This next conversation is about topics that can bring a lot of tension to the relationship. The tension can come from the difference of background, opinions, experience amongst other things. This conversation is about children, money, and religion. However difficult and sensitive these conversations may be, they are also extremely important to have. These are not conversations to save for later or to sweep under the rug.
Do you want children? The most important question. Some people are adamant about having children and some people feel equally if not more adamant about not having children. Asking your partner if they want to have kids and taking their answer for what it is key. Instead of taking their no and thinking you can change their mind by being the “perfect” spouse. If they don’t want children and that is something that you really want it is okay to move on to someone that wants to have children.
If they do want to have children, how many? If the number is important to you, be sure to be with someone that is okay with that number also. How do you plan on raising your child? Do you believe in physical discipline? Do you feel comfortable with being a disciplinarian? What religion, if any, will we raise them in? What are your thoughts on fostering or adoption?
How do you feel about combined bank accounts? What are your spending habits? What kind of debt do you have, if any? Will we pay bills from one bank or split them? What does your credit look like? All of these are important questions to ask, and all require honest answers. It does not serve the relationship good to lie about money questions because of shame. The truth will come out one way or another. It might as well come from you!
What are your religious views? How important is religion to you? Who do you believe in or worship? Religion can be important to you but it may not be important to your partner. Will you be okay with that? Will you be okay if they are never invested the way that you are? Will it bother you if your partner is religious and you are not? Is it okay if your partner is a part of a different denomination than you? How will it be when you bring children in the picture? What religion, if any, will you bring your children in?
Some of these questions may spark a heated debate. These are some questions that are great to bring up in couples counseling. If you are not currently seeing a couple’s therapist, it would be helpful to be in an environment with someone that is not biased and without judgment and could help the couple as a whole. Therapists are trained to reframe conversations in a way that could help you understand what your partner is saying.
Was there anything that you and your spouse did not agree on?
If so, what was it and how do you plan to come to an agreement?