(The following article is one in a series of articles on marriage preparation and premarital counseling questions).
Preparing for marriage is serious business—and I’m not just talking about the logistics of the wedding and honeymoon. Couples today know the hard facts about marriage: many have divorced parents or at least know another couple who couldn’t make their marriage work, despite starting out in love. In light of these harsh marital realities, many couples are wisely taking the steps to prepare for marriage—educating themselves about what goes into creating a healthy and successful marriage.
Premarital questions are designed for the purpose of raising your (and your partner’s) awareness about yourself and your partner—the goal is to raise consciousness, to make your rational mind a central part of the falling-in-love process (which is usually dominated by one’s heart and feelings).
Part of the marriage preparation process should involve self-reflection: Developing a better understanding of your own desires and needs, as well as your emotional vulnerabilities that will get triggered along the marital journey.
5 Premarital Counseling Questions
(Please give each question enough time and thought. You may need to come back to these questions in order to deepen the exploration needed to answer them in a meaningful way).
1) What are my top five emotional needs I’d like fulfilled in my marriage? (For a more in-depth exploration of your needs, see my blog post on relationship needs.)
2) How do I expect my partner to meet these needs? (Give specific, concrete examples. And for an extra challenge, write a movie scene depicting each of these needs getting met; include behaviors, emotions, dialogue.)
3) What needs do I expect not to be met in my marriage/relationship? (While listing these needs, describe why you feel they cannot or should not be met by your spouse/partner.)
4) What emotional wounds occurred in my childhood that may impact how I relate and react to my partner? (Our core childhood wounds are often reawakened within our marriage/relationship—understanding what this will look like for you and taking ownership of these experiences can go a long way in building a healthy marriage.)
5) Describe some of your emotional sensitivities that you think your partner should know about. What do you imagine would happen if your partner fails to acknowledge or respect these emotional sensitivities?
The above five premarital questions are often asked by marriage/couples counselors with the goal of helping couples understand the complexities of intimate relationships—understanding your own needs and vulnerabilities will go a long way in creating a more conscious, rewarding marriage.
Ideally you and your partner can answer these questions separately and then share your answers and discuss them in a supportive, loving way. This will help deepen the mutual understanding that is needed in your relationship.
Here are a few other premarital counseling articles that might be of interest to you:
I’ve created a series of marital/relationship workbooks that teach couples the essential, core skills needed to keep a marriage healthy over the long-haul. For more information about each workbook, click Relationship Workbooks.
Wishing your marriage total success!
Dr. Rich Nicastro
(Featured image courtesy of Phanlop88 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)