Before you say “i do”, you should see Ify’s check list, as gleaned from talking to experienced couples, and expectations from aspiring ones may save you from some of the bumps you are likely to encounter along love’s highway
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Whether or not you are sexually inactive or practicing safe sex in a monogamous, committed relationship, you should still test for STDs, including HIV. Mistakes happen and your partner may not be as honest with you as you would like to believe. This practice is something that should be continued yearly, even during marriage.
- Talk Children
Don’t take it for granted that your spouse will want to have children. If you’re lucky enough to be on the same page as your guy, talk about when you want them, and how many. Where and how do you want to raise them? What are you going to name your kids?
- Fertility & Genotype Testing.
A quick trip to the fertility clinic with your partner can save you a whole lot of grief if having children is important to you. A comprehensive test can be carried out to make sure everything is in order. Now is a good time to discuss your opinions on options such as adoption, IVF and surrogacy.
As black people, we cannot overlook the importance of testing if your partner is a sickle-cell carrier. As with all tests, make sure you are tested together with your partner, in a reliable clinic or hospital. It’s important that all medical results are shared openly and honestly, or better yet – receive the news first hand from the doctor in each other’s presence.
- Decision Making
Culturally, ours is a patriarchal society, but, because that social dynamic is constantly changing, it is important you iron out your approach to decision making in your household. Is it going to be a collaborative process where bothyour opinions are weighted equally? And if so what happens when you reach a stalemate? Are you going to consult others or does the husband have veto?
- Know your Finances
Do you know how much money your partner has in the bank? And the debt accumulated? What are your expectations on who pays for what? Should it be proportionate to your income or are you expecting the man to be the breadwinner in all circumstances. Are you planning on pooling all your funds into a joint account or will you manage your funds independently?
While these are by no means an exclusive list, they are a good place to start. Answering them can save you ‘haggling’ over differences when you are already hitched. Something that is tearing many couples apart today.
Culled from TW February 2015 edition