Communication is my advice for somebody considering getting married. I actually believe that communication is important if you are thinking about taking the relationship to the next level and moving in together. I know a lot of people have prenuptial agreements, I think they are great; but in young marriages or marriages where the parties don’t have a ton of money, it may not be necessary. What I do believe is necessary is determining what the expectation of each of the parties are, determining what the deal if you will is.
Every relationship has a contract, and when you enter into a marriage contract, you are being governed by the state where you live and even if it’s an easy divorce, when you go through divorce, you have to file paper work and pay fees, and fill out forms; that means that getting into this should be a little more difficult. You should discuss, Do we want to have kids? What religion is our family going to be? How much are we going to put away for savings? Are you going to continue working after we have kids? Are we going to a family vacation every year? If my mom turns 80 and has a stroke can she come live in our back house?
Obviously, you can address every single thing that’s going to happen every single course of your hopefully very long marriage, but there are certain things, particularly financial things, that are not very sexy or romantic to discuss but I highly advised having this conversation with either a priest or a rabi or a good friend, somebody that you both respect that’s little life experience, a mental health professional again and maybe taking some notes and jotting things down.
There will be times in your relationship when you will have to renegotiate the terms, things have changed, one of us is working more now, one of us is making more money, we ‘re buying a home; my mother did end up coming to live with us. Things need to be discussed and you need to have good communication about what the deal points are even if it may not sound like the most romantic, it will save your relationship time and time again, and if you start doing it before you get married, it will be easier to do throughout the course of your marriage which will hopefully last a very long time.