You And Your Partner Will Never Say "I Do" If You Can't Be Honest About These 9 Things

by Anjali Sareen Nowakowski

If you think you've finally found your forever person, you may be excited to start thinking about getting married. After all, being in love with someone whom you know will be a great partner is one of the best feelings in the world. My husband and I got married within two months of our first date because the old, tired cliche sometimes is not so old and tired: When you know, you really do just know.

That said, getting married isn't just about the fun and excitement of planning a wedding or thinking about your honeymoon. The truth is, marriage is a serious endeavor that involves meshing two distinct lives.

Before you take such a big leap, you should be ready to tackle the hard topics with your future spouse in a way that's honest, healthy, and open.

In that vein, here's a list of nine things to honestly discuss before getting married.

1. Your Finances


OK, so talking about money kind of sucks, especially if you're one of the many millennials still in debt from school, your parents, or other loans.

The thing is, though, it's extremely necessary. Even if the two of you won't be sharing a bank account, you will be sharing a life, so it's important to know what liabilities you're each coming in with.

Not only that, you should also discuss whether the two of you are spenders or savers and how you like to manage money individually. Then, you should discuss how you'll manage it together.

It's important to be honest about your finances and to be on the same page about them before you can start your happily ever after.

2. Your Thoughts On Mental Health

I'm a big believer in therapy, and I've seriously loved my therapist for several years. I think therapy is a healthy part of the growth process as an adult and I think many more of us could benefit from it than those who actually do it or have access to it.

I've also struggled with mild depression in the past and take a natural supplement to help with that every day instead of resorting to pharmaceuticals.

Naturally, I wanted to let my husband in on all of that. I also wanted to let him know that I believe in mental health days occasionally and that I think our mental health as a couple is as important as our physical health.

Before you get married, you should discuss your own views on mental health with your partner and what it means to you. And you should feel totally comfortable being open and honest with your partner about all of this. If you don't, they might not be the right fit.

3. Your Desire For Kids (Or Not To Have Them)


shut down the factory on having kids long before I got married. Clearly, this was something that needed to be discussed with my husband, who may have wanted kids of his own. (Luckily, he didn't.)

Even if you don't feel as strongly about it as I did (for example, maybe you just aren't sure if you want kids or not), you should still discuss your current views (and possible future views) on kids with your spouse before tying the knot.

You need to give yourselves all of this honest information to make a good decision about whether the two of you are a good fit, and whether or not to have kids is at the top of this list.

4. Your View On How Life Should Be Lived

If you're a nomad at heart with an ongoing case of wanderlust, and your partner is someone who can't stand leaving the country, you may not be the best fit for each other.

I quit my job to travel full-time about eight months before I connected with my husband, so he already knew what he was getting into when he married me. He also isn't a huge fan of stability (which works out for me), so we're currently planning a life of travel together.

You and your potential spouse should ideally see life the same way, but even if you don't, you need to be able to have an honest talk (or several) about it before you decide to spend forever together.

5. Your Thoughts On Arguing

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Are you a lover or fighter?

Well, we're all actually both lovers and fighters, but when you fight, how do you do it?

Do you need silence after a fight to process your thoughts? Do you need to talk about things right away because you can't stand for negative feelings to be hanging around? Are you a mix of these two?

You and your partner will need to sit down long before you get married and talk about your fighting styles. If the two of you are complementary, great! Otherwise, you'll also need to be honest about how much work the two of you will have to do to make sure you have constructive conversations rather than blow-out fights.

6. Your Need For Space

I have super high needs for personal space. I mean, I quit my job, I got in my car with just one backpack and my dog, and happily traveled around alone for eight months. I would say that means I like my alone time.

Before I got married, I let my husband know this, and I also told him I thought space was really important in a relationship. He agreed, and now, we can easily tell each other when we need a little space (or conversely, a little more togetherness).

You and your love should be able to openly and honestly discuss how you view space in a relationship: what you think is healthy, what works for you, and how much space you'd like after you get married.

If you can't discuss this stuff easily, you might have some things to work on before you say "I do."

7. Your Sexual Appetite

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Is sex once a day your speed or is it more like once a month? Do you consider getting emotionally close to someone else cheating, or do you just consider actual physical intercourse cheating?

While it might feel awkward or uncomfortable to have these discussions, the truth is, they are critical for a fulfilling partnership. Sex is part of the glue that holds most couples together, so being able to talk about it with your partner is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship.

Even more, if you can't set boundaries for what constitutes cheating and what doesn't, you could be in for a lot of disappointment down the road.

8. Your Thoughts On Relationships In General

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If you're thinking about forever with someone, you should be able to have an honest conversation about all things love and marriage.

Are you a big fan of relationships in general, or do you sort of hate them, but you somehow found your fit? What does marriage mean to you? How do you plan to work on making sure your relationship stays healthy and happy in the long run?

These "general relationship issues," as I like to call them, are often overlooked when we're deciding on a forever mate, but they are very important.

I wasn't the biggest fan of commitment before I got married, and my husband knew that. I have never been a big fan of monogamy, either, and he knew that, as well. He also knew, however, that I believed in keeping our marriage to ourselves after we got married and that I planned to prioritize our relationship over everything else.

9. Your Feelings About Your Partner

It may sound like a bit of a no-brainer, but before you actually marry someone, you should be able to tell them honestly how you feel about them.

Now, of course, you are going to feel love, happiness, and excitement at the idea of a life with them. You might also sometimes feel annoyed with their bad habits and that's OK.

Having a lot of things to discuss before getting married doesn't mean there's a problem in your relationship. It just means you are both healthy, mature adults who know marriage is a partnership and that talking about potentially difficult things is the best way to ensure your partnership stays strong over time.

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