Things you may want to discuss before committing to marriage

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I’ve always dated knowing I’m someone that believes in marriage. I want to eventually get married, have kids and do it all. One thing about actually getting closer to marriage is the realisation that there are SOOOOOO many things you and your partner have to talk about before getting anywhere near an engagement, never mind marriage, and a whole lot more things you’ll forget to talk about.

Religion
I was brought up Catholic and still am. I may not go to mass every week but I do sometimes go and always knew firstly, I would get married in a Catholic church and secondly, I’d bring my children up catholic. I believe that religion gives children the fundamental basics (as well as what is learnt at home) e.g. being good to one another. The actual religion doesn’t bother me because I think they’re all very similar and my parents let me choose what I wanted to be so I’ll eventually let my kids do the same. I’m lucky enough that Sean is catholic and agree’s but a lot of couples out there have the chat and agree how they’d get married/raise their kids and later on change their minds. Even with marriages of similar religions e.g. different types of Christians, just because you’re Christian doesn’t mean you’ll agree on much.

The Sacrament Of Marriage
Following on from that, like I said, I believe in marriage. I also don’t believe in divorce so¬† I would never marry someone on a whim and genuinely, through thick and thin, I will do my upmost to make my marriage work. I also believe that I have to be open enough with my partner for them to understand that they have to be 1000% sure that they will work at the marriage with me every day, knowing that there will be extreme highs and lows. Meeting Sean has taught me just how differently we all see marriage. Where I believe marriage is it, Sean believes, once you have kids that’s it, till then, you’re not a family and one of you can cut all ties. For me however, how do you get to having kids without having the basis of a strong marriage…

Finances
Now this one is tricky. There are some couples that share absolutely everything and there are others at the complete end of the spectrum that don’t know anything about each others finances. I’d like to think I’m half way. If I’m married to someone then I believe there should be no secrets. Your money is yours as you’ve worked for it, but I’ve found that there’s always one partner that’s better with their money so I’d share the bills in half completely and for everything else it depends on your income (and what you’re happy paying for) but I would be the one watching over the finances.

Where To Call home
Circumstances can change very quickly so I believe it’s always good to keep an open mind. When I moved to Belfast, I made it very clear that I was going to move back to Sheffield. Fast forward nearly two years and I’m settling down in Belfast… Every single step of the way, me and Sean have talked about where we want to live and where we will settle. We haven’t always agreed, but at least we’ve talked about it. Right now I’m around my family and Sean so I found no need to move back once I finished uni just to keep flying to Belfast. However, we’ve both said we’d be open to travelling for a while or working in another country till we were ready to settle down. All we know is that if for any reason one of us has to move away for a year or more, the other will follow, but we want to eventually settle down as close as possible to both our families. Free baby sitters for the win!

Are Kids In Your Future
It is assumed that everyone will grow up to have kids but that isn’t the fact for everyone. Some people choose not to have kids, whilst some people physically can’t. I genuinely believe that if you start dating someone that has a completely different view to you when it comes to have kids, then it is very unlikely you will change their mind the longer you date. Like I said, I want to have kids whether that means trying something like IVF or adoption. Both those options would come with a lot of stress and financial costs but we would both be open to it.

Career aspirations
Gone are the days of women staying at home whilst the men go out to work. There are a lot of households where the woman is the breadwinner and with the careers both me and Sean will have going forward, there’s a high chance I’ll be the breadwinner whilst he works more flexibly. Sean wants to be a teacher so if we have kids, his hours and holidays would perfectly suit a child’s schedule but my aspirations are to eventually work for myself so that we can make it as equal as possible, but it’s nice to know that I have the support to do me with a man that can empower you!

These are just some of the most important factors I could think of. Are there any big ones you think I’ve missed?

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