Wedding season is upon us and this wedding season is extra special because my baby sister is soon to be married and helping her plan for that day has me thinking back on my own pre-wedding feelings and thoughts. My husband and I will be at three years by the time her wedding bells ring, and though that hardly makes us experts, I can certainly look back in gratitude at some of the ways we set ourselves up right.
Only a few days before our wedding, I had the sudden realization one night that my husband-to-be had never seen the 1985 film Clue (based on the board game) and the thought that I was marrying someone who had not only never even participated in the comedy brilliance of that film, but more importantly might someday see it and not even like it was too much for me. I cried kind of a lot and also laughed at myself through tears for caring that much about it.
You’re never going to know absolutely everything about the person you plan to spend your life with until you actually get started on the “life together” part (and even then there are surprises). Whether or not my husband had seen Clue isn’t ultimately essential to our future joy, but there are some things that are pretty important to discuss.
Getting these things out in the open and understanding where you’re each coming from on these topics will go a long way in easing the transition into married life and even though some of them are hard to bring up, I promise you’ll be very glad you did.
1. How We Saw Our Roles in Our Future Household
Whether you realize it or not, you and your future spouse both have certain expectations about what a wife’s job is and what a husband’s job is. You may both look over The Family: A Proclamation to the World and say, “yeah, that’s what I’m planning on” and still have two totally different pictures in your head.
I’m ambitious. I grew up with a working mother whose professional pursuits as a writer and gospel scholar and a citizen of the world had a profound impact on me. Watching her create an environment where her passions and pursuits outside of the home and her presence as our mother could be balanced led to me to conclude from a very young age that I would always find a way to keep working even when I had children. I don’t think every woman needs to feel this way, but for me personally, the hope of having a full creative identity outside of my home is my lifeblood.
Not every partner I could’ve found would be ok with the manic level to which I cling to my dreams of a performing and writing career. I happened to have found someone that is happy to adjust and adapt and find a way to alternate who is working when so that we can both have the things that we want and still have kids that always have a parent around.
Getting on the same page on this subject was incredibly important to my feeling secure enough to move forward into a new identity as a wife. You may think you are already on the same page with your special somebody, but if you haven’t actually talked about it, you need to. Some men may have always assumed they’d have a two-income household while their would-be wives always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom. Alternatively, some women may thrive on an ambitious professional life, never knowing their husband expected a wife that would take on a more traditional role in the home. Talk about it. Talk about it.