A Premarital Counseling Questionnaire For Getting To Know Your Intended

By Patricia Oelze|Updated June 21, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Karen Devlin, LPC

Virtually every engaged couple still has some things to learn about each other. At the same time, these are often about issues that one or both of you are afraid to bring up, which is why a premarital counseling questionnaire is often helpful in broaching these subjects. If you are serious about spending the rest of your life with someone, you need to be completely honest and open with each other. You cannot hold anything back at this point because if it comes up later in the relationship, it could cause major problems.

It is never good to hide things from someone you love, but when you are first getting to know your partner, you may be holding some things back that you would not typically share with just anyone. Things about your past or how you feel about certain touchy subjects like infidelity, divorce, drugs, pregnancy, etc. These are the kinds of subjects that need to be discussed now, before you say, "I do."

Let It All Hang Out

Can you honestly say that you have told your future spouse everything about your past? Some examples may include previous bad relationships that could come up later, major debt, serious medical problems, mental health issues, arrest records, and whatever else you may have been holding off telling them.

Think of it this way: what would you want to know about them? For example, if you find out your spouse was previously in jail for a year or two for an assault or a drug charge, even if it was many years ago, would you be angry that they did not tell you? Well, those are the kinds of things you should share as well.

Would You Take A Premarital Counseling Questionnaire With Me?

The ability to be completely open about yourself is a rare gift. Still, a knee-jerk reaction against discussing sensitive subjects with your fiancé probably means that a serious relationship is not in the cards yet. Everybody has things about themselves that make them feel ashamed or uncomfortable. Still, if you cannot mention them to the person who will soon be the most important in your life, your marriage will run into trouble sooner or later.

Also, if your future spouse refuses to do a questionnaire with you, it may be time to think about how well you know them. Why would they refuse? Are they trying to hide something or just afraid of what they may find out about you? This could be a deal-breaker for you. If your partner is unwilling to share everything with you as far as your pasts go, you may not be ready to tie the knot.

How Would You Describe Your Childhood?

The sad fact is that those from broken or abusive homes often have issues with intimacy and commitment, often unwittingly and unwillingly sabotaging relationships that seem to be getting too serious. This is sometimes described as "leaving before you can be left," but the truth may be that such people are more sensitive to social clues that others may miss or overlook. An unhappy childhood isn't a deal-breaker but should not be ignored either, especially when it comes to parenting - a skill which most people, unfortunately, learn by example.

What Are The Things We Disagree On?

Religions, politics, finance, parenting - there are plenty of subjects on which two people can legitimately have very different views. However, what can happen is that you tend to avoid any conversation regarding something touchy to avoid giving offense. The best moment to discuss these things is some time before you run into an important decision involving them.

Money, Money, Money

One of the most common things that married people fight about is money, either its lack or what to do with it. Even if you have a bunch of money, that does not mean your problems are over, and you will have a smooth-sailing relationship for the rest of your life. In fact, sometimes, getting a bunch of unexpected money can cause more problems than being broke. Because those who are broke are used to being broke, and there is no need to argue over what you will spend your money on because you have none. However, if you suddenly win the lottery or get some inheritance, you will find many things to argue about.

What Kinds of Things Lead up to Most of Our Fights?

Believe it or not, most arguments in marriage are not about important or urgent issues (although these will probably get mentioned) but are caused by tension and exasperation building up from a hundred little irritations. At this point, a fight seems like a release valve. Identifying these patterns and the habits and behaviors that annoy each other can help both of you be more considerate and avoid needless conflict.

How Will We Deal With Conflict?

No matter how much you love each other and how honest you are with each other, you will have conflict. Nobody agrees all the time, but it is how you deal with these issues that matter. There is such a thing as healthy conflict, and every healthy relationship has to have some. You cannot expect to agree with each other about everything, especially when you see that person every day and live in the same house. It is important to have a good plan on dealing with conflict, such as communication, which is another thing that a healthy relationship needs.

Communication Is Key

Everyone in a good, long-term, healthy relationship will tell you that communication is one of the most important factors in their relationship. And that goes for friendships, family, and business relationships as well. Without communication, you just cannot be expected to get along. You need to express your thoughts and feelings with your partner and not be afraid to share. You should not be worried that your partner will get mad at you if you tell them how you feel. And marriage is a two-way street, so you both have to be able to communicate. That means you have to be able to listen too.

Family Conflict

Another major issue between couples is their families. If your partner is close to their family and wants to consult them about everything, spend several days a week with them, and agree with them about almost everything, this could be a problem if you are not a family-oriented person. Even if you are close to your family, getting the in-laws' approval for everything can be way too much. And what if they don't like you for some reason? Does that mean it is over? These are things that need to be discussed.

Children and Parenting

One of the most common conflicts that couples have is about parenting. First of all, make sure you are both on the same page about having children. If you want kids and your partner does not, that will be an issue. And if you cannot have kids of your own for some reason, is adoption an option? Also, how many are too many? Some people want a bunch of kids, while others would say that one is enough. Once you decide how many kids you will have (if any), you have to decide on parenting styles. Are you a more lenient parent, or do you want to be a strict authoritarian? You and your partner must be on the same page with this subject. Relationship worksheets can help bring these issues to the forefront.

Talk About The Future

What are your partner's goals and aspirations? If you have no idea, then you two need to have a serious talk. Luckily, a premarital counseling questionnaire typically covers these kinds of issues so you and your significant other can get these things out in the open. For example, if your partner's goal is to make a bunch of money and move to a different country, you need to know this. And if your goal is to live in a commune with a bunch of other people, your partner needs to know this too.

How Much Time Are We Going to Spend Together And Apart?

Different people have different expectations and needs on this score, and this has to be acknowledged. Even if you are currently living together, one partner may be assuming that you will only be going to social functions together after marriage. At the same time, the other wants to preserve their existing relationships with friends. Not being clear on this can easily lead to jealousy or unreasonable demands for attention.

Under What Circumstances Is Divorce The Right Thing?

This one is a doozy to answer, but it also forces the both of you to think about what you need from the marriage, what you are willing to put up with, and how much you are willing to invest. Ethics, commitment, perseverance, and long-range goals will all come into play when this question is discussed seriously.

Of course, there are many more subjects that have to be discussed in concrete terms. Is adoption or abortion something you can accept in the future? Whose career will take precedence if you find jobs in different cities? How will you manage your finances? These are all obvious, though. Really, getting to know each other also means tackling each other's characters' more obscure parts.

If you cannot understand a lot of things, you may need help sorting out issues between you and your partner. Check out ReGain.us, a community of therapists whose goal is to help partners or soon-to-be husbands and wives deal with their issues and come to terms with living harmoniously despite their differences.

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