Common topics for premarriage counselling
As cliche as it sounds, communication is the key in any relationship. Marriage is a commitment between two people who may have differing views on certain issues, from the relationship itself to spiritual beliefs, finances, parenting, and sex. No two people always see eye-to-eye. How you handle these difference significantly affects the success of your marriage.
Talking through these important issues before the wedding day can prevent any nasty surprises and will help you make better decisions going forward. That is why PREPARE/ENRICH premarital counselling focuses on some key questions that help you go deeper into the heart of a healthy marriage.
Conflict and communication
The absence of conflict is not directly related to marital happiness as much as how conflict is handled. Premarital counselling can provide you with the tools for good communication into your marriage. It can also reveal unhelpful conflict patterns that might need to change.
- How comfortable are you with raising relationship concerns with your partner?
- How might your communication styles affect how you deal with conflict?
- Do you feel like your partner is willing to understand you and meet your needs?
- What does forgiveness look like in your relationship?
Perhaps the most important thing is to know why you are getting married. Premarital counselling will help you open up questions such as:
- Of all the people in the world, why did you choose your partner to marry?
- What are your ideas on roles and responsibilities in the marriage?
- How do you expect your relationship to change after marriage?
- What do we want for your relationship in 10, 20 or 30 years?
Money can cause a lot of stress. Deciding how to spend money can be problematic for a lot of couples. One way to reduce the conflict in the future is to openly discuss your financial future together and plan your short-term and long-term goals.
- Should we have joint or separate accounts, or both?
- What is our philosophy on spending, saving and generosity?
- Who is going to be mainly responsible for keeping track of our finances?
- What are our plans for renting or purchasing a home, or budgeting for a family?
Sex and intimacy
Intimacy is more than just about sex; it is how you communicate affection and appreciation for each other on an ongoing basis. Talking about sex can feel awkward, but it is wise to have a serious conversation about it before marriage. Issues such as jealousy and loyalty are also important topics to address.
- What is your and partner’s love language?
- How do we make sure we regularly set aside time for each other?
- What are your expectations of sex?
- What could potentially jeopardise trust and commitment in your marriage?
Children and parenting
Not every couple wants to have children, but it is very important to keep an open dialogue about it, as it could be a deal-breaker for some.
- Do you want children?
- If we decide to, how many children do we want?
- What is your philosophy of parenting and discipline
- What are your expectations about work and family when children come along?
When you marry someone, you are marrying into a new family. Managing expectations around in-laws helps protect the boundaries of a marriage. Premarital counselling opens up questions such as:
- How would you describe your family in terms of closeness?
- What do you like or dislike about your family?
- How much time will we spend with our in-laws?
- What are some family traditions that are important to you?