By Anthony Donatelli

Communication is key to a happy and successful marriage, but before tying the knot, you have to address some of those uncomfortable conversions that you’ve been avoiding.

You don’t want to start your life as a newlywed being blindsided with things you didn’t know about your new spouse. So to avoid any and all major bumps and surprises, sit down together and discuss these nine things (via Popsugar):

1. Whether or not you want kids
Having kids could be extremely important to you or your partner and it could turn into a large issue down the road. With biological clocks ticking, you’ll need to make a decision sooner than later. Make yourself heard if kids are in no way part of your future.

2. Your future goals together
When do you both want to retire? Where do you want to travel? Sit down and talk about where you want to be in the future. Everything is negotiable, but just make sure you hear each other out and support each others plans. You can even start a list today!

3. Family matters
The ideal in-laws don’t really exist, but family is important to everybody so make sure you and your spouse can at least tolerate the family members. Lave any hostility or grudges at the door because if you all can’t get along now, it won’t get any easier down the road.

4. Finances
Money has to be one one of the most important things you need to discuss with your significant other. Would you rather have separate or joint accounts, accumulated debt, a pre-nup? This is often the reason why couples have problems down the line.

Related: 8 Odd Things That Happen To You After You Get Married

5. Division of labor
Make sure that just because your relationship title changes does’t mean your household responsibilities will. Some households still have traditional views, but if that’s not you, figure out how you will want to split the chores, errands and whatever else needs to be taken care of.

6. Making personal decisions
What are some things that you can talk about and what’s something that’s completely off limits? One of you is going to have a very strong opinion on something and the other may not like it. Communicate on what you do or don’t mind them having a say in.

7. Religious experience
If your religious views are different, ask if the other plans on converting after marriage. This will affect your holidays, religious obligations and weekly church. The conversation of kids also makes its way back on this one, so start talking.

8. Monogamy
Obvious, yes, but some people may want to explore an open relationship. Shut it down or open it up quickly so that there’s no surprises for either one of you. Honestly, if you or your partner can’t imagine being with one person for the rest of your lives, marriage shouldn’t even be in the talks.

9. The little things
This could very well be the deal breaker. You want somebody that will listen to you bicker about your day, someone that gets you flowers just because, someone that overuses ‘I Love You.’ Is that your significant other? The last thing you want is constant arguing and eventually reach your limits or grow apart silently. So ask yourself, does your love feel easy?


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