8 things married people don't talk about (but should)

Sure, you and your spouse talk to each other on a daily basis, but are you having crucial conversations every couple should have?

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  • Nobody likes to have difficult conversations, so it's not surprising that many couples avoid talking about these topics. To give you both some peace of mind, stop thinking "it'll never happen to you" or telling yourself you'll talk about it later. Pick one topic at a time to make the task less daunting, but you'll want to cover them all sooner than later.

  • The in-laws

  • Whether you struggle to get along with the in-laws, tolerate them, or love them to pieces, it's still important for you and your spouse to discuss how involved they will be with your own family. No matter how much you love your husband's mother, you're unlikely to want her advice on every single family decision. Your husband likely feels the same about your parents. To avoid some major conflict, talk about your in-laws with your spouse.

  • Discuss what issues and situations you each would like to keep private and how much influence you feel is appropriate for your in-laws' opinions to have on your household. Remember, be kind and loving as you talk about each other's families, applying the Golden Rule to anything you think about saying about your spouse's parents or siblings. These people shaped your spouse into the person you fell in love with, after all.

  • Making a will

  • There are so many things that are more fun to do than writing a will—like doing the dishes or cleaning the toilet—that chances are you and your spouse have yet to tackle this task. Neglecting you will could mean headache and lots of stress for your family should the unthinkable happen and you pass away without leaving any instructions. A will becomes even more important once you have children. You'll want to designate a legal guardian whom you trust and whom both you and your spouse agree on. Writing a will and appointing a legal guardian aren't simple tasks, but they are very important.

  • US News says some people looking to avoid some hassle will opt for a Do-It-Yourself will. This might sound like a good idea, but it's easy to make mistakes that could invalidate your will or cost your heirs more legal fees.

  • "If you're firmly in the middle class, you can probably get away with writing a will using a legal online site," said US News. "But if you are upper-middle class or worth more, you should almost certainly find an estate attorney."

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  • Retirement

  • Retirement might seem so far in the future it might as well be another lifetime, but rest assured that day will come. And it will be a far more pleasant reality to face if you've talked about your plans for it in advance. One great way to prepare today for retirement: find out whether your employer offers a 401(k) plan and how much of your contributions it will match. When possible, max out the amount of money they'll match in order to receive the best return on your investment.

  • There are many other retirement options to look into as well, but that's a conversation you should have with a financial planner or accountant. These professionals will be able to help you decide how much you can afford to invest and where that money will yield the best return between now and retirement.

  • Sex

  • Sure you have sex, but do you talk about it? Have you ever had a conversation about what you each like or don't like? Have you ever described to your spouse your idea of your perfect sexual encounter, or asked him if there was anything you could do to make his experience better?

  • "People tend to assume their partners know what they like in the bedroom. Often, to please a partner, people give no feedback about their experience during sexual relations," said Pamela Rogers, MS, PhD, a writer for Healthline.com. "This can result in sex that is repetitive, mundane, or boring." This is one conversation that could have significant, immediate rewards.

  • Savings

  • Different from retirement, a conversation about savings means talking about how much of your money you'd like to set aside to save up for big-ticket items (like a car, a house, or a vacation). It's especially important to find out whether you and your spouse are on the same page on this subject. Do you both agree that having savings is important? Do you both have the will power to set money aside and not use it for discretionary items? Work to find a compromise now that works for both of you; disagreement can lead to big problems later on.

  • Your love languages

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  • Do you know whether your husband prefers words of affirmation or acts of service? How about quality time, acts of service, or receiving gifts? Do you know what your own love languages are?

  • It doesn't matter whether your languages are the same or match exactly; what does matter is that you both feel and show love in a way that each of you understand. You can take a free test at 5lovelanguages.com to find out which languages speak to you the most. Ask your spouse to take the test as well and then talk about the results. You'll probably learn something new and you'll learn how better to love your spouse.

  • Your wildest dreams

  • You should share with each other your plans for the future and you probably have an idea of one another's short-term and long-term goals, but what your wildest dreams? Do your spouse know the kinds of things do you only silently wish for, like taking exotic vacations, getting your PhD, or moving to another country?

  • It doesn't matter if you expect these dreams never to come true, your spouse should know about them! Share your flights of fantasy with your partner and you may find you each have the same dreams. And perhaps some of your wishes aren't so unattainable after all. Either way, it will give your spouse a glimpse into your hopes, and you both can talk and dream about them together.

  • Food storage

  • Deciding to get food storage is, in a way, deciding to accept that life is outside your control. Nobody gets food storage hoping they'll really have to use it someday. But it's essential to have because you never know what life could throw your way. Whether your family faces a job loss or serious natural disaster, you'll be glad you were prepared.

  • Start out small, but try to work up to at least a three-month supply of food for everyone in your family. It sounds a little daunting, but Relief Foods can help you make sure you have what you need. Start with the basics, of course, like flour, sugar, beans, rice, etc., but also look into having more tasty options in your food storage. If you ever have to live off it, life will be much more pleasant if you don't have to eat the same boring food every day. Check out Relief Foods' delicious, easy-to-use options.

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  • Writing a will, talking about your in-laws and planning out your food storage might not sound like the most fun way spend your time, but you'll be grateful you talked about these topics in the long run.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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