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Thread: Checklist

  1. #1
    Member Strandysmommy's Avatar
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    Checklist

    I and my boyfriend are in love (cue the "awwww"). We're past the lovey dovey just metcha love and into the had-the-first-arguments-seen each other at our worst. (Him stressed over bills, me PMS-ing). He is the proverbial starving artist (graphic design) and I am a part time teacher and nursing student. I'll be done with school in spring of 2006.

    He's got a part time job, and does freelance stuff but he's not getting paid real well. We've talked about Marriage a little bit, but he said he would feel really dumb right now asking my dad if he could marry me on the salary he has. SOooo I was wondering, for any of you Married/Engaged/Smart people out there what is a good check list to have before one can/should think of Marriage?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member RayKay's Avatar
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    I think it is not so much about a "checklist" as preparedness for all the realities that come with marriage.

    How is your communication - if something bothers you do you bottle up? Lash out in anger? Are you critical? Or do you sit down and talk things through to come up with solutions?

    Conflict Resolution?

    Compatibilities (ie lifestyle, sexual, interests)?

    Shared financial goals/views (ie does one spend everything, one wants to save it all and will this conflict?).

    Do you have shared goals for the relationship?

    Do you both want or not want children?

    What are your views on marriage in general - do you think if there are problems you can agree to go to counselling, or do you believe in "if its too much work its time to move on".

    Just a start, but these are all things that need to be known and out there...too many people get engaged married with notion of "marriage will fix all the problems we have", "give me security", "make him/her stay" or will be a "honeymoon forever".

    While it is noble he wants to be able to provide for you too, that should not be the determining factor...sometimes the time would never "be right" if you always waited until "you had a better job" or a "more money" and so on...even those who are terribly broke can have great relationships..it is all about perspective, communication, respect, commitment and love. Financial stress can take a toll...but financial stress will almost ALWAYS be there too...

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    Member OceanEyes's Avatar
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    Hey Strandy ... I think my boyfriend and I are in about the same place of our lives as you are with your man (but no talk of marriage yet). I think everything I've heard about men not thinking about marriage until they are financially secure is completely accurate also - most guys I've talked to all tend to feel the same way.

    I think, even though I'm not engaged, that the most important thing to consider before marriage are:

    - Friendship and an understanding of one anothers' needs. This is absolutely crucial in my opinion, I wouldn't even consider marriage until I knew that my boyfriend was my best friend, and that we understood exactly what each others' needs are.

    - I wouldn't consider marrying my boyfriend - ever - if I hadn't lived with him for at least a year beforehand. I realize that some are old-fashioned or have negative views of cohabitation before marriage, but I wouldn't consider marriage without it. There is absolutely no way that you will see the other side of a person until you live with them. There may be things you can't live with, or simply don't want to live with for the rest of your life.

    - Trust.

    - Acceptance of one anothers' flaws (which comes with the territory of cohabitating - a lot of flaws don't show until you live with someone). It could be something as simple as being a bit messy and the other person being a neat-freak, or something bigger, like one person having a closet addiction or personality disorder. Better to know things like this before the rings are on.

    Oh and by the way - I tend to get some pretty crazy emotional instability around 'that time' of the month too. If you've found a guy who is strong enough to deal with that and is understanding, hold on, because I can promise you that many men aren't!

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    I dated a guy for a year and thought I knew him pretty well. We then decided to live together. I realized that I didn't know him that well after all. It is the difficult and stressfull situations and how people handle it that is a great indicator if your relationship will survive, provided all the other compatibility issues have been dealt with. I like the wait and see approach myself. Good luck to you both.

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  6. #5
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    Financial stress can take a toll...but financial stress will almost ALWAYS be there too...
    Absolutely, and this will sound stupid but the more money you have the more you worry about it (more to lose).

    Anyway, I think Ocean said this, I am a big advocate of people living together before they get married. I know some people are dead against it and sometimes it's just not practically possible but if you can manage it you should (even if it's just for a short try out).

  7. #6
    Member Strandysmommy's Avatar
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    Yeah the living together thing kinda killed it with my ex. He was a slob, not just a slob but a "Call-the-health-department" type of slob. Also we realized we had nothing in common. This was a long distance thing to begin with, and so living together kinda brought things to light.

    However with this guy, he lives about 2 minutes drive away. We practically do live together, I am at his house pretty much every day. I spend the weekends there. Yeah he's messy, but not the alarming messy of my ex: more disorganized messy. And he wants me to yell at him about it whereas my ex would roll his eyes and tell me that he has a mother and it wasn't me.

    I am glad to see these suggestions. It makes me feel really good that we have these things pretty well covered. We are each other's best friend, we've seen each other's not so glamorous sides and addressed these issues...things seem really good. It's just his job stabillity and finances, not to mention mine. I realize I am very irresponsible with money-gotten better about it though. I'm still in school till spring 06.

    Thanks you guys!

  8. #7
    Platinum Member RayKay's Avatar
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    I would just like to comment that "practically living together" and actually living together are still VERY different experiences. With practically living you still have "safety net" of your own place, and of not actually sharing bills, and having to come home to one another as where else would you go!

    He may only be "sort of messy" now, but living together might bring other things to light that are not so obvious when "practically living together".

    Like I said though, with financial stress, it will ALWAYS be there. So you need to NOW discuss these things about how you will deal with them. And due to his chosen profession, it sounds like job instability may be a "constant" for a while. If you have a partnership, those things should not be reasons "not" to get married in themselves, just things you need to discuss and work out how to deal with them or address them.


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