You do not have to agree on everything with the person you plan to marry, but it's important to be aware of the differences you have. Some issues are easier to work out than others, and you should be able to decide if you are willing to live with those differences or if it'd be better to find someone more similar to you. Ask each other the following questions before you tie the knot to see if there is anything you need to work through before saying "I do."
1. Where did you grow up?
You can learn a lot about a person by knowing where they grew up. People raised in a small town will have different experiences than those raised in a big city. Or, perhaps your fiancé was raised in a different country, this would mean she may have a different culture than you. By talking about your past and what you liked and disliked about it, you will see a glimpse into what each of you consider comfortable and familiar and what you may expect or want for your future.
Religion is a large part of some people's lives. A person may not even marry someone outside of his or her religion because the differences are so big. Others may not follow a specific religion but rather a way of life. Whatever you plan to do, it is important you discuss it with your fiancé before you get married. It can be very challenging to live your life with someone who does not follow the same core beliefs as you.
3. Where will you live?
Sometimes jobs or school takes you to a place other than where you planned to live. But you can at least decide together whether you will live in the suburbs, country or city or if you will try to live abroad or move to a different country altogether. If you are dead set on living by your family, but your boyfriend wants to live in a different state, this may cause an issue for you. Make sure you discuss the general idea of where you plan to live before making your vows.
4. How many kids will you have?
You do not have to come up with the exact number of kids you want before you marry, but you should at least discuss children. If you want 8 kids, but your girlfriend wants 1, that can be a problem. Also talk about what would happen in the event of infertility. Would you pursue treatment, adoption, or a life with no children? Make sure you are both in general agreement.
While on the topic of children, make sure to discuss how you will raise your kids. The differences in parenting styles can be a deal breaker for some relationships. Parenting is hard enough without fighting with your spouse about how to discipline the kids or arguing about what sports they will play.
6. What lifestyle do you want?
Knowing what kind of life you plan to live is important to a successful marriage. If you are happy with a small house and don't need an expensive car or wardrobe, you may not support your husband working 2 jobs to be able to have the best and newest of everything. Make sure you both have the same idea of which economic class you want to live in and what you will do in order to have that kind of life.
7. What are your hobbies?
What you do in your leisure time is important in a marriage. If you both have opposite likes, your hobbies may take you away from each other instead of bringing you closer together. It is okay to have a hobby different than your significant other, but if you do not have much in common, you will be in danger of drifting apart or spending too much time with people other than your spouse. So it is important to also have activities you both like to do together.
Your career will greatly affect your marriage. If you plan to be a stay-at-home mom, but your husband chooses a career that does not make enough money by itself for your family to live off, it will cause tension between you. You will be upset you can't do what you really want to do, and he will be upset you are not financially stable because you are choosing to stay at home. Or, if he plans on doing something that causes him to travel a lot and be out of the home most nights of the week, you may not support him. These are both very common and very real scenarios. Make sure you each know what the other wants to do before you find yourself in an unhappy situation.
Marriage is hard, lots of compromises have to be made, but there are some things that cannot be compromised. Make sure you really know the person you are marrying. Ask them these questions and make sure you are in agreement on most, if not all, of these issues.