Do Not Say 'I Do' Until You've Done These 8 Major Things

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By Tania Hussain

Getting married can be an exciting moment in our lives. But often times, we’re so busy planning the wedding, we end up neglecting the most important thing — the marriage itself!

While some couples find wedded bliss after dating for a month and elope at the county courthouse, it’s not the same for those who realize that after a decade together, they hardly knew their spouse.

Before getting the invitations or finding the perfect dress, secure your relationship by cultivating healthy discussions with your partner. 

RELATED: Do Not Marry Someone Until You Can Honestly Answer These 20 Qs

In an effort to fortify foundations, we have a few suggestions that will help develop a strongly rooted marriage based on friendship and open communication. After all, who wants to take chances, second-guessing for the rest of their lives?

8 Things to do Before You Get Married

1. Travel

This advice comes care of life coach, Bill Murray. (Yes — that Bill Murray!)

When crashing a bachelor party in the summer of 2014, Murray shared how travel is the best test of true love. If two lovers can travel the globe, visit places hard to go to or get out of, yet still be in love at the end of it — marry them!

As an evident tool in rooted love among researchers, travel also strengthens emotional and physical intimacy, while furthering bonding.

2. Discuss financial issues

The good, the bad, and the ugly of finances is important to discuss, as financial planner, Kelly Long wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Money secrets have no place in a marriage.”

From credit card debt to student loans, fiscal discussions help understand how to handle finances and spending habits. Since poor money practices are a major indicator of divorce, if discussed candidly, it can be a major strength.

3. Meet the family

My Big Fat Greek Wedding wasn’t just a romantic comedy — it was a true story.

When you get married to someone, you really do marry into their family. Maybe not like the mafia (or, maybe like the mafia...), but they become an extension of you.

By meeting their folks, you can understand love styles, values they were brought up on, family dynamics, potential parenting styles, and figure out how to avoid family drama.

4. Talk about faith and politics

Sometimes the biggest arguments rise from the discussion of faith and politics. This is why talking about these two are vital before tying the knot, especially if you hope to raise a family together.

It doesn’t matter so much as to what your faith or political views are separately, but that you two can come together on mutual agreements and grow.

RELATED: Why You Should Get Married First And Fall In Love Later

5. Create bucket lists

Bucket lists are fun when you want to achieve and experience something out of the ordinary.

By creating one for you and your partner from the mundane to the wacky (and we mean wacky!), not only is it an enjoyable way to connect with each other and embrace mutual quirks, but varied tasks create a profound effect on communication and connection.

6. Learn sexual expectations

Since sexual incompatibility is one of the leading causes of marital dissatisfaction, infidelity, and divorce, figure out if you and your partner are sexually compatible by talking openly.

Might seem a tad taboo to talk about initially, but if you and your partner are truly an OTP, communication should be a breeze in and out of the bedroom without fear of judgment or criticism.

7. Decide if you want kids

Does your partner want kids? More importantly, do you want kids? Is adoption a possible prospect?

Before tying the knot, having this talk helps present a balanced dynamic without any unexpected surprises down the road. If they don’t want children now (or vice versa), don’t start thinking their mind will change over the years while you compromise.

If this is the present case, both of you might be better off with someone else.

8. Examine conflict

Take part in activities together, whether through creative projects or common goals. If complications arise, but you two argue fairly — you’re good to go!

It’s crucial to figure out how to handle anger and conflict together. If problems are mutually solved by effective communication, this will be a great asset to enhance your relationship.

RELATED: Don't Get Married Until You Know These 5 Things About Your Partner

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Tania Hussain is the Editor-in-Chief of the Hudsucker and News Editor of CBSi's PopCulture. Her work has been featured in NBC News Digital's Newsvine, IWMF, Quietly, Womanista, and Wedding Day Magazine. Visit her Twitter for more.

This article was originally published at Womanista. Reprinted with permission from the author.