One thing is for sure, being married is not easy. When you take two people with different backgrounds and upbringings and mesh them into a new family, there are bound to be some differences of priorities, beliefs, and even core values.
To help your marriage start off on the right foot, consider sitting down with your hubs-to-be and hashing out what you want the core values of your marriage to be. This can help you avoid some major conflict in the future because it puts you on the same page on some of the hot button issues, and helps you understand what is truly important to the other person.
Here are a few of the areas to consider defining your marriage’s core values:
Money is a huge one. How important is money to you? How do each of you spend money or save money? Decide on an amount that you are okay with your spouse spending without talking to you about it and vice versa. There are some real basics about money that are good to be established, like how will you set up your bank accounts? Who will be responsible for paying the bills? How will your paychecks get split into saving, bills, and spending?
Friends is also a big issue in a lot of marriages. Are you okay with each other having friends of the opposite gender? Do you feel strongly about any of his friends in particular, or does he have a problem with any of your friendships? Talk through that and discuss how you can agree to make it work. How much time will you spend with friends and what role will they play in your marriage? Maybe it would be better to define what days of the week or times of day can be just the two of you and you agree to not schedule time with friends then.
Family can be so hard to agree on in a new marriage. Some great things to discuss are: when do you want to start trying for kids? Who will be the primary caregiver? Do you have any big disagreements on how kids should be raised/schooled/disciplined? And then if you think about your family or your new in-laws, can you set any core values for how you will handle holidays, visits, etc? How close will you live to them?
Home Life can be something easily overlooked. Some people lean toward extravagance while others strive to live simply. Talk about what each of you envisioned your life looking like moving forward. Things like, who will be responsible for chores? How much time should be designated to be at home together? Do you want to live in suburbia or off the grid? Do you want to focus on saving up to buy a home together or are you happy to rent for a long time?
Personal Development is something that people can hold really close, but in a marriage it needs to come out so your spouse can support your dreams. Do you want to start a business or leave your job to stay home with your kids? Does he have a dream to change careers or lose a lot of weight? Those things are important to understand about each other so you can think about your future in terms of getting them done.