The husband and I will shortly be celebrating seven years of marriage. Crikey, seven years?! I officially feel old when you say it like that. With two children though I suppose I am getting on quite a bit! I’m by no means an expert, but I thought I’d share a little bit of wisdom from one that has been there and done that, so to speak.
Once the excitement of getting engaged has died down, there are some practical and logical things to discuss. Unfortunately, it isn’t all about wedding plans and bridesmaid dress colours after you get engaged. Here are some things that I think are important to discuss:
Where will you live?
You may be already living together. You may not. If you already are living together, will you stay where you are or move elsewhere? If you aren’t living together, then there are a few more issues to discuss. Mr U was a student when we got married, and I was working. We needed to decide if we would live nearer to his University, to my work, or somewhere between. No decision is final but still worth making a plan.
Before you get married, it might be worth speaking to a family law solicitor if you are interested in something like a prenuptial agreement. This all needs to be talked through with your other half and decide what is best for you.
Other legal topics for discussion are things like, will anyone be changing their last name? Why or why not? How will you approach wills? It might sound a bit doom and gloom in what should be an exciting time. It is important to know though and will help to start off your marriage in a positive way.
They say that one of the top causes for arguments is discussions about finance. Finances are of paramount importance though as it affects the whole of your life. I think a good way to start talking about this is discussing how your families dealt with money. Did your dad take care of it all? Did your parents have a joint bank account?
I know we have found it worthwhile to write down a budget and figure out who will take care of what. We have always earned different amounts, so this does need to be revisited depending on what happens in your work life. For us, though, we worked out that we would both take care of our mobile phone bills. Then we decided that I would take care of the cost of food and a few home bills. The husband takes care of everything else. We decided not to get a joint account but know this works for plenty of people that do.
It can be quite scary and a little overwhelming to discuss these types of things. The best ways to go about discussing them is start off, in general terms. Think widely to start with before you start narrowing it down to specific scenarios. It is important to discuss, though. Good luck!
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