Getting married is a huge step and one that can’t be taken lightly. This guide looks at premarriage counseling questions that you should ask your fiancee prior to tying the knot.
If you are newly engaged, you’re likely feeling a mix of excitement and happiness, but you may also be experiencing some feelings of uncertainty that can be calmed by asking the right premarriage counseling questions of your intended spouse. Marriage is a milestone, and with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy listing the current divorce rate as 60 percent for those recently married, it makes sense for couples to seek out counseling by a qualified marriage counselor prior to taking the plunge. By knowing as much as possible about your betrothed, you can stave off the nagging negative thoughts you might have and be more confident that the two of you are truly compatible. Most couples now attend some type of premarriage counseling before the nuptial exchange but there are some questions that the two of you should ask each other prior to going through a more formal counseling process.
1) How Many Children Do You Want?
One of the biggest issues that many couples face is a difference in desires for a family. Sometimes one partner will want children, the other will not. One partner may want many children, while the other may only envision one or two children in their lives. This type of incompatibility can drive a wedge between the two of you, so making your expectations clear to each other before making a commitment ensures that no one goes into the marriage surprised by the other’s lack of desire for children. It may also be possible that neither of you is really sure at this point in your lives if a family is right for you, but at least you’ll get to know one another’s general philosophy on the issue by discussing it beforehand.
2) What Are Your Views on Household Money Management?
With the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics reporting that women have only a 52 percent chance (and men a 56 percent chance) of a first marriage lasting 20 years, it can be important to get money issues out of the way before slipping the ring on your partner’s finger. Financial problems are often cited when couples seek out marriage counseling to stave off divorce, so getting money issues ironed out before you get married can be a smart move. Beyond knowing how much your would-be spouse makes, you should also determine how the two of you will handle your finances once you’re a married couple. Will you have joint bank accounts or keep your finances separate? How much money does your fianceée owe? Is credit an issue? Knowing the answers to these questions now only allow you to get a clearer picture of your intended spouse’s financial health they can also be important premarriage counseling questions when your comingled finances will be necessary to buy a home or make some other large purchase.
3) How Committed Are You to Your Job?
Many couples cite their spouse spending too much time on the job as a top cause for marital discord. In a couple that comprises two like-minded individuals who are both driven to work hard, this may not be a problem. But it can also be an issue when one spouse does not support the workaholic habits of the other. Knowing in advance how important your intended spouse’s job is can allow you to see your compatibility (or lack thereof) more clearly before the wedding bells start ringing, so be sure to include questions about work commitments among your list of premarriage counseling questions to ask before marriage.
Related Article: 9 Best Couples Counseling Techniques and Why You Should Try Them
4) How Will We Divide the Household Chores?
Who should cook? Who should clean? Who should do the food shopping in your new marriage? Whether you’re a fan of equitable distribution of the household chores or you think one spouse or the other should take on certain tasks, discussing your feelings prior to your wedding will allow you to avoid surprises later on when your spouse expects you to do the bulk of the housework, or vice versa. Although household chore distribution may seem to be a trivial matter at first glance, it can and does become a source of frustration in many marriages.
These are just a few of the questions that the two of you should think about prior to going for your premarriage counseling session. By getting issues like these out in the open from the get-go by asking the right premarriage counseling questions, you can start your marriage off on a solid footing of honesty and openness that is conducive to good communication.
Learn more on how to avoid divorce in our Marriage Counseling Guide.