You’ve met the perfect man or woman and your thoughts are focused on the future. You’re thinking about getting engaged, planning the perfect wedding, and researching tropical honeymoon destinations. But, if you’re Pro Abundant Life, there are three questions you should discuss with your potential spouse before you say “I do.”
1. Do You Want Children?
Though it seems like this question would be a “must discuss” before even getting engaged, it’s astounding how many couples never talk about their expectations in this arena. Or, worse, how many couples discuss their expectations but secretly hold out hope that their partner will change his or her perspective after marriage.
Recently, the popular NBC show, This is Us, explored on-screen couple Kevin and Zoe’s struggle to get on the same page about the future. Kevin wanted kids and was subconsciously holding on to hope that Zoe would, someday, feel the same. Eventually, we see the relationship end.
As more women and men are determining to pursue careers and greater financial freedom instead of family life, this is a vital conversation to have early.
Also, it’s important to discuss expectations should pregnancy not come, or not come easily. Talk about how you feel about treatments like IVF or adoption. You may be surprised by your partner’s expectations in this arena, or you may not. But, better to find out before you commit.
2. How Do You Feel About Abortion?
It’s important to discuss each of your views on abortion, especially if your partner doesn’t want to have children. How would you, as a couple, handle an unplanned pregnancy? Ask each other this important question.
We know that men are the biggest influence on a woman’s decision to have an abortion. If you’re a woman married to a man who doesn’t want children and believes abortion is okay, you’re more likely to make a life-ending decision.
Guys, this is important for you too. If the woman you love gets pregnant but doesn’t want a family, it’s important to be on the same page about what happens next. You want a say in what happens to your child.
3. What Do You Believe About Divorce?
Though not the cheeriest of pre-engagement topics, knowing where each other stands on the topic of divorce can help you navigate and even avoid problems in the future. Talk about your feelings on divorce. What do you believe about it? Are there scenarios or circumstances that either of you believe lead to divorce? Is divorce something you jump to immediately, or would you be committed to seeking outside help or counseling first? How will you handle your relationship when things get hard?
Though right now you may feel like nothing could ever change your feelings for this special man or woman, it’s important to talk about expectations and effort. Are you both willing to work hard to stay married? Are you willing to make a commitment for life, no matter what circumstances come your way?
If you have children, someday these decisions will affect more than just the two of you. Studies show that children who are raised by two-married parents fare better across a variety of measures—from social and economic wellbeing, to their propensity towards avoiding risky behaviors—like early sexual activity and teen pregnancy.
Knowing your partner is just as committed to the sanctity of life and marriage as you are will help you say both “I do” with confidence.