will you keep your incomes separate and each is in charge of different bills and expenses?
This is also the right time to bring up the tough conversation about whether or not you need a prenuptial agreement for your marriage.
3. Figure Out Your Last Name
The long-honored tradition of marriage includes the woman taking the man’s last name. But, as couples view each other as equals, this trend is changing. In fact, around 20% of women married recently kept their own last names.
Don’t assume that you and your partner are on the same page about this tradition. Instead, discuss the options.
You could each choose to take a common last name to represent that you are one family. Or, you could each keep your last name to show that you are retaining your own identity. There’s always the option of creating a new last name together.
Make Sure to Enjoy the Time Before Getting Married
It’s important to take the time to do these three things before getting married.
First, make sure you sit down with your partner and ask the big questions, like if they want children or what their lifelong goals are. Then, be open about each other’s finances and discuss how the money will be handled once the two of you are married. Finally, don’t assume that you know your partner’s stance on the last name debate.
Looking for more ways to improve your relationship before saying “I Do”? If so, browse the rest of this site for all the best advice.