This article claims that there are 8 fights you should have before you get married. It's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, I guess (the fighting part). Here are the topics:
1. Pet peeves
6. Self-maintenance: Expectations
While I don't agree that you have to fight about something to have a discussion, I agree that these are all important issues to discuss.
How do we stack up?
Mr. T and I have ongoing discussions about pet peeves. ;-) I've learned to replace the TP immediately on the roll once it's done, and Mr. T has learned...well, many things. I'm just kidding. Mr. T has learned not to talk to me while I'm getting into belly dance costume, for fear of encountering what we call in the biz, "costume rage". (I don't know if other belly dancers call it this, actually.) Anyway, we don't let this stuff build up, so it never comes out angry. Mostly we joke about it when it does come up.
Chores...I don't remember having a formal decision-making process about this. We just sort of fell into it and discussed it afterwards. Mr. T vacuums, because my allergies make that one hard for me. I clean the bathroom. We switch off taking care of the cats every week, so no one gets sick of scooping poop. We do our own laundry. I usually cook (although Mr. T has become my sous chef) and Mr. T does dishes. We pick up after ourselves (clothes, books, shoes, etc.). I think I'm probably not as neat as Mr. T, but he puts up with me. ;-) It all works out pretty well, I think!
Kids: no, thanks! This one was actually one of the bigger discussions. I was scared that Mr. T would want kids and I was certain that I didn't, so I thought that might end our relationship at a certain point. I was always very clear, though, about not wanting them, so it wasn't a surprise. Mr. T finally decided he wasn't the paternal type either, so here we are! Although we're happy being an aunt and uncle, I should say. Also, we have four-legged furry kids who are very demanding.
Religion. It strikes me that I'm not 100% sure of Mr. T's position on this, although to be fair, I don't think he's given me a definite answer. I believe we're both agnostic; that is, I'm not sure if something's out there, but I'm sure whatever it is, it's nothing like we've imagined. Anyway, we're not church-goers and typically don't discuss religion in company because of the controversy around it.
Sex: yes please! And that's all I'm going to say. Really, that was too much, I think.
Self-maintenance. I have mixed feelings about this as a category. Like, "If you're not a size 2 (HA! That's a good one!) forever I'll divorce you." However, I do concede that taking care of your health is important and that I would be worried if Mr. T let his health go (and he would worry about me in the reverse situation). I'm happy where we are right now--both of us are concerned about improving our health; we exercise regularly and try to eat a little better all the time. We have both had some health scares in our family, and we can see that taking care of ourselves now will hopefully prevent not feeling so well further down the road. So, as long as we continue with that philosophy, I don't think we need to worry about trophy wives or husbands in the future.
Finances. This is a biggie for couples. I'm happy to say we have complete disclosure in our household (well, we think one of our cats is hoarding money, but she won't confess. I caught her taking a dollar bill out of my purse one day...I think we'll find a stash under the mattress sometime soon). At one point Mr. T and I both had a lot of debt from various sources (car, student loans, credit cards) that we have completely paid off. Debt-free, baby! This is mostly Mr. T's doing as he had a financial epiphany years ago and starting nagging at everyone in his life about becoming fiscally responsible. It was hard to hear sometimes, but I credit this nagging with my current debt-free state, so it was worth it! ;-) We don't always agree--for example, I think a car loan is acceptable debt, while he wants to pay 100% cash for one--but we're mostly on the same level: Don't spend more than you have, save money for emergencies, save money for the future. I would say I'm more spendy in general, but he doesn't criticize me for it as long as I'm not putting expenditures on a credit card. Money issues are the cause of a lot of divorces, so I'm glad we've prioritized this one.
Family. Families are nuts. Luckily we've both met each others', and we're getting married anyway, so it worked out. ;-)