Over 90% of the engaged couples spend more money and time investing on their wedding day than investing and preparing in their marriage. While two people are in love and have made their choice for a spouse, there is so much that I find out the don’t know before entering into a marriage. The first is the quality of their relationship skills and knowing how to have the right skills to have a difficult conversation. They will often have disagreements or difficult conversations in spite of the love they have for each other. Many men and women don’t know what are the right questions to ask, how to listen, and how to speak so that there is as little reactivity in their dialogues. Another important issue is that many individuals don’t know how to discuss their own history and the other person’s history by asking the right questions in order to make a wise decision for their future. This is why finding a seasoned and experienced therapist who knows how to facilitate the key issues prior to their wedding in the sessions. Good premarital counseling takes an average of at least nine months of weekly therapist focusing on the key points as they prepared for their future.
This is how a new couple should get to know each other better so that they can settle down the right way. The answers to premarital questions can reveal more about your soon-to-be partner. They can help to manage expectations. Premarital questions lead to clarity. Clarity leads to trust. If you are about to tie the knot, gentle reader, consider discussing some of the premarital questions we share below.
Marriage is beautiful and a natural longing. The reality of it that love and the desire for it is not all and only issue about marriage. Marriage can be difficult and challenging. It requires skills and well-informed discussions before entering into and saying “I Do”. I have met with numerous couples dating or engaged who are stuck for a long time and don’t know how to get unstuck, and the only thing that keeps them in is that “but I love her or I love him” and that is how they enter into marriage without proper vetting. Good premarital counseling can save your life and your marriage. Think of premarital questions as risk assessment. It helps to foresee areas of difficulty so you can confront them now or make plans for addressing them.
We want to make things easier for you. For that reason, we have categorized the questions into the five most critical premarital topics. Get comfortable and ready to learn more about your soon to be marital partner.
Premarital questions on money
Use these questions to reduce arguments about money when the two of you finally settle down together:
- Should we have joint or separate accounts? If not, what are the reasons for not willing to share our assets? Is it trust or something else?
- Should we have a prenuptial agreement? Reasons for this? Are you both being honest about your feelings as you enter into prenuptial?
- What should our monthly budget look like? Do you know how to discuss your spending styles and your relationship with money? Or are you afraid because you don’t know how to face conflicts about this? Are you going to spend money and keep it secret and be in hiding?
- Do you have an outstanding loan that I should know of? Do you have any debt that you are hiding?
- Are you a saver or a spendthrift?
Premarital questions on sex
Great sex leads to happier marriages. Use these premarital counseling questions to learn how to satisfy your partner in marriage:
- How many times a week would you want to have sex?
- What is your best sexual fantasy?
- What is the most reliable way to achieve satisfaction?
- What turns you off?
- What gets you in the mood?
- Do you have any fears about sex? Is there anything you are holding back?
- Do you have any feelings or thoughts about each other’s sexual history prior to knowing them?
- How do your trust issues show up in sex and your partner’s interactions with the opposite sex?
Premarital questions on marital roles
Find out how you will share responsibilities throughout your marriage and what your expectations are with each other? Be clear and specific about any responsibilities:
- What role would you want to play in the marriage? What do you mean by role here clarify it?
- What role would you expect me to play? Clarify it with your partner here: in which aspects of your marriage or home life etc.
- How should we divide household chores?
- Who will make the biggest decisions in the family? Be clear and specific about what type of decisions.
- What do you think is the most difficult thing or issue about marriage?
Premarital questions morals, values, and beliefs
Morals and values are the foundation of a healthy marriage. Here is how to be sure:
- What are your religious/ beliefs about marriage? If you don’t share the same faith or views on faith, you will certainly have future struggles, especially in parenting. Be specific here about what is important to you when it comes to practicing your faith etc.
- What is considered infidelity to you? Discuss your definitions of an emotional affair, sexual integrity issues including physical and sexual affair, and more. Be very honest and open here in terms of your expectations and fear.
- In what ways should I show you that I love you?
- What is your opinion on birth control?
- What could make you lose your trust in me? Discuss red lights and green lights from each perspective. What will you not put up with and what is OK with you.
Premarital questions on conflict and issue resolution
Every relationship encounters conflict. The below questions can help you know how to deal with issues when they arise later in marriage:
- How do you handle arguments?
- Would you want us to get couples therapy if we were having problems?
- Is career more important than family?
- Do you discuss issues as they arise or deal with them later?
- If I have a disagreement with your family, which side would you choose?
A few more questions to talk ask your future husband/ wife
- Do you like pets?
- Would you be okay with me/you traveling alone with friends for a few weeks?
- Would you be willing to move if the need arises? How would we make that decision?
- Would it bother you if I changed my religion in the future?
- Do you have a health issue that I should know of?
- How would you like to spend or how would we decide to spend our Holiday breaks with our parents or extended family? Discuss expectations here.
Discuss these and many other questions with your soon to be husband or wife. Tackle one topic at a time, focusing on clear communication and understanding. Please don’t make them feel pressured or cornered.
Champion honesty. Telling lies at this point will set your marriage on a foundation of mistrust. Take things seriously and try to be as truthful as possible.
Use the opportunity to settle disagreements. When you walk into a marriage, you should be reading from the same script on sex, money, children, and spousal responsibilities. Now just may be the ideal time for each of you to compromise on things that you view differently.
Set goals as you work through the questions with your future spouse. These could be budgetary goals and plans to repay debt, plans to move, get a new job, etc. Healthy relationship changes can lead to healthy marriages.
Consider getting a mediator. A marriage counseling professional or premarital counselor can help the two of you to understand each other clearly. They can guide the discussion on critical matters and reduce conflict before marriage. They help you grasp the nettles and help you understand each other better.
Discuss the number of kids you want to have. Learn about your style of parenting which is similar to how you manage people. Are you someone who has a passive style or direct style? All of this will show up in your parenting.
Another significant issue is the role of social media. Many marriages are falling apart because of emotional affairs that have begun from connecting to former high-school friends or buddies from the past, especially when the couple is highly stressed and feels disconnected and doesn’t know how to meet each other’s needs. Meeting an old flame or a friend over social media is destructive. Having inappropriate boundaries with co-workers under the disguise of being nice or friendly has led to affairs and pain.
Be sure to ask honest questions. Don’t be afraid of asking hard questions. The more honest and transparent you are the better it will be for your marriage.
The last word
Premarital questions are a must for a successful marriage. This guide can make things easier by uncovering issues you may not have thought about, with the answers serving as the blueprint for building your forever relationship.
Having said all of this, the best step is to invest in a good pre-marital counseling with a good therapist and take months of preparing. You will not regret it.
Jousline Savra, LMFT