Many newly engaged couples are taking charge of their upcoming marriage by seeking couples therapy to strengthen their relationship. The best premarital counseling topics to discuss are the ones that will make couples feel prepared, that open the lines of communication, and that talk about potential problems couples may encounter in the future.
Go into your marriage feeling prepared and confident that you can take on any problems concerning sex, children, finances, family obligations, work, and even infidelity. Build a strong foundation for a happy marriage by listing ten marriage counseling questions to ask your spouse and discussing the answers, before getting married.
Looking for pre-marriage counseling questions before you say “I do”?
These are the 10 best premarital counseling topics to discuss in therapy to ensure you have a happy and healthy marriage.
Each partner’s desired sexual frequency should be discussed during premarital counseling to see whether both partners are on the same page about their sexual expectations.
One study that surveyed how 100 married couples handled sexual intimacy conflicts found that when couples have hostile or negative reactions to their partner’s sexual desires, depression and relationship dissatisfaction are heightened. This stresses the importance of talking about sexual frequency and preferences before marriage.
While your therapist is not going to act as your financial planner, they will be able to open up the lines of communication regarding your finances.
Money can be a tricky topic to talk about, especially for couples who are about to get married and merge their finances. Topics to discuss should be the wedding and honeymoon budget, any debts owing, and how bills will be handled once married.
Discussing these topics may be awkward at first, but it is important, to be honest about your financial situation before getting merging your monies and assets together. Remember to address marriage finances, before you walk down the aisle, as it is one of the best pre-marital counseling questions to discuss with your partner.
2. Children, pets, and family planning
Are you on the same page about starting a family or owning pets? Surprisingly, many couples have not discussed family planning before getting married. Topics to consider include if and when you decide to start a family, how many children you would like to have, appropriate and inappropriate parenting techniques, financial planning and more.
Having children can be difficult on the health of marriage if both partners aren’t prepared. A premarital counselor can help you discuss your differences involving the desire to have children, how to raise them, and how to keep your romantic life healthy while parenting.
3. Conflict resolution
Communication is important in order for a marriage to stay strong and united. Conflict resolution is a huge part of the communication process.
During therapy, your counselor will teach you how to solve conflicts, stress the importance of listening and empathizing with your mate, and delve deeper into why you and your spouse react to situations in the way that you do. Marriage communication is an important takeaway and one of the best pre-marital counseling questions to help couples feel prepared to get married.
4. The uncomfortable topic of infidelity
No relationship is perfect and there are always bumps and surprises along the way. One of the best premarital counseling topics to discuss with your counselor is what your plan of attack is should a betrayal arise in your marriage.
Some things to consider should infidelity occur are whether you both agree that emotional affairs are equal to sexual infidelity, what steps you will take in being honest with one another about your sexual desires and emotional needs if they are not being met in the marriage, as well as how you will talk to your partner if you begin to feel attracted to someone else.
5. Staying united
If you are both working, are planning to start a family, or have hobbies or family obligations that take up a lot of your time, you will want to discuss how to stay united after marriage.
Your counselor may stress the importance of weekly date nights. This is one night a week where you reinforce the importance of your relationship. Date nights should be fun, promote sexual intimacy, and support communication.
6. Discussing deal breakers
Flirting, poor money management, viewing pornography, excess time spent out of town or away from each other, and other such issues may be a deal breaker for you or your spouse. It is important to discuss deal breakers before getting married so that both of you understand your spouse’s expectations of the marriage.
7. Importance of religion and values
One thing you may want to discuss during premarital counseling is the topic of religion. If one partner has strong religious or spiritual beliefs and the other does not, suggestions may be made on how religion will play a part in the marriage and the upbringing of children.
8. Overcoming past issues
One of the best premarital counseling topics that will be discussed is how your past experiences will affect your marriage. For example, a former relationship where your trust was betrayed can have a lasting effect on how you treat your current partner.
Past experiences and environments will be discussed during premarital counseling to see what sort of impression they have left and how it will impact your relationship. Topics related to your past experiences must be one of the top ten marriage counseling questions to ask your spouse. These negative experiences may be worked through further during therapy so that couples can make better choices in their emotional responses.
9. Future goals
Getting married is not the end of your journey together, it is the beginning. After the initial newlywed glow wears off, many couples have trouble settling into married life after having so much wedding excitement building up to the big day. This reality check can cause couples to feel like they have failed at keeping the romance burning in their marriage.
10. Sexual frequency, communication, and preference
One of the best premarital counseling topics to discuss is your bucket list. Make plans together so that you will always have goals to achieve and dreams to look forward to. Your bucket list may include buying a house, starting a family, pursuing your dream job, taking up a hobby together or traveling around the world.
When it comes to marriage counseling, you need to have a great attitude and the right motivations. Decide with your partner the best premarital counseling topics to discuss during your session and you will be building a solid foundation for a successful marriage.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.