The Importance of In-Depth Pre-Marital Conversations to Build a Strong Foundation for Marriage

  My friend is getting married next month. She is an office worker working in a Fortune 500 foreign company, and her fiancé is a second-generation middle-class person who has failed to start a business and is still growing old. Once after drinking too much, she confided her inner uneasiness to us: “I just can’t figure out how to maintain a family where I am the only one making money. Does he plan to always ask his father for money to support his wife and children?”
  In fact, This question has been on my friend’s mind for a long time, and she has always been ashamed to speak out, always feeling that these practical problems would burst the romantic bubble of love. But if you don’t pop the bubbles one after another before getting married, how will you know whether what is hidden underneath is a wilderness or a land of chicken feathers?
  My husband and I started our “premarital talks” when we were in a relationship for three years.
  1. Talk about each other’s views on marriage. What does marriage mean to you and me? This question may seem abstract, but it is the most solid foundation for marriage. A marriage is incredibly complex, and whether it will become a partnership, a drain, a grower or a “widow” over the next few decades depends on its foundation.
  We have passed the age of marrying for impulse, and we have not yet endured the pressure of marrying for the sake of accommodation. At the age of 30, when we are relatively mature and comfortable, it is best to think about our own views on marriage with an open attitude. I chose a passage from Gibran’s “The Prophet” to express my views to my husband: “You two must love each other, but do not let love become a shackle; let love become the undulating sea between the two shores of your souls.” Support each other to stand up, but do not press against each other. Remember that the pillars of the temple also stand apart. Oak trees and pine trees do not grow in each other’s shadow.” The husband was more concise and to the point: “In my ideal marriage, there are independent people. You have an independent me and a better us.”
  Mature love is a union that maintains one’s own dignity and individuality. This also allowed us to reach the same expectations for marriage. Externally, we can work together to withstand wind and rain, and internally, we can respect each other’s independent personalities and nourish and grow each other.
  2. Talk about each other’s original families. Maybe you have heard this saying: “Every quarrel you have in an intimate relationship is to repay the debt of your family of origin.” The impact of your family of origin on personal intimacy is far beyond our imagination. When choosing a partner, be sure to carefully observe how the other person’s parents get along.
  I was born in a family where my parents were not shy about expressing “I love you”. I still remember that my classmates in the same dormitory in high school heard me on the phone with my dad, and my dad yelled “I love you” angrily on the other end of the phone. “, which really shocked her.
  My husband grew up in a restrained family. Unlike my parents who talked endlessly when they met, my husband was mostly silent with his parents when he got home. I still remember the first time I went to their house to have dinner. The dinner was so quiet that there was only the sound of clinking bowls and chopsticks and a few “eat more”. But during the conversation, we mentioned that it was the season for strawberries to be in season, and in the afternoon I discovered that there were a few extra strawberries on the coffee table. There are kilograms of washed red strawberries; when it comes to taking a nap, it feels a little cold, so there is an extra set of thick quilts on the bed at night. Some love is quiet, but also strong.
  As mentioned in “Social Animals”: “Our thoughts are more like sketches than blank sheets of paper.” The family of origin draws the outline of our thoughts and cognitive frames. If it teaches you the ability to love others, you I will definitely pass on this love.
  3. Talk about each other’s views on parenting. People often say that children are the bond of marriage, but we feel that children are more like unknown unknowns in a relationship that cannot be controlled.
  Can we really be a pair of determined DINKs in the future? Neither of us can give a 100% sure answer. So we first tried to discuss each other’s views on parenting. First of all, neither of us will give up our career development for the sake of our children. We will have to go through the arduous journey of raising children as working parents in the future. Secondly, we are most likely to be free-range parents and do not want to invest too much in “chicken babies”. My husband thinks that the child can be a cook, but I think that as long as he has a skill, it will be fine. However, everyone can say nice things. After having children, no one knows whether they can really accept that their children are more ordinary than their peers, and whether they can really watch their neighbor’s children study “985” while their own children study in chef schools. We agreed that we would conduct a “pre-childbirth meeting” three years after marriage, depending on the situation.
  4. Talk about each other’s views on money. When you fall in love, you can just talk about romance and not money, but you can’t talk about marriage. Although there is a Chinese saying that “talking about money hurts feelings,” perhaps it is true feelings that can be openly discussed about money.
  My husband and I have completely different views on consumption. I am a bit spendthrift and careless. I feel like I don’t buy anything but can’t save money every month. My husband is more diligent and thrifty and keeps all his expenditure accounts clearly. My husband thinks my consumption style is “unsustainable”, while I evaluate his consumption style as “careful”. These two completely different consumption methods will definitely cause friction in the long run of the family.
  After some discussion, we agreed to save half of each other’s income every month after we get married as mandatory family savings to withstand unknown risks in the future. My husband is responsible for all the daily expenses of the family, and I have to develop the habit of keeping accounts and manage consumption more rationally. Will handing over half of your income as family savings lower your quality of life and consumption standards? Of course it will, but people can’t just enjoy the protection provided by their families without making corresponding contributions.
  In addition, when it comes to external non-consumer expenditures, it is necessary to ensure that each other’s financial status is transparent and open. For example, the annual filial piety fees paid to both parents, loan requests from relatives and friends, etc. must be known to both parties and approved by the other party.
  5. Talk about future life plans. After all, marriage cannot be separated from the trivial matters of life such as firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, tea, etc. Two people must have an equal sense of participation in the trivial matters of the family. This is a lesson I learned from the elders in my family. My aunt is a good wife and mother in the traditional sense. My uncle doesn’t need to worry about anything at home. When my aunt travels far away, he even calls to ask how to boil hot water. Later, when a serious quarrel broke out at home, my uncle blamed my aunt for making him have no sense of presence in the family. His children and relatives did not need him, and he could not find his place. Marriage should not be a zero-sum game. If only one party is giving for a long time, the family will face the risk of imbalance sooner or later.
  On the basis that both parties agree that the family needs equal participation from both parties, talking about future life plans may be the most relaxing and enjoyable thing in this pre-marital meeting. The world of the two after marriage seems to be emerging before their eyes. We agreed that after we got married, we would do the housework according to the schedule. I would cook the Chinese food, my husband would cook the Western food, and he would be responsible for washing the dishes. After finishing the housework, the husband can have free play time. Every year’s wedding anniversary should have a certain sense of ceremony. Plan at least two family outings every year. Make sure you have one day for each other every weekend. Life cannot rely entirely on step-by-step planning and a strict division of labor, but this sincerity of willingness to share can still make each other feel at ease.
  6. Talk about future conflicts. When we are lovers, we all see each other through the filter of passionate love. The halo adds to our aura and the filter obscures our faces. When the filter gradually breaks down in a long marriage, we may find a worse but more real version of the other person. You know how to chirp while eating, and I know how to snore when sleeping. You and I are just mortals who need to eat, drink, poop, and sleep. How to accept each other’s shortcomings and how to resolve friction and conflicts are must-answer questions in marriage.
  Fortunately, my husband and I have relatively easy-going personalities and rarely become stubborn, so we rarely quarrel during our three-year relationship. We agreed that we must discuss matters as they arise, communicate frankly, and avoid pointless consumption behaviors such as venting emotions and settling old scores if possible. However, if we can’t control ourselves emotionally and say unnecessary hurtful words, we should honestly apologize afterwards. More importantly, conflicts should be resolved between the two of them as much as possible. Parents and other outsiders should not be allowed to intervene at will. This will only complicate the situation and will not be helpful in solving the problem. Of course, we must also set untouchable bottom lines and red lines for marriage.
  We signed a marriage contract six months after this meeting and have been married for two and a half years. This initial marriage journey was roughly what we imagined it would be like. Of course, we also encountered many unexpected surprises and scares. However, as we promised at the beginning, we worked hard to withstand the wind and rain externally and support each other internally. nourish.
  Although people’s hearts are ultimately fickle, and the promises made before marriage may not always be fulfilled after marriage, I still recommend that everyone try to have such an in-depth conversation before getting married. You will definitely be able to feel whether the other person is open to you and sincere. Wait and see clearly whether the other party has the same respect and expectations for marriage. You can also give yourself a chance to ask yourself whether you are really ready to enter the marriage hall.

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