From family planning to household chores and career plans—a look at why now is a good time for you and your partner to discuss them all i.e. if you haven’t already
TIME TO TALK
Use this time of confinement to work on your relationship by addressing the various issues that define it. To this end, you and your partner must voice your views and consult each other on topics like money, family, in-laws, emotional and career growth, pasts, personal values, etc. Moreover, it is important to be truthful about your expectations and feelings in relation to these issues and one another. Dr Nisha Khanna, psychologist and relationship expert, highlights the key subjects that need your attention.
Why is it important to talk about money?
The subject of personal finance is an essential discussion to have, as it lends a sense of security to individuals. Couples should calculate how much money they want to save and what percentage of their income they would like to invest. Topics like saving money, personal assets and liabilities, sources of income, savings, investments, personal debt, outstanding loans and so on must be openly discussed with each other. Another consideration is spending habits.
Finances and career are two issues that are often neglected and couples do not really talk about them. Sometimes, they don’t have their finances planned out, which eventually leads to quarrels and becomes a point of concern for the couple later. Many times, before marriage, a partner might not disclose their financial situation or paint a grander picture, which can lead to arguments. The foundation of every relationship is trust—without which no relationship can flourish. It is essential that you’re honest with your partner and make them feel that s/he is an important part of your life.
Should one disclose their income?
Prior to the wedding, you can share a rough estimate of your salary rather than the exact figure. After marriage, as your trust builds, you can share more details with each other.
How important is it for couples to discuss their living arrangements?
Before marriage, a couple should discuss whether they would like to stay in a joint or a nuclear family. Many times, couples decide to stay in a joint family, but often, they change their minds and alter their living arrangements to a nuclear family set-up. Couples must be truthful with each other about their resources, expectations and feelings.
How should one interact with in-laws?
It is very important to have an amicable relationship with your in-laws; one must also treat them with respect as they are your partner’s parents.
What should couples discuss in terms of family planning?
This is a vital topic as couples should discuss when and how many kids they want. They should also take into consideration whether they are financially stable to have a child or not.
While talking about individual careers, what aspects should couples consider?
It’s imperative that couples discuss this because, nowadays, mostly everyone is working and might need to relocate after marriage. Discussing this concern prior to the wedding will allow you to understand whether you or your partner are prepared to relocate if required. In many instances, the need for such a discussion might arise later. When that happens, couples should be candid with each other and express their opinions assertively so that there are no regrets later. When it comes to the topic of career, couples often fail to discuss not only what they’re planning, but also their aspirations.
How should couples split household chores?
These days, as both partners tend to be employed, assigning responsibility of household chores to one individual is unfair. Couples should discuss and divide the duties fairly. In case one person is working, then the responsibility inevitably should lie with the other person.
AGREE TO DISAGREE
Disagreement is a part of any relationship and disputes tend to arise every now and then. However, to resolve any differences, it is essential to focus on the similarities. Focus on the issue at hand as you openly discuss positive and negative feelings. To constructively deal with situations, do not crib and complain.
During this ongoing confinement, couples can use this time to grow individually and together. Unaccustomed to being in such close proximity to each other 24×7 can lead to quarrels over minor issues. At such times, communication is the key. Make time to talk and summarise what your partner said to ensure that both of you are on the same page.
Having this discussion might seem like a daunting task, and many might choose to postpone it to avoid confrontation. However, it’s good to remember that you and your partner are in this together, and each has a desire to make the other happy. No problem is insurmountable when you approach it together and with a positive attitude.