Now that our nation is at a standstill, we might not have freedom of movement, but we do have an abundance of time. As we rest at home, taking care of our health and praying for the safety of others, it’s a good time to talk about important, personal matters.
For all you soon-to-weds, we’ve listed a few but very important questions you can talk about while you wait for this pandemic to clear out. These are vital conversations that can deepen your relationship and help you get ready for married life. Snuggle up on the couch if you’re together or do a video call if you’re not. It’s gong to be a heartfelt experience, for sure!
Whether the answer to this is obvious to you or not, it’s worth taking the time to share with your partner and listen to their response fully worded out. As with any other major life decision, knowing the “why” behind it can help solidify your actions moving forward. You and your partner don’t need to have the same answer (great if you do!), but even just knowing each other’s “why” helps to strengthen your bond and really get you to think about what marriage means not just to you, but to both of you as a couple.
A practical question that seems simple but is often overlooked or taken for granted. Talk about your plans, whether for moving in to your own house or condominium unit (and where that will be located), perhaps living with either of your parents, or maybe even moving abroad or relocating within the country. This will be one of the first major decisions you make about the set up of your married life and it can be an extremely fun decision to make together, if you let it be. Imagine: you’re preparing for your forever sleepover!
On a serious note: it’s not often that couples see eye-to-eye on every front of this decision. You might, for example, agree that living with your husband’s family is in your best financial interests, but you might also need to discuss boundaries that should be set in relation to that decision. It’s about finding the set-up that’s healthiest and happiest for you both.
If you both do, how many? If one of you does and the other does not, how do you reconcile that? If neither of you want children but you become pregnant one day, how will you handle the situation?
This is often a topic people feel strongly about, so if you haven’t discussed it with your partner yet, make time for it and be understanding of each other. We all have our own ideas of what our future family will look like, and when you marry someone, you have the opportunity to meld your two separate visions into one new one and then build that family together.
Ask this question with the sincerest desire to understand your partner and any feelings they might have about your family. When you marry your partner, you also marry their family. This is true in many ways, so even if you are a highly individualistic persons, your decision to marry someone will always come with his or her family attached in one way or another (their influence on your partner, their physical presence, their needs, and so on).
Perhaps the trickiest concern to talk about–money. Money matters affect many aspects of life that you will have to work through together. Allow this topic to evolve into inquiries that suit your specific concerns. Some questions may be:
- Do you have any debt?
- Who will be in charge of paying the bills?
- Would you accept money from parents as help after we get married?
- Would you rather invest in a house or invest in experiences, like traveling?
- Do you prefer to pay for things with cash or credit?
- Do you want to spend for further education in the future?
- What is the maximum amount I can spend before I have to consult the other person?
All couples who plan to marry in the Philippines are required to attend a seminar that will have you exploring questions similar to these. (In the Catholic church, it is called the “Pre-Cana” seminar, and for civil weddings, your local government will provide the seminar.) The seminar takes place over the course of a weekend more or less, but if you think that you and your partner need more time to reflect together, there are other church and independent groups that hold in-depth seminars that often stretch over the period of several days. In these seminars, you will be accompanied by other soon-to-be-married couples and it can be helpful to share amongst each other and observe other pairs and how they function together. Every couple is different, and realizing that is a big part of learning about yourselves.
Whatever option you take seminar-wise, you can always have these conversations alone, with each other. Hopefully the five questions above help you in beginning the journey towards knowing each other more deeply. Good luck and have fun!