4 Must-Have Conversations Before You Get Married

BY: - 14 May '12 | Best of BMWK

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A while back I did an interview where I mentioned that you needed to have a plan before going into a marriage. The show host asked me to elaborate, and I went into a few things, but wanted to talk about it more here. Some people I’ve talked to that are experiencing real relationships problems seem to have those issues due to lack of a clear plan up front. You know the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail.”

When you enter into a relationship with someone, you are both coming from two different backgrounds, two different histories and two totally different points of view. Before your heart takes you away, you need to sit down and have a discussion to make sure the plan you have is the same one or similar to what they are thinking. Before you get married, here are four conversations that you must have:

1. Children

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Do you plan on having any? How many do you want? If one person already has kids are they willing to have more? Seems simple enough but I've seen people fail to address this. Despite not having this conversation, they get into a marriage and are ready to leave because their spouse doesn't want additional children. Also don't assume that your potential spouse will change their mind later. When it comes to a topic like children you need to assume that what they say will be their final decision and deal with the situation from that point of view.

BMWK what other topics should you plan on? How about where to live? Will someone stay at home to raise the kids? There are plenty of others, lets add more.

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2229 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.


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46 WordPress comments on “4 Must-Have Conversations Before You Get Married

  1. katherine

    thanks for that nice one. I only wish you were more detailed abit. I really enjoy ur blogs and ve been inviting my friends here. I like to be able to share some of my blogs here, how can I?

  2. tina

    It’s funny how no one on this website is commenting on the president’s announcement that he supports gay marriage. A website about marriage has nothing to say about this. Hmmm

    1. Anonymous

      Tina, I really don’t think that fits here.. this site is about marriage in general and some of the things you may need to consider or will encounter by being married. If this was a political or religious site, then I’m sure there would be some discussion of that but I don’t believe this site takes a stance either way..

    2. Lamar Tyler Post author

      We’re here to strengthen the marriages that no one is talking about and no one is ever trying to lift up – black male and female relationships. That’s our focus and why we don’t talk about gay marriage, interracial marriage, Asian marriage etc… You can find thousands of articles and websites about any of those topics sprinkled across the web but when you look for content for and about black men and women who want to save their marriages and make them work better nothing was there. So that’s why we started this website and that what we focus on.

      1. tina

        I agree Lamar. This is a site about strengthening black male and female relationships. And I love what this website is doing. I can see how the topic of gay marriage can end up being controversial. But I just was surprised that there was no comment about the redefinition of marriage on a website about marriage. I’ll leave it at that.

    3. Jamea

      Tina, get a life. In the whole big scheme of things commenting on gay marriage is trivial. If you want to indulge your time in it, then you should…on your own website.

    4. Darlene Young

      Im quite sure President Obama isnt the 1st President to support “gay marriage” and I sure he wont be the last..Theres so much more for him to be cocerned about ..dont you think?

    5. Sis Noble

      This website was created by a “husband and wife duo” as stated in the About Us tab at the top of the page.They are in the business of encouraging, guiding and supporting African Amer “husband and wife” marriages. So when we check in here, that’s exactly what we’re looking for and that’s exactly what we receive. Since that’s not your topic of interest, try searching the web. I’m sure you’ll find a myriad of websites, blogs, etc. on your desired topic of interest.

  3. Catehess

    Regarding children, also, even more critical in this day and age of more blended families, the ever controversial discipline of them. It is SO critical that children see and experience consistent and meaningful structure and the prospective husband and wife would do well to have a well thought out philosophy on how to discipline the children that they can both live with.

    1. Lamar Tyler Post author

      You can never prepare for everything but you can do as much as you possibly can up front and that’s what the list is all about. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Corey.

  4. Roxann Brown

    I strongly believe that these four point of views are very beneficial when starting a family/a marriage. I have one child and definitely willing to have more. But I also want a husband that will accept my child and raise him as the child was his own and I would do the same if the tables were turned. I am ready for marriage and want a family and a husband where we talk about all things that will make a marriage beneficial and worth salvaging.

  5. Melanie

    With the issues surrounding the increasing AIDS epidemic within the Black Community, particular affecting Black women, I would say sexual history and practices is a must have discussion. I have also found that mental health individual and family history is important.

  6. Holly Carrell

    I really enjoyed this post! There are a couple topics here that I need to sit down and hash out with my significant other as well. As far as the comment on gay marriage, I am not an expert on marriage at all, but it seems like no matter what type of marriage you were looking to embark on, these 4 topics would still be applicable. All couples need to talk about children, finances, religion, etc. with their soon-to-be spouse. Relationships involve work and communication, no matter who your partner is.

  7. Valerie

    I enjoyed the message. Those four topics are so on point. I would like to add to what are your expectations for the marriage. A little different than goals I believed but still a discussion to be had. Each person should be able to state plainly what he or she expects from the marriage. Are the expectations something that can align or complement the other’s views. Are your expectations unreasonable. I believe each should discuss just what their needs and wants are clearly before taking that very important first step down the aisle.

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  10. CT

    We discussed all these and all were on point! It’s amazing no matter how well you think your covered the enemy still managees to sneak in. Our issue is traveling. My husband hates to fly and this causes problems as well as his needs/her needs. If it’s not one thing it’s another….

    Love your ministry!

    Pushing forward…

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  14. Anita Tart

    This is so on point for me and my husband to be. We had the discussion and I am so thankful for it. We are getting married on June 15, 2013 and I love all or your articles. Hats off to you. Job well done!

  15. rashida

    1, 3, 4: we have to be in agreement and on the same page. That I will not compromise on. I want kids and they should want the same, We MUST have the same faith( equally yoked) and have the same beliefs, moral, and goals. Maybe not same careers but goals as in always growing and bettering our self. What must agreement on how we should raise our kids.
    Money: it depends on how much debt the person has. i feel no one unless u was born yesterday, had scholarships and grant will have some debt. That can be worked on.

  16. Watli

    I believe agreeing on where you want to live is huge. If you are a city person, and the other party wants to live in a small rural town, that can make things difficult

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  18. j

    I liked this article until I read it didn’t apply to me as I am not black. Weird I didn’t know we lived in a segregated society where those four topics only affected black people. Glad I’m raising my children to be more open minded and less racist.

  19. stephanie

    I’m not married,but I enjoy your blog. I’ve subscribed to them as well and liked your page on FB so get them both ways. Thanks so much for all your information and wisdom on marraige. They will be very helpful before and during my marraige when the time comes.

  20. Barbara

    Thanks for the great ideas and I agree, they are applicable no matter your colour or race.
    I would also recommend Gretchen Rubin’s “High Five” discussion for couples. I found it helpful to know what my partner thinks are the five things he can’t live without.
    Keep up the good work!

  21. Anon

    I love that these were major topics to discuss, however as I look back on my own experiences these talking points weren’t deep enough. We struggled with infertility and for a long time (6 years) differed on how we would address it. Then money came into the picture because while I was willing to spend the multitudes of thousands of dollars to try to have children, he preferred to funnel that into starting a business. In the end, and only through God’s grace, did he get his business and my insurance paid for the infertility treatments (we have a son) but what if this scenario hadn’t happened? Couples should ask, to what lengths will we go to achieve our family? What priorities will our money have, when something this impactful arises?

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