What’s a Difficult Topic Couples Should Discuss if they are Contemplating Marriage?
Sex can be an uncomfortable topic, but an important one. And “sex” extends beyond all aspects of the physical relationship to include flirtation, sensuality and monogamy. If a relationship is becoming serious, and you expect your partner to be monogamous, it is worth discussing what monogamy means to you in the short-term and in the long-term. Is there permission to continue a long-standing friendship with your ex? Is there an expectation that you will share and discuss flirtatious comments you receive on Facebook? Is it okay to spend an evening out on the town with a great looking single colleague of the opposite sex while your significant other is travelling? Monogamy means different things to different people, and it is wise to clarify expectations not just about sex and whether you will be exclusive, but also expectations about social media, socializing, and how you define monogamy.
For couples seriously contemplating marriage, there are so many delicate and complex topics worth discussing, and sometimes a good book can help structure the discussions and ease some of the awkwardness. Many of my clients in pre-marital counseling have enjoyed Monica Leahy’s 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married. Each chapter broaches a different topic – sex, money, religion, careers, parenthood – no topic is left off the table. I do not have a faith-based therapy practice, and this book is unusual because it covers questions about religion, but it is not grounded in a particular religious faith.