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pre-wedding talks

(39 Posts)
Sharney Mon 18-Jul-11 13:29:32

AIBU to think if your engaged or planning on moving in together starting a LTR you should have a sit down first and discuss the future a little bit? ie- children, money, elderly parents? I know life throws curve balls but it seems some people don't really know what there getting themselves into. What would you advice a young couple about to embark on a life of togetherness?

cookingupababy Mon 18-Jul-11 13:40:05

Sorry what is LTR? my parents gave me know advice, they let me/us make our own mistakes grin

Although my sister did once tell me to leave DP, as we wanted different things, and she didn't want me to get tangled into this relationship when i was heading in such different directions for both of us.

Yes, i think within the relationship you should be discussing where you stand, what you both want and what the future you would like it to hold for yourself, and together as a couple. I can't see how elderly parents would come into, me and my partner have never discussed our respective sets of parents in the manor.

However if my parents where to give me advice now, (i doubt they would, or in fact i would listen) i would think it would be to roll with the punches, life is an adventure, so you better enjoy the ride and to relax. However i am pretty laid back already grin

AMumInScotland Mon 18-Jul-11 13:41:09

I certainly think its worth knowing what each other feel about having children - and actually believing what they say instead of assuming they will change to suit you. Plenty of women (and I'm sure some men) end up committing years to someone who never does want to have children and then have a difficult choice about staying or leaving, whereas if they knew they felt that way at the start they could think about how much it matters to them.

ChunkyMonkeyMother Mon 18-Jul-11 13:41:34

I think you can sit down and talk about it till your blue in the face but sometimes life does not go the way you want ... I think its a good idea to chat about what you both want out of life, check that you both want similar things and be sure to say exactly what you want - if you want to have 4 kids and be a sahm then let him know before you are getting pregnant and jacking in your job iyswim?

I find that the issue of parental care/what would happen if XX died all comes up in conversation, perhaps we are a bit more lade back about it but sometimes you have to take life in your stride, you cant plan for every little thing - It all depends on how you work as a couple I suppose but my and the DH found that a lot of things changed when we had DS and then other family members had LOs or the family dynamic changed.

squeakytoy Mon 18-Jul-11 13:41:42

long term relationship I think...

Wamster Mon 18-Jul-11 13:42:01

Well, obviously, you should talk about things prior to marriage. That goes without saying. But living together can mean a lot of different things to different people; for an awful lot of people, it is meant to be a permanent commitment and as such they should approach it in same way as marriage, however, for some, it's not meant to be for life. So I would avoid going down the 'how do you see your future' conversation with a young couple who are in it to see how things go rather than necessarily being in it for life.
The key thing is that the couple are honest and see the relationship in the same way, no use one of them thinking it a temporary situation while the other thinks it for life.

Kayano Mon 18-Jul-11 13:42:14

We talked about all of those things and had joint accounts since we were engaged. Means no unpleasant surprises, and if you can talk rationally about these things then I think it helps communication in the long run.
I feel I can say anything to DH or change my mind about things and can rationally discuss anything.

On the flip side you might discuss all but ten change your mind... Ie amount of children etc but your partner might not understand because you initially agreed to something 5 years earlier...

I think it depends on the relationship and the ppl involved

JanMorrow Mon 18-Jul-11 13:42:47

No, I am 30 years old and getting married this year.

We haven't discussed "elderly parents" (hopefully many years off!), what would we discuss?! Day to day money is dealt with but we've sort of fallen into shared finances as we've lived together but we never had a "discussion" about it.

We've also never discussed how many children we're going to have, our first was a happy accident as was my current twin pregnancy, but we have sort of said that that will be enough for us! If it changes in the future, fine. The only child discussions we had before having them was in the abstract, so "when we have kids" etc.. never specifics.

I don't see why people have to plan out their lives when they could change their minds or circumstances in a few years..

Life is for living, not planning!

Hassled Mon 18-Jul-11 13:44:16

Long Term Relationship.

I'm on Marriage Number 2 and on neither occasion did we sit down and have a serious talk about elderly parents or money etc. The failure of Marriage No 1 wasn't caused by not having had that conversation - it was caused by us both being pretty selfish and stressed and immature (and his infidelity didn't help).

Your theory is sound in principle, but don't most people just sort of make it up as they go along? Being prepared to compromise and listen to other people's opinions is what makes a marriage works - tolerating the shit on the basis that the good stuff more than makes up for it.

LaWeasel Mon 18-Jul-11 15:13:31

Yes, to a certain extent. Any deal breakers would be known in advance.

But really I think it helps more if the way the pair of you deal with major problems as individuals are also compatible with the pair of you continuing to live together...

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Mon 18-Jul-11 15:16:16

I have to say that when I started mine, I wanted similar things (or rather, didn't want iyswim).
as the years went on, found out that my long-term goals had changed, but his hadn't.

thankfully i didn't buy a house or get married to him.

some mistakes are reversible!

DrunkenDaisy Mon 18-Jul-11 15:17:30

I think people should also discuss infidelity and porn.

Sharney Mon 18-Jul-11 20:57:40

Some good points raised. DH and I discussed how many dc and infidelity.

WillieWaggledagger Mon 18-Jul-11 21:01:55

it's important to talk about things, but equally important to keep talking about things. it would be unreasonable to expect someone to have the same views at 50 as they did at 25

NeverAttributeToMalice Mon 18-Jul-11 22:37:17

Most couples here undertake a pre-marriage course. It's a requirement if you want a church wedding. The couple discuss issues that might not have occurred to them, facilitated by a cousellor.

NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe Tue 19-Jul-11 10:57:11

good questions in that, malice - i think most of those questions are ones that would usually go unasked, and quite a lot are "assumed".

Adversecamber Tue 19-Jul-11 12:24:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

M0rgana Tue 19-Jul-11 12:28:31

Personally I think you should at least have a talk about children. I've known several couples who've ended up separating because one wants children and the other doesn't. But then again sometimes they've had the discussion before marriage, and one tends to think they can win the other around to their way of thinking so they go ahead anyway.

I don't understand why you'd marry when you want such fundamentally different things.

Karbea Tue 19-Jul-11 13:01:20

I remember reading this and my dh and I agreed that we'd spoken about these before we married, but hadn't for either of our first marriages when we were younger, I think with age you think about the longer term...

ReindeerBollocks Tue 19-Jul-11 14:07:28

My current DH and I didn't have any of these talks (actually we were shagging buddies who fell into a relationship), but we are very similar, have similar outlooks on life, and how we deal with major and minor issues.

It is a very nice relationship, in that I am not worried about what will happen in our future, more that we will discuss and decide when things happen. We have children and may have some more in the future, if we are lucky.

With a past LTR it was planned out to a T, how many children we were having, how our futures would go etc and it was really claustrophobic.

I think it is important to establish the basics before getting truly serious but over analysing the details also can have a negative effect.

northerngirl41 Tue 19-Jul-11 14:18:32

Not perhaps having these conversations in a tickbox stylee (e.g. Number of children - done, attitude towards debt - done, whether we cart mum off to old people's home - done) but the ability to have the sorts of conversations where you'll both believe different things and neither one is right or wrong, but somehow you have to reach a compromise. That's the important thing.

So for example, in my family keys are used only for emergencies and people don't pop in randomly. In DH's family they are in and out like a rabbit warren and I hit the roof when I discovered this was expected the norm in my own house!!! We eventually managed to reach a compromise, but not without a lot of tears and arguments. I can (almost!) laugh about it now, but it was nearly divorce courts at the time!

ilovedora27 Tue 19-Jul-11 16:18:58

We married at 19 and 20 and we discussed in depth how many children we both wanted. We have also had totally shared finances from age 19 where everything goes in to one account. We have never known any other way of organising finances in our adult life so its easy for us and no arguments. I dont think age you think about the long term necessarily.

minipie Tue 19-Jul-11 16:44:21

I'm a firm believer in discussing as much as possible pre-marriage and pre-children. (Don't think it's so important pre-moving in together since that's more easily reversed).

By the time we got married we'd been together 8 years and had discussed everything:

- attitudes to spending vs saving
- what to spend on vs what not to
- attitudes to sharing money
- attitudes to working
- whether we wanted children, and how many
- attitudes towards housework and childcare and who would be responsible
- where we wanted to live long term
- attitude to infidelity
- various views about raising DCs <no doubt mostly unrealistic!>
- views on religion

Of course there is always the chance that views will change, or that something unexpected will happen. But I think the more that is discussed in advance, the smaller that chance.

To me it's not about planning in advance - we haven't set out a life plan - but about making sure we're broadly in agreement about the important things.

ilovedora27 Tue 19-Jul-11 17:10:31

I agree with karbea list and think that most of those questions the vast majority of couples would know about each other before marriage. All of those things had come up in discussion in the first 6 months of our relationship as they are fundamental things about yourself and your combined life plans.

itsnicetobeniceto Tue 19-Jul-11 17:16:19

no one has mentioned health. If your partner gets very sick or say disabled through whatever means .............should that be discussed to? Because really you can't plan such events but they have a huge impact on a realtionship

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