You’re ready to get married, but nervous about which premarital counseling questions you might be asked–that’s totally normal! You may be asking yourself “what actually happens in session? Although every marriage counselor has her or his own approach, here are the four premarital counseling questions you’ll probably be asked in session.
Question 1: “What myths about marriage do you believe?”
I admit I love premarital counseling. Two young adults madly in love and eager to learn everything they can about relationships and each other–it’s electric! There’s a wonderful positive energy and attentiveness in the sessions.
Truly, these couples are “in love,” but it’s also true that they can be “blinded by love.” They find it hard to conceive of anything negative about their future spouse.
Your counselor will help you address any blind spots! They will ask thought-provoking questions to root out hidden beliefs you have about marriage. These could be beliefs such as:
- “Love is all you need for a great marriage.”
- “Keeping secrets about my past or present is ok if the truth would cause pain for my partner.”
- “My partner’s interest in sex will be the same as mine.”
- “Nothing could cause us to question our love for one another.”
Part of premarital counseling is to help couples become aware of these blind spots. I call it “bubble-popping.” But why? Why sour this wonderful time of premarital bliss with a dose of reality?
Gary Chapman, best known for his book The Five Love Languages, also wrote a book called Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. He describes in the first chapter how infatuated he and his wife were with each other prior to “becoming one.” But within six months of saying “I do,” they were miserable.
“We thought the positive perceptions and feelings we had for each other would be with us for a lifetime.”
Like Chapman and his wife, when couples believe marriage myths and then find themselves in this predicament they invariably think, “Oh no! Did I marry the wrong person?”
In premarital counseling, you’ll explore these false beliefs so that you properly manage your expectations and don’t get discouraged when the hardships come… as they eventually will.
Premarital Question 2: How do you handle your differences?
What I have found in my years of counseling is that married couples who are struggling in their relationships are often struggling with their differences. The things that attracted them initially to their spouse become the things that drive them crazy 5 or 10 years later.
As unique individuals with different life experiences and different family systems, you are different. And these differences will cause conflict in your marriage. Although it is important to learn how you and your future spouse are different, the real focus is to determine how you manage conflict.
John and Julie Gottman are well-known marriage therapists who developed their marriage method from years of researching couples’ relationships. One intriguing statistic the Gottman’s research proves is that 69% of problems in a relationship are unsolvable. Sixty-nine percent!! Unsolvable! No wonder couples get into fights that seem to never get resolved!
Though it doesn’t happen a lot with young couples, I’m always hopeful at some point during our counseling time together they get into a really big fight. Why? Because this becomes a great learning moment on how they handle conflict. Premarital counseling will look into where conflicts are likely to show up and help you develop strategies on how to manage them successfully.
Question 3: “What does intimacy mean to you?”
Obviously, if you’re considering premarital counseling you’re attracted to your future mate. This is quite natural, right? God made us to desire connection. The Bible is clear that God’s plan for most individuals is to “leave” their nuclear family and “cleave” to another “until death do us part.” Out of this, couples must ask themselves what do you and your future spouse need to feel connected?
The challenge is to understand what each of you needs, and then be ready and able to meet the needs of the other. In premarital counseling, you’ll explore what each of you needs to feel connected and loved.
Meeting your spouse’s needs is a critical aspect of feeling connected. Willard Harley in his book His Needs, Her Needs – Building an Affair-Proof Marriage makes the point that not meeting your spouse’s needs opens the door for someone else to do so. As Paul notes in Ephesians 4:27, unresolved anger can give Satan a foothold. In the same way not meeting your spouse’s needs opens the door for Satan to disconnect you as a couple.
Intimacy can be looked at from two dimensions – physical and emotional. What are your physical needs? This can range from quality time together, activities you do together, showing affection, or your sex life.
Emotional intimacy is intertwined throughout our physical activities in ways that are harder to understand. In premarital counseling, you’ll learn how to share your thoughts and emotions, and how to be a good listener (especially when there is a conflict). These are the foundations for building emotional intimacy, which then leads to satisfying physical intimacy.
Premarital Question 4: “Why is God calling you to get married?”
You may not fully understand all He has in mind for you as a couple, but this is an important premarital counseling question to consider. The heart of this question is figuring out what your goals are. Your life dreams. Your spiritual expectations as a couple. Your future children and their spiritual formation, if you decide to have kids. Your shared meaning as a couple.
Ephesians 5 outlines some expectations for marriage. What is your view of this scripture? What does mutual submission look like? What is the role of the husband? Of the wife? How will your marriage reflect the mystery of the relationship of Christ and the church? The beauty of Christian counseling is that you can consider these spiritual aspects of your marriage within the context of the other topics we cover in premarital counseling.
A strong and secure marriage relationship is a blessing from God that requires intentional effort and ongoing devoted attention that is shrouded in prayer. Answering these premarital counseling questions will provide you with the tools and knowledge to successfully start you on your journey toward marital bliss.
I know we would be honored to come alongside you for premarital counseling. If you’re interested in sessions with a member of our Christian Counseling team, please reach out to the office. We want to see your future marriage be the best it can be!
Author: brad fabling
Brad is one of our talented counselors who loves working with couples in Christian premarital counseling and Christian couples counseling.
If you’re interested in counseling with Brad or another one of our other amazing counselors, click here to view our line-up.