Marriage is an exciting time for many people, but it’s also a huge commitment. You’re about to legally bind yourself to another human being for the rest of your life. Before you go ahead and tie the knot, there are some things you need to learn about your partner first.
How much money they make
You might think that most couples already know this about their partner before they get engaged, but you would be surprised at how little some people know about their significant other before they consider marriage. How much money your partner makes can have a serious impact on your lifestyle together, so it’s important information to share. For example, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, the median household income in New York City is about $50,711. If you’re hoping to raise kids in an expensive city like New York or Detroit, you should have a clear understanding of your joint finances. And wherever you live, you should know how much your spouse earns a year. This isn’t because your future spouse’s gross median income matters more than anything else; it’s because mature partners can discuss these sensitive topics with honesty and love.
Their health history
Maybe you’ve been dating your partner for a long time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything about them in terms of their health. Health is another factor that can impact your lifestyle together, so it’s important to share. It’s wise to get a checkup with the doctor every year so you know your risk of heart disease or cancer. Before entering into marriage together, you should both understand your respective health histories.
Their spending habits
Another financial aspect of your future spouse’s life you need to understand is their spending habits. If you’re a saver and they’re a spender, making financial decisions together in the future might be difficult. Online shopping is incredibly popular these days, so it’s even easier to keep crazy spending habits a secret. In fact, U.S. e-commerce revenue is roughly $423.3 billion a year, and it’s steadily rising. Your fiance might be a secret spender and you don’t even know it.
Their communication style
Communication is an incredibly important aspect of any relationship, and you need to know how to communicate with your spouse in the best way possible. This isn’t referring to texting, emailing, or phone calls either. High-quality face-to-face interactions are essential for a successful marriage. In fact, more than 65% of respondants to a YourTango survey said that communication problems led to their divorce.
Their Love Language
Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages introduces love languages as a way to categorize expressions of love to strengthen a marriage. In the book, he introduces five love languages, including affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. While they are all important for marriages, each person has one or two that are incredibly important to them. Find out which one matters most to your spouse so you can learn the way they feel loved the best.
How much alone time they need
When a relationship first starts, both partners are incredibly excited to spend time together. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always last. After the “honeymoon” stage is over, people typically like to return to their regular habits. Before you get married, you need to learn how much alone time your partner needs. Everyone varies, so just because you barely need to be alone doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t want to have an evening to themselves every week.
How much debt they have
Finally, you need to figure out how much debt your future spouse has. Nearly everyone has debt, from student loans to credit cards, and your debts will become one after you say, “I do.” Keeping financial secrets can put a serious strain on any marriage, and you don’t want to put yourself in that position.
Back in the 1950s, the median age for marriage was 23 for men and 20 for women. In 2004, it had jumped to 27 for men and 26 for women. No matter what age you decide to get married, you should make sure you find out all this information about your partner first. It can seriously impact the quality of your marriage.