August 24, 2021

Conversations to have before marriage

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How can you best prepare for marriage? This is the first episode of a series on Getting Ready for Marriage. ​In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses the conversations to have before marriage. 

IN THIS PODCAST

SUMMARY: 

  • Why it is important to get on the same page before you are married
  • The top conversations to have to start your marriage on the right foot
  • How premarital couples counseling can help you with some of the difficult conversations before marriage

MAIN POINTS:1. Why I am doing this series on Getting Ready for Marriage:It’s wedding season now and I had a wedding photographer reach out to me asking me to provide some tips for couples getting married. I created an entire checklist for her with the things I think are foundational for getting ready for marriage and starting off your marriage on the right foot. If you want the checklist, you can download it here!

It’s really common for people to get married without going over the foundational conversations needed to be prepared for marriage”.

Elizabeth Polinsky

2. Why it is important to have marriage prep conversations before you get marriage.There are a lot of topics that couples have difficulty finding a compromise on and these are important to talk about before you get married–whether you both want kids, whether or not you both find marriage to be important, whether you want to be monogamous or non-mongoamous, etc.​For me , the topic was about my career and kids. I dated someone who was not willing to move from the area for my career progression and didn’t want kids. I am SOOOO glad we discussed this before getting married! It would have sucked to find this out after we were already married.

It is important to have fulfillment and personal identity when even in a marriage.”

Elizabeth Polinsky
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3. Top conversations to have before marriage. 

  1. Career Goals and Career Flexibility: This important to me personally but also really important for military couples.  Does the military person want to retire from the military? Do they know what they want to do if they get out of the military? What are the career goals for the person who isn’t in the military? How will you both pursue your career goals while someone is serving in the military? This is something to discuss ahead of time so you know where you both stand before getting married.
  2. Kids: Do you want kids? What if you can’t have kids, are you open to fostering or adoption? How many kids do you both want?
  3. Getting Rid of Secrets. Getting secrets out before you get married has the potential to help you both heal from it before you get married. Seeing a premarital couples counseling can help you both have these conversations in a safe way and also help the two of you heal from any secrets. Some examples of secrets could include: affairs and cheating, substance use or addictions, or problems with money, etc. It’s nice to start your marriage off on with transparency and being on the same page and start off the pattern of having open conversations together.
  4. Other Conversations to Have before Marriage: Other things to talk about are sex, monogamy, and money management. 

It is so much more painful after you get married to find out that there was a big secret.” — Elizabeth Polinsky

Action Steps:​Discuss kids, career, sex, and money with your partner. This is helpful to talk about no matter what stage of the relationship you are in–especially if you haven’t discussed these topics before. ​

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to https://relateinstitute.com/ and enter “POLINSKY20”.

     

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

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