43 Premarital Counseling Questions
(From a Marriage Counselor)
Here’s an interesting fact- the vast majority of engaged couples spend much more time preparing for their wedding day than they do preparing for their marriage.
After all, when two people are so in love, what could possibly go wrong?
We all know… A LOT!
As a marriage counselor, I often witness marriages in crisis.
While I love working with couples in crisis, I would bet the couples would not describe being in crisis as a great experience…
Therefore, when a couple comes to my office wanting to ensure they grow more in their relationship prior to their wedding day, I am elated. Premarital counseling can reveal unknown expectations and desires and help manage expectations.
Asking questions in premarital counseling leads to clarity. As Brene Brown states: CLEAR IS KIND. When we are clear on our expectations, wishes, desires- and when we can communicate those effectively- there is greater trust and understanding.
With that, let’s move on to premarital counseling questions you and your partner may want to discuss.
1. Premarital Counseling Questions re: Conflict
- What is your communication style?
- What do you believe to be your partner’s communication style?
- How do you handle a situation when difficult emotions (sadness, frustration, anger, etc) are shared?
- What happens when you disagree on major life decisions?
- Do you think you effectively resolve conflicts? If so, why? If not, why not?
2. Questions re: Careers
Does one person enjoy putting long hours in their job while the other clocks out a few minutes before quitting time? Consider these questions regarding career expectations:
- How much would you like to work each week?
- How much do you think your partner plans to work each week?
- What days/evenings/nights are part of the work schedule?
- How much support do you both want regarding your career goals?
- How important is it to you to have career goals?
- How much sacrifice are each of you willing to endure for a career goal?
- How many work hours per week do you both expect the other to be away from home?
- How many hours per week do you expect the other to work from home?
3. Premarital Counseling Questions re: Children
Children change a marriage in many ways. Oftentimes, engaged couples don’t know what questions to ask about the realities of having children. Below are some questions to consider:
- What was your childhood like?
- What aspects did you enjoy and what aspects would you change?
- What was your parents’ style of parenting?
- What do you hope your parenting style will be?
- What traditions would you like to incorporate into your life together?
- Do you want children, if so how many?
- How would you handle childcare?
- Childcare can be quite costly. Are you both on the same page about what kind of care you desire for your child(ren)?
- Will one of you stay home?
- What kind of school would you prefer your children attend: public or private?
- What kind of parents do you hope to be?
- What resources do you need to help you achieve that hope?
4. Questions re: Faith & Religion
Whether you’re spiritual, religious, atheist, or somewhere in between, religion can be a tough topic for couples! Secular premarital counseling provides the opportunity to get curious and ask questions like:
- What was your experience of religion as a child?
- Is religion important to you? Why? Why not?
- How does your partner feel about your beliefs?
- How will you handle your extended family regarding religious beliefs?
- Which religious holidays will you celebrate?
- Describe how you envision those holidays.
- How much influence do you want religion to play in your lives and your children’s lives
5. Premarital Counseling Questions re: Money
Most engaged couples would not rate finances as the most exciting thing to think about when it comes to getting married… which is a shame. Studies show that money ranks very high on the reasons couples argue. Those financial arguments are the top predictors of divorce. Here are some questions to ponder:
- What value did money hold in your life as a child?
- What value does money hold for you now?
- Will you combine your finances or keep separate accounts?
- How much money do you expect to contribute to your household?
- How much money do you hope to set aside for your own personal interests?
- How much debt do each of you have?
- How much would you like to save each year?
- Do you have a monthly budget?
- If not, it might be helpful to create a budget and discuss how you plan to stick to it.
- How much money will you set aside for vacations?
- What will you do if you have an emergency expense or an unexpected loss of income?
There you have it! 43 premarital questions to consider before you get married!
Please keep in mind, a pre-marriage counselor will tailor questions and sessions to your unique situation and relationship. Premarital counseling is a great way for couples who are committed to building a strong marriage and gain skills for communicating effectively.
Stay tune for my next blog where I will share more premarital counseling questions to ponder.
In the meantime, are you ready to give therapy a go?