Premarital Counseling Questions: An Essential Guide for Soon-to-Be Weds

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on July 20, 2023
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Have you ever heard of premarital counseling? If you plan to tie the knot soon, consider it seriously. After all, a marriage is not just a declaration of love—it’s also a long-term commitment that requires understanding, communication, and mutual respect. That’s where premarital counseling comes in.

As the team at Online Mental Health Reviews, we are dedicated to helping you navigate your mental health journey. Our unique blend of professional experience and personal passion makes us uniquely qualified to discuss this topic.

Marital bliss often begins with asking the right questions during premarital times, regardless of counseling. As a mental health blog, we also believe in counseling, and so in this article, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help soon-to-be-wed couples prepare for this crucial step.

Let’s dive in!

What is Premarital Counseling?

Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. It aims to identify and address potential issues that may become significant problems down the line. Think of it as a preventive measure, like going for a health check-up even when you’re feeling fantastic.

Couples can discuss essential aspects of their future life through premarital counseling. These include finances, family planning, conflict resolution, and even sex. The goal is to foster open and honest communication, allowing couples to understand each other better before saying “I do.”

Benefits of Premarital Counseling

  1. Improved Communication Skills: Couples counseling encourages couples to discuss things they might not have addressed otherwise. This helps improve their communication skills, making expressing feelings and resolving conflicts easier.
  2. Setting Expectations: It allows couples to set realistic expectations for their marriage. This includes discussing roles, responsibilities, and shared goals.
  3. Problem-Solving: Counseling can help couples develop strategies to deal with potential issues, reducing the likelihood of disagreements escalating into major conflicts.
  4. Strengthening the Bond: By discussing common values and shared goals, premarital counseling can help strengthen the bond between couples, setting a solid foundation for their marriage.
  5. Opportunity to Address Issues: Premarital counseling offers a safe environment for couples to discuss important topics, including finances, expectations, plans, and family planning.
  6. Improved Deep Connection and Communication: It can significantly improve a couple’s communication skills, enabling them to express their feelings and needs more effectively.
  7. Develops Support Mechanisms: Couples can learn to work as a team and support each other’s needs.
  8. Alleviates Fears: Counseling can help alleviate fears and concerns related to marriage, providing a sense of stability and direction.
  9. Planning the Future: It allows couples to plan their future together, ensuring both partners are on the same page about major life decisions.

Common Premarital Counseling Questions

Good Premarital Counseling Questions To Ask | Paul Friedman

1. How will we handle finances? Money is one of the most common sources of marital strife. Discussing financial responsibilities, budgeting, and financial goals can help prevent future conflicts.

2. Do we want children, and if so, when? Ensuring that both partners are on the same page regarding family planning.

3. How will we always resolve conflicts and disagreements? Every couple has disputes. What matters is how these disagreements are handled. Healthy conflict resolution strategies can go a long way in maintaining a harmonious relationship.

4. What are our long-term goals? Whether it’s our career goals and ambitions or retirement plans, discussing long-term goals ensures that both partners work towards a shared vision of the future.

5. How much does marriage counseling cost? Generally between $75-$150 per hour, with an average of around $125. Read more about the costs of marriage counseling.

How to Approach Premarital Counseling Questions

Answering premarital counseling questions honestly and openly is crucial for establishing a solid foundation for your future marriage. Here are some tips on how to approach these premarital questions well:

  1. Openness: Be truthful and open in your responses. Even if you’re uncomfortable, sharing your true feelings is essential.
  2. Active Listening: Pay attention to your partner’s responses. Understanding their perspective can help you build empathy and mutual respect.
  3. Honesty: Be honest about your expectations for marriage. Discussing these upfront can help avoid misunderstandings later.
  4. Respect: Respect your partner’s opinions and feelings, even if you disagree. Remember that it’s okay to have different viewpoints.
  5. Patience: Be patient with yourself and your partner. Some topics can be challenging to discuss, and taking time to process them is okay.

Remember, premarital counseling aims not to reach an agreement on every single issue but to understand each other better and learn how to navigate disagreements constructively.

Why Are You Getting Married?

The decision to get married can stem from various motivations, influenced by family therapists, personal values, societal norms, or emotional and financial factors.

However, love, companionship, and the desire for stable family life are common reasons people tie the knot.

  • Other factors include heightened security, affirmation of mutual love, and financial stability.
  • Marriage also provides safety, security, and belonging.
  • A healthy relationship, similar worldviews, and visions for the future are good reasons to get married.

But again, love and companionship are why people still marry today.

However, it’s important to remember that marriage isn’t for everyone. The decision should be based on personal readiness and suitability.

How many sessions is premarital counseling?

The number of sessions required for premarital counseling can vary depending on the couple’s needs and the therapist’s approach. Most therapists agree that anywhere from 8 to 12 sessions is average, but some couples may choose to attend more or fewer sessions based on their specific circumstances.

  • For example, Talkspace suggests that anywhere from 8 – 10 weeks up to 3 – 6 months is sufficient for premarital therapy.
  • Meanwhile, ZenCare mentions that couples often choose six weekly sessions.

You and your partner will determine the number of sessions with your therapist before marriage. It’s important to remember that premarital counseling aims to get through several sessions and gain the skills and understanding to help you build a robust and happy marriage.

Why Marriage Counseling helps you stay married (or Peacefully Divorce)

The goal of a premarital counselor is to equip couples with the tools and understanding to build a strong, happy, and enduring marriage.

Research has shown that many forms of marriage counseling help people improve their communication skills and reduce destructive behaviors. Even when couples contemplate divorce, discernment counseling can help them decide whether to pursue a divorce or identify what needs to change.

The Importance of Communication in Marriage

Communication is a fundamental pillar in any relationship, particularly in marriage. It’s the medium through which we express our feelings, needs, and expectations to our partners.

Here are some key points that highlight the importance of communication in marriage:

  1. Enhances Relationship Health: Communicating effectively can bring you and your spouse closer together, strengthening the relationship’s health.
  2. Develops Respect: Effective communication within a couple allows both parties to create respect for each other.
  3. Essential for Healthy Partnerships: Good communication is necessary for any healthy partnership.
  4. Expresses Feelings and Emotions: Communication is a way of expressing feelings and emotions towards your spouse.
  5. Fosters Forgiveness and Listening: Communication helps us forgive, listen, and put the heart of our marriages at the forefront.
  6. Reduces Stress: Good communication in marriage reduces stress as it allows for tension resolution and provides an avenue to vent.

A lack of communication in marriage can lead to ongoing, unresolved conflict, making it challenging to manage stressors such as finances, sexual intimacy, children, and work. Hence, effective communication is indeed the key to a good marriage.

Primary Premarital Counseling Questions to Discuss

Premarital counseling allows couples to discuss and navigate various aspects of their relationship before marriage. Some essential questions often discussed during premarital counseling include:

  1. What do you appreciate most about your partner? What do you value about your relationship?
  2. What are your religious beliefs about marriage? What is considered infidelity to you?
  3. How important is sex to each of us? How much sex do we envision having every week? How will we handle any problems in this area?
  4. Why are we getting married? Do you think marriage will change us? If yes, how? Where will we be in 25 years?
  5. What does a marriage commitment mean to you? What are your life goals? What is your financial plan?
  6. How would you like me to show you my love, and would you be expressive? Will the romance be soon taken for granted, or do you intend to keep it alive?
  7. What are the minimum and maximum amount of times you want to have sex in a week? How do you want your spouse to initiate sex?
  8. Will both partners work or just one? Who will be the primary breadwinner? Will the wife stay at home with the children? Or have a career outside of the house?
  9. What are your religious or moral beliefs about marriage? What do you consider as infidelity?
  10. What do you expect from a marital partner regarding emotional support during exciting times, sad times, illness, and job loss?
  11. Why are we getting married? Do you think marriage will change us? If yes, how? Where will we be in 25 years?
  12. Have you ever been able to overcome a bad habit? What was it? Have you ever been violent in past relationships?
  13. How steadfast are you with your finances? What about your partner?
  14. There are several topics couples should prioritize discussing before marriage: faith beliefs, desire to have/not have children, roles within marriage, financial expectations, etc.

These questions serve as a starting point for discussions during premarital counseling. They aim to foster open and honest communication, enabling couples to understand each other’s expectations, values, and beliefs better.

Key Areas to Explore in Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling is a proactive step couples can take to build a strong foundation for their marriage. It provides a safe space for partners to discuss critical areas of their relationship and establish mutual expectations for their future.

Here are some key areas to explore in premarital counseling:

  1. Marriage Commitment: Understanding each other’s views on the meaning of marriage commitment is essential.
  2. Goals: Discussing individual and combined life goals can help align your plans for the future.
  3. Finances: Money can often be a contentious issue in marriages, so it’s crucial to have open discussions about financial expectations, budgeting, spending habits, and financial goals.
  4. Relationship/Sexual History: Understanding each other’s past can help foster empathy and understanding.
  5. Family History: This includes discussing the desire for children, parenting styles, and dealing with extended family.
  6. Future Plans: What does your future look like together? This could include career plans, where to live, retirement plans, etc.
  7. Division of Labor: Discussing expectations about household chores and responsibilities can prevent resentment from building up.
  8. Health: It’s also important to discuss any ongoing health issues or concerns.

Remember, the goal of premarital counseling is not to solve every potential problem but to open lines of communication and equip couples with the tools to navigate challenges together.

Premarital counseling questions about sex

Premarital counseling often includes discussions about sex and intimacy to ensure both partners have a mutual understanding and expectations. Here are some questions that are typically discussed:

  1. How do you transition from “sex is wrong” to “sex is right”? How do we move from shame into freedom?
  2. What are the minimum and maximum amount of times you want to have sex in a week? How do you want your spouse to initiate sex?
  3. How important is sex to each of us? How much sex does each of us envision having every week? How will we handle any problems in this area?
  4. What’s a weird place in our house we’ve never had sex that you’d be willing to try? When do you feel most attractive?
  5. What excites you about being at home together?
  6. Why are we attracted to each other? Are we happy with our sex life, or do we want more? How can we make our sex life better?
  7. What are your expectations around intimacy and sex?

These questions foster open communication about sexual desires, expectations, and boundaries with future spouses. They can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts later on in the marriage.

Premarital counseling questions about money

Money is a critical topic to discuss during premarital counseling as it’s often a source of marriage conflict. Here are some critical money-related questions that couples should consider:

  1. What assets and accounts are you each bringing into the marriage? What are your debts (including credit cards)?
  2. Discuss your long- and short-term financial goals. What do you want to save for – a European vacation, a new car? Do you have specific weaknesses, such as impulse buying?
  3. What are you working towards financially? What do you think our financial situation is holding us back?
  4. Do you have any debt? Have you ever had debt? What accounts do you have? Do you prefer saving or spending?
  5. What are your thoughts on finances in general? How was money introduced to you? What is your money personality?
  6. How much debt do you have? What is the max I can spend before I have to consult the other person? How much are we willing to pay on significant purchases?
  7. What are your earliest memories of money? How do you perceive money based on your experiences?
  8. Premarital financial counseling involves the creation of a budget and the discussion of long-term and short-term financial goals like saving. How do you plan to create a budget?
  9. What is your relationship with money? What are your feelings about having or managing debt? How will you prioritize your careers about your finances?

Remember, these discussions are not just about understanding each other’s financial situation but also about understanding each other’s values and attitudes toward money.

Questions on finances

Discussing finances is a critical part of premarital counseling, as it helps couples understand each other’s financial situation and attitudes toward money. Here are some important questions that couples should consider:

  1. What does it mean to create a personal budget?
  2. Do I need an accountant to do my taxes?
  3. Is your emergency fund sufficient?
  4. Are you ever done saving?
  5. If you have children, how will you manage your finances?
  6. In your own words, explain what credit is. How can credit help you with managing your money? What is a credit score? How can credit hurt you financially?
  7. Do I need a budget, and how do I create one?
  8. Do I need to file my taxes?

Remember, these discussions are not just about understanding each other’s financial situation but also about understanding each other’s values and attitudes toward money.

Questions on personal habits

Personal habits can have a significant impact on individual well-being and relationship dynamics. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. What are your sleeping patterns? Are you a morning or night person?
  2. How important is cleanliness and organization to you?
  3. What are your eating habits? Do you prefer healthy foods, or do you lean towards junk food?
  4. How much time do you spend on hobbies or personal interests?
  5. Do you smoke or consume alcohol? If so, how often?
  6. How often do you exercise or engage in physical activities?
  7. How do you manage stress and anxiety? Do you have any specific routines or coping mechanisms?
  8. What are your spending habits? Are you more inclined to save or splurge?
  9. Do you have any patterns others might find annoying or difficult to live with?
  10. How much time do you spend daily on social media or other digital platforms?

Understanding and respecting each other’s habits is essential for maintaining harmony in relationships. Discussing these matters openly is always beneficial to prevent future misunderstandings or conflicts.

Household expectations and duties

Household expectations and duties refer to the tasks performed inside a household to ensure that the basic needs of its members are met. These include cooking, cleaning, caring for children or older adults, and other dependent family members.

  • Family rules help children understand what behaviors are okay and not okay. Children will be in places where they must follow the rules as they grow. Following rules at home can help them learn to follow them elsewhere.
  • There are also consistent household tasks that should be done daily. These include meal preparation, doing dishes after each meal, removing shoes when you enter the home, and putting items in shared spaces back where they belong.
  • One practical approach for working parents is to divide household duties by dividing them by responsibility rather than task. This allows each person to take charge of specific tasks, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability.

It’s important to note that while women traditionally handled the main household tasks in many societies, this is changing, and household duties are now more likely to be shared among all family members.

However, remember that these are general guidelines, and each household may have different expectations and duties based on their unique circumstances and values.

relationship expectations

Understanding and setting expectations in a relationship is crucial for health and longevity. Expectations in a relationship can range from trust, commitment, affection, empathy, friendship, satisfying sexual connection, and unconditional love. These are considered reasonable expectations and fall more under the standards category than expectations.

According to Gottman, relational expectations are based on an individual’s history of similar relationships and perception of current conditions. For many people, relational satisfaction involves a level of perception of reality. People who are happy in love describe their partners as they see them, not necessarily how they objectively exist.

However, holding unrealistic expectations can be harmful to a relationship. It’s essential to separate unhealthy expectations from healthy standards. Relationships can deteriorate when expectations are too high, or someone perceives their partner as trying to change them.

Another way expectations can cause problems is when you expect your partner to do things you have not communicated to them. Therefore, it’s essential to openly discuss these expectations with your partner and revisit these conversations as the relationship evolves.

Free premarital counseling questions printable

Here are some links to free printable premarital counseling questionnaires that can help guide discussions between couples:

  1. Premarital Marital Questionnaire by NBCG Utah: This questionnaire covers various topics, including communication, conflict resolution, finances, and intimacy.
  2. Premarital Counseling Questionnaire by Experience Love Events: This questionnaire focuses on expectations within the marriage and addresses potential trust issues.
  3. 25 Premarital Counseling Questions by Our Peaceful Family: This resource includes questions about sexual expectations within the marriage.
  4. 33 Premarital Counseling Questions by Anchor Light Therapy: This list includes questions that encourage appreciation and value assessment of the relationship.
  5. Premarital Questions by Restoration Church DC: This questionnaire includes reflective and scenario-based questions.
  6. Premarital Counseling Questionnaire 2 by Focus Church: This questionnaire encourages each person to complete their form for comparison and discussion.
  7. Premarriage Awareness Questionnaire by Premarriage Questionnaire: This questionnaire includes “What if” scenarios to stimulate discussion on potential future situations.

Remember, these questionnaires should facilitate open and honest conversations between you and your partner. They are not meant to test or predict a marriage’s success. It’s all about understanding, learning, and growing together.

Premarital Counseling Questions Conclusion

Premarital counseling offers a unique opportunity for couples to deepen their understanding of each other. It equips them with the necessary tools to build a healthy marriage. So, if you plan to walk down the aisle soon, you might want to give premarital counseling a shot. After all, a little preparation today could save you a lot of heartache tomorrow.

Please know there are free online marriage counseling resources available.

Finally, please know our team has covered similar therapy questions. For example, you may learn more about premarital worksheets, premarital counseling questions, Christian premarital counseling in Chicago and Atlanta.

We’d love to hear from you too! Tell us what mental health software to review next on Online Mental Health Reviews. If you have stories about using a particular product or know of a discount code, please share so everyone may benefit!

In Case of Emergency

If you are in a critical situation, waiting for an online therapy session may not be the safest option. In urgent scenarios, including plans to harm yourself or others, immediately dial 911. If you’re contemplating self-harm, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is always available; simply dial 988.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also operates a National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357). This free and confidential service provides round-the-clock assistance every day of the year, offering help to those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues by providing information and facilitating access to treatment.

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