Love is usually the first thing to be brought up when talking about marriage. In reality, romantic love can be a very small percentage of what makes up a successful marriage. The old saying “marriage is all about compromise”, couldn’t be closer to the truth. Every decision and choice we make once married directly impacts another person’s life. The stakes are raised even higher when kids are added into the mix.
Kids change a marriage. They can be your greatest source of joy and also your biggest source of frustration in the space of a few minutes. Just like marriage, they are a life changing decision and worth talking about beforehand. Start the conversation even before getting married, and go beyond how many and how soon. Although those are important questions, dig a little deeper. Below is a list of questions to get you started.
- Do you want kids? How many? Why?
- Will either of you quit your job and stay home? Can you live off of one income?
- If one of you stays home is that person expected to go back to work when the kids are all in school?
- If neither of you stay home how will you decide on childcare: in home daycare, with a family member (who), or at a daycare center?
- If you both work how will you divide the responsibilities?
- Who will take off work when your kids are sick?
- How will you teach your children about God and His Word?
- How were you disciplined as a child? How do you want to discipline your children? Spanking, timeouts, etc.
- What was your childhood like? Who was your primary caregiver? Positives and negative.
- What if you have difficulties getting pregnant or can’t have a baby naturally what options would you be willing to pursue? Adoption foreign or domestic, surrogacy, sperm donor, would you be willing to adopt an older child?
With a little time and effort now, you can avoid future heartache. Let’s be honest open lines of communication with your intended, will only bring you closer.
I recently came across an article in the Huffington Post called “35 Things You Must Absolutely Agree on Before Getting Married”. It’s a light hearted list of questions around the every day habits that bubble up when married. Some of my favorite include:
- Mayo or miracle whip?
- Making the bed: waste of time or has to be done first thing?
- Thrift store shopping: great deal or gross?
- At what point is the garbage bag too full?
There are 31 more funny, but relatable questions. With the blending of two lives there will be plenty of arguments, let it be about trash cans and mayo, not about something important like having and raising kids.
Check back next month for another conversation you need to have before getting married.