Know what to do before saying "I do!" - KMSP-TV

Know what to do before saying "I do!"

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5 Must-Dos Before Saying "I Do!" {A checklist for newly engaged couples}

With so many couples getting engaged over the holiday season, most of the focus will be on the wedding day... but what about every day after the wedding? Adrienne C. Laursen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and owner of The Engagement Coach, discusses five important topics you should be sure to cover before you get married.

1. Know His or Her Numbers! Now that you're engaged, you have the right to know your partner's numbers... NO, not THOSE numbers, but his/her financial numbers! Find out how much debt your partner has, student loans, credit cards, what's in their 401k, how much money do they make? And be prepared to bare your numbers too. I promise it's better to have this conversation now rather than waiting until after you're married. Plus, you'll need to know where you both stand so you can budget accordingly for the wedding.

2. What Do You Want Out of Life as a Couple? What do you expect marriage to be like? What goals do you have for your life together? Do you want children? If so, how many and when? Do you see a white-picked fence or a modern condo in the city? Talking about what your life together should look like as a married couple is really important to ensure you're both satisfied with your relationship in the long-run.

3. Talk Toilet Paper & Dishwashers Household chores are the most common fight that newlyweds find themselves in (along with money, of course). So, have some discussion about how you each prefer things around the house. EVEN if you already live together, things can and will change once you get married so have those talks anyway! Sometimes, a cleaning schedule or chore chart can help couples who really struggle with division of labor. And if you find yourselves falling into traditional roles, don't worry about what it means… if it works for you both, roll with it!

4. Discuss Your Families-of-Origin Talk about the families you grew up in… even if you think you know everything there is to know. Discuss what you liked and didn't like about growing up in your family; what you liked and didn't like about your parents' marriage. What qualities and values do you want to bring into your own marriage, and maybe more importantly, what qualities do you NOT want in your marriage. Discuss how each set of in-laws may impact your marriage in the future, and how you both feel about each other's families.

5. How You Both Feel About Divorce! Statistics show that ½ of all marriages end in divorce. The odds are definitely stacked against you for having a successful marriage. So, talk about divorce. How do you each feel about the idea of divorce? What is your experience with divorce and when would divorce be an acceptable option (if ever)? What would you do if you were experiencing unhappiness in your marriage? Are you open to counseling and if not, what does that mean?

For more information on Adrienne's counseling services and relationship tips, please visit her website at


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