I’ve only been married for 3 years but I do have a tribe of married couples around me and most of them can admit that there were hurdles and conflicts that could’ve been avoided had they been discussed prior to saying “I Do”.

On @TheCoordinatedBride we posted the top 3 topics that should be discussed prior to getting married as we’ve experienced it with other married couples.  Our top 3 things to discuss before marriage are (1) Having kids (2) Religion and (3) Finances.  In the caption of the post we asked our fellow Coordinated Brides to comment with other topics that should be discussed.

Our bride tribe had a lot to say.  Some of the topics listed were obvious but some are things that you don’t actually consider until there is conflict.  Here are the 5 that we thought were key, in addition to our 3 of course.

1. Mental Illness History

dimples_galore__Check the mental illness background . Sometimes we never know.

kendralfeaster Mental issues!

Nearly one in five US adults lived with mental illness (44.7M in 2016) (National Institute of Mental Health).  Mental illness is more common than we think, more common than we care to admit.  Having discussions with your future spouse about your history, triggers and symptoms should be just as common.  This is the only way that you can get the support and give the support that is needed…that is required.   If your partner is your “person” and you intend to coexist with them, then the both of you need to be equipped with the tools necessary to support each other.  Get past the stigma that surrounds mental illness and start having these conversation as early in your relationship as possible.

2. Establishing Family Boundaries

brianna_pope Learning how to prioritize families. Ex. (Establishing boundaries between parents, siblings, and spouses)

brownsuga6 Family values and boundaries between them. Are they will(ing) to be open-minding with new things.

brianna_pope sometimes depending on the bond between your spouse and their family members it can be difficult establishing new priorities when significant life moments take place. Often times people can put people before their husband/wife unintentionally. So it’s best to learn and establish those boundaries BEFORE marriage so that it isn’t a huge headache trying to learn during the beginning stages of marriage

The above is key to having a strong dynamic in not only the relationship between you and your spouse but also with his or her family.

3. Retirement Goals

niqwilliamsevents mentioned retirement goals in her comment.  Yes, you discuss past financial concerns and current financial situations but do you discuss your future financial goals?  When and where would you like to retire?  What would you like to do when you retire?  Travel? Work part time? Invest in property on an island?  Open a bed and breakfast?  Remember to discuss retirement goals when discussing finances with your future spouse.

4. Politics

grateful_malu_13 Politics, step-kids, and ex. !!

If asked the same question 10 years ago, politics would probably not make the top 5 but welcome to a new day and age.  If a person’s political views and affiliations differed from yours in the past, it probably wouldn’t sway your decision to marry them.  Today, however, people are getting blocked on social media and sometimes physically targeted for their political views and affiliations.  Determining if you and your future spouse are on the same page or at least in the same book when it comes to politics is very important.

5. Elder Parent Care

thejamaicandownunder Care of your parents as they get older

Younger couples with younger parents may not have this on their radar but for older couples like myself, this is a topic worth discussing.  My parents are currently caring for my father’s mother.  She has a list of ailments that hinders her from caring for herself.  As I watch my parents care for my grandmother I know that I will do the same for them and it forced me to have this conversation with my husband.  It might be an island thing (I’m born in Jamaica) but I don’t think that I can ever put my parents into an assisted living facility and I needed to express that to my husband.  Luckily we are on the same page.  Consider discussing this topic with your future spouse to save you the uncertainty and conflict in the future.

Be sure to stop by our IG (@thecoordinatedbride) and drop a comment with any topic that you think should be considered and discussed before marriage or comment below.