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There are a few big discussions you should have before you get married. Whether you do them in a therapist's office or over the dining room table, make sure you iron these things out before you walk down the aisle.

Religion

There is no longer the expectation that couples need to have similar faith communities or practices in order to be compatible for marriage. However, it is always a good idea to have conversations up front about what you might expect or assume. For example, if children ever enter the picture, how will they be raised or encouraged/discouraged from participation?  Do you expect that your spouse will attend certain religious events with you?  Make sure the two of you are on the same page.

Politics & Philosophy

You are a die-hard Republican who values small government. He's a complete liberal who believes in universal health care and less restrictions on immigration.  Sure, there are bound to be a few battle royales in your marriage, but with such varying opinions, that's expected. But be sure to set up ground rules and boundaries. You don't want your marriage to look like a presidential debate all the time.  Know when do wave the white flag and have a nice, relaxing dose of small talk.

Money & Budget

You are a penny-pinching saver and he's never met a dollar that didn't burn a hole in his wallet.  This is one of the most potentially divisive issues for couples today.  If you are going to go to premarital counseling, go for this discussion. Figure out how to deal with money and live within your means in a way that works for both of you.  That might mean he has to stop buying the latest gadgets the second they come out, and that you have to be willing to actually buy ketchup instead of saving the packets from the fast food joint.  Compromise is key.

Family & Careers

You're both in your mid-twenties and just starting out on your respective career tracks.  Kids aren't even on your radar yet.  Chances are, though, you have a vision for what might be down the road. He probably does, too.  Talk about what you want out of your future together. If he sees you as a stay-at-home mom with five kids and you see yourself with a highly successful job and it's just the two of you, it's time to work some things out.

 

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