|With previous "Bachelor" couple, Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, recently marrying in Los Angeles and with "The Bachelor's" newest couple, Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi, gleefully affirming their love for each other and their plans for marriage, fans of the reality show cannot help but get excited for these couples' future prospects. But, are these couples really ready for marriage? What should they know about each other before officially tying the knot? I thought that it would be timely to review some unique considerations "The Bachelor" celebrity couples should discuss and what every couple should talk about before saying "I do."
In addition to having a $50,000 engagement ring and an elaborate, televised wedding, "The Bachelor" couples, like any celebrity couple, have unique issues in their marriages. For example, how should the couple handle book deals? Future gigs and contracts? Without any prenuptial agreements, earnings obtained during the marriage belong to the community. So, if Jake Pavelka earns money from 'Dancing with the Stars' after he marries Vienna, she will most likely be entitled to part of it under California State Law. In other words, joint property applies to celebrity couples just as much as it does to any other couple. If one party does not want their earnings to be divided jointly, they and their spouse must draw up a prenuptial agreement before the wedding day.
In addition to ironing out any differences in contracts and income, "The Bachelor" couples should also invest some time learning about each other in three crucial areas. By avoiding an honest discussion of these areas, marital strife is likely to cut anyone's, especially Jake's and Vienna's, honeymoon short. Specifically, all couples should discuss these three important areas to avoid marital strife:
How has each party handled their finances in the past, and how do they plan to handle them once married? Will incomes be pooled into a join account once married? This includes discussing areas such as anticipated expenses, savings, spending habits, etc.
What are the couple's expectations of each other? Who will be in charge of cleaning the house or paying for the maid? How much time will each party be busy with "extracurricular" activities and thus away from the home?
What does the couple's "dream" family look like? How many children will they have (if any) and when? Will both parents work full time when raising children, or will one parent (or both) be responsible for the day-to-day aspects of child rearing?
By discussing these critical questions, Jake and Vienna, and all other couples, will set themselves up for a successful marriage and stable financial future. Discussing expectations is key to creating a successful long-term relationship as it means that everyone is informed of their role, which results in eliminating, as much as possible, any potential resentment later. By making sure each potential spouse is on the same page in regards to their future marriage, any couple, celebrity or not, can prepare themselves for a fulfilling marriage.