Advice: 5 Topics to Discuss Pre-Vows

We were sent over these 5 uncomfortable but necessary topics to share with our lovely readers, especially those that are destined for marriage. These might make you shift in your seat, but they are good to sit down to seriously discuss you and your future spouse's wishes and plans in areas of family, careers, money, etc. We hope you get some helpful insight from these topics.

These days couples tend to get married later when they're well into adulthood. But being a fully qualified grown-up doesn't mean you're quite ready for the complications that arise when you find yourself sharing not just a bedroom but a bank account.

One of the most common reasons for divorce is continual conflict and arguing. You may not want to talk about tough issues, but it's important to learn how to do it well. Be sure to sit down with your soon-to-be-spouse and cover these important topics to make sure you're ready to build a future together that will make you both happy.

1. Credit and Debt

You've probably talked a little bit about your financial history, but it's time to lay your cards on the table. The easiest way to do this is probably to pull up your current balances in your bank accounts, your open credit cards, and any loans you've taken out. The average college grad has nearly $30,000 in student loan debt, and graduate degrees or credit cards can add a lot more to that balance.

This could be a really tough conversation or a simple one. If one or both of you is facing a lot of debt, take a look at your monthly payments and total repayment plan to make sure you know what impact it could have to combine your finances. Even if both of you are in really good shape, you should talk about what steps you want to take to keep good credit. Consider subjects like identity theft protection, loan consolidation, and other ways to make sure you're in the best possible position.

2. Money Management

Once you know your major financial obligations, it's time to talk about your day-to-day budget. Evaluate your financial situation. Do you plan to combine bank accounts or keep separate finances? How will you keep track of bills? Will one of you or both of you take on the job of being the family bookkeeper?
If you know money will be tight, you'll want to start planning your budget now to get ready for the time ahead.

3. Children and Family

If you haven't talked about kids yet, now's the time. But make sure you don't just talk about whether you want them. Discuss how many you're thinking about and what is your proposed time frame. If you want more than one, do you want them close together or spaced farther apart? Does one of you want to stay home? Don't forget, not just moms but also dads can do full-time parent duty. There are more than 2 million stay at home dads in the U.S.! There are many factors to consider when planning for a family.

4. The In-Laws

How will you handle the families you already have before you start your new one? Hopefully you've already met your future in-laws, and even if things have gone well, you probably want to develop a game plan for the future, just in case things go sour. Does one of you have a mother who likes to be overly involved? Is there a disapproving father? A troublesome sibling? Life can get complicated and, as a couple, you're about to double the possibility of dysfunction.

5. Career

Work-life balance changes when you're married. It's no longer about making sure you have enough time to hang out with your friends. Now you have to consider household management, and how you and your partner will find time for each other and time to take care of your home.

Discuss hypothetical situations. What if one of you has a more demanding job or a higher-paying job and what it'll mean for your future. It's time to talk about your goals; whether you want to stay on your career path or try a different one.

Being engaged is a busy and stressful time, but you can breathe a little easier once you know that you and your future spouse are ready for some of life's biggest challenges.