Shout out to Jenny for another solid guest post! First comes love, then comes marriage, then a baby in the baby carriage…No?
I am so sick of people getting married and then realizing it wasn’t a good decision because they didn’t think it through.
Take the recent marriage epic fail by Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries for example. It seems that their marriage didn’t work out because they never discussed where they wanted to live and how both of their careers would affect their happiness.
Call me crazy but I would assume this should have been a conversation that would have occurred naturally during the first couple of months of their relationship, when they were exploring each other’s goals and dreams.
Recently in an article with Marie Claire, Kardashian remarked on what it means to be the perfect wife. Clearly, she’s an expert.
The interview was done several weeks after their excessively glamorous wedding, and just a month before their sudden (and let’s face it, unsurprising) divorce.
“I learned how to cook and do a lot of marital things…It definitely taught me what being a wife is all about. I think it means taking care of each other’s needs and being there for someone unconditionally.”
I would love to know what Kim’s definition of “marital things” is. In addition I would love to know her definition of “unconditional”, because it seems to me seventy-two days of marriage seems slightly conditional. Would a sit down conversation have solved everything? Was there just a lack of communication?
Here are some things you need to discuss with your future wife/hubby, or for that matter, things you should discuss with anyone you’re seriously dating. It’s now or never, people.
1. What are your long term plans? Your significant other’s ambition is of the utmost importance. You need to be okay with what they want to do in their life—whether that means sailing around on a boat in the Philippines or working at In-N-Out, you need to be on the same page and you need to be okay with it.
Kim and Kris should have decided who’s career they would focus on—or how they were going to balance each of their ambitions. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your goals for your significant other. It’s simply about negotiation and creative strategizing.
2. Where do you want to live? A wise friend of mine redundantly told me that the person you end up with will be in the place you end up. And that makes sense, in a way. If you want to live in Chicago, don’t get too involved with someone who cannot stand the wind and snow. It’s just easier if you clear that up now. Maybe if Kim had realized her tall bumbling man didn’t want to live in NYC or LA they would have made it to the 80 days mark.
3. Do you want kids? I know this is a big question. And that’s exactly why you need to talk about it, even if you are nowhere near wanting kids. At least K&K knew they wanted to have kids. I worry though that they may have wanted to return them once they realize that they are a lifetime commitment and that they’re only cute until they’re screaming with a poop-filled diaper.
Thank goodness these two didn’t bring a baby into this world. You, on the other hand, need to be on the same page about kids with your beau. You both should not have to compromise on wanting or not wanting kids. Figure that out before you put a ring on it.
4. Sex. It’s hard to imagine Kris and Kim had issues with this.
I personally believe that a healthy sex life is a fix-all to relationship woes. Make time to be intimate with your partner.
Here’s one of my favorite rules: Don’t argue unless you’re naked. I promise the issue will solve itself. Sometimes you have to trust in your natural instincts and let your whiny human mind rest. It probably wasn’t worth it anyways. Not to mention, sex is kind of awesome. So make it a priority as much as you possibly (and physically) can.
5. Talk about money. Though K&K may not have any financial issues (what with the two of them spending eight times Brangelina’s house on what is sure to be the first of many idiotic weddings for the both of them), they clearly don’t have a real understanding of the impact of money. Talk with your sweetie about how you spend money and what’s important to you.
A friend of mine has been dating a guy for a couple years and they’ve been talking about the possibility of marriage. Only problem? The guy has a spending problem—he has $60,000 worth of debt. And not school debt—just unrealistic spending debt. Run away. Financial issues are one of the number one causes of relationship strain or divorce, so it’s imperative that the two of you discuss it.
6. Lay down some ground rules about commitment. Make it clear right off the bat what is acceptable and unacceptable. Will and Jada Smith told each other from the beginning of their marriage that it was going to be forever, no matter how hard they had to work. If you treat your relationship like it’s disposable, it will be.
Let’s face it—Kris and Kim simply had crushes on each other. There was zero commitment. I know commitment. I’ve seen it on old couple’s faces as they walk slowly hand in hand through the park. Commitment is unconditional love and realistic understanding of what the other person needs from you, and vice versa.
Avoid marriage counseling and divorce now and figure out how to communicate with your partner. Don’t be like Kim and Kris— spend an embarrassing amount of money on a wedding, insult the face of marriage and all of those who do not have the legal ability to marry those they love, and then decide weeks later that something so insignificant as location affects what you would do for the person you love.
If you want to be with someone for the rest of your life…PROVE IT!