Going Through These Premarital Questionnaires Could Stop Problems Before They Start
By Toni Hoy
Updated June 03, 2019
Are you looking to get married? If you are, then you're not alone (but you knew that). If you're having some pre-wedding jitters or wondering about potential problems in your future, however, you're also not alone. Everyone has at least a moment where they wonder if they're making the right choice, even if they love their partner and can't imagine having them in their life. Being concerned about your future is completely normal, which is why these premarital questionnaires could be a great start for you and your partner.
The Benefits of Premarital Questionnaires and Counseling Are Major
Many of life's milestones require preparation. Working hard in school yields diplomas and degrees. Classroom and driving instruction yield the privilege of being able to drive legally. The engagement period is a time of planning for the wedding and the reception. While those are important pre-wedding activities, it's even more important to prepare for the actual marriage.
Premarital counseling and premarital questionnaires are therapeutic tools that will not only help prevent problems that could lead to divorce; they can also help form a strong foundation for a successful marriage.
Getting married is one of the biggest and most important decisions that you'll ever make. Pre-marital counseling isn't just for couples that have had trouble. It's also for those who want to have happier, healthier relationships. It's far better to think and talk through issues like communication, finances, resolve conflicts, religion, family history, and even where fun and entertainment fit into the marriage.
During premarital counseling, both partners will learn skills about how to listen and speak so that the other person is receptive to their point of view. You'll get time to practice communication skills which you'll be able to bring into the marriage.
A qualified therapist will be able to give you an objective evaluation of whether your expectations and ideas are realistic and reasonable. It's difficult to know how you'll react to certain situations until they happen. Each of you may react in what you believe is the normal way, which is often the same way that your own families handled problems and situations. That may or may not be a good thing.
A therapist is an objective third party who can help your newly formed family find the best way for you to celebrate holidays and begin to find your place within both sets of families while starting your routines and traditions.
Friends and family can give you their opinions and advice. Therapists have gone through training in scientific research and evidence-based practices that demonstrate what works well in relationships and what doesn't. When relationships deteriorate to responses filled with criticism, contempt, and shutting down, it can be doubly hard to rebuild them.
Premarital counseling will help you and your partner build a cornerstone and a solid foundation. You can count on premarital counseling to sort out a lot of the things that you will face in the coming years before they happen.
Conflicts and disagreements are bound to happen. Misunderstandings occur, and tempers can flare. Premarital counseling can help you to respond more softly to criticism and contempt when you're on the defense. One technique that therapists use is to have you use "I" statements to express how you're feeling. For example, "I feel like I'm doing more work around the house, and I don't get as much time for relaxation as I need." This is a better approach to dealing with conflict than blaming your partner or pointing fingers.
Counseling gives you a plan for what not to do and replaces that with a plan with a clear path for good communication.
If you or your partner had a wonderful childhood and wonderful parents, you have a model for a good marriage. While that's a good base to build on, you'll want to find additional tools to make your marriage even better. Premarital questionnaires and counseling can help you do that.
If you or your partner had the misfortune to have a difficult childhood and your parents had a bad marriage, you may vow not to have a bad marriage like your parents at any cost. While your intent is genuine, you need to determine why your parents had a bad marriage, so you don't fall into the same bad habits. Premarital questionnaires and counseling set you up to succeed.
Premarital Questionnaires and Things You Need to Know
What About Kids?
One of the big questions that you and your partner need to talk about are whether or not you want to have kids. If one of you is absolutely against having children and the other wants them, it's something you want to know long before you walk down the aisle and start getting to that point. After all, what would you do if you found out five years down the road how your partner feels? Talking it over beforehand can help you understand what you want to do.
What About Jobs?
Talk about who's job is going to be more important if it comes down to it. This isn't always an issue, but if one of you were going to be forced to relocate would you do it or would you stay because of the other person's job? Knowing how things would go in this type of situation can be an important step because you never know when the possibility could arise. There are a lot of jobs that are moving to different states, and you want to be prepared for everything.
What About Family?
How involved are your families going to be in your normal daily lives? Will you invite them over every week for dinner? Will you talk to them about everything that's happening in your lives? Are you going to keep a little more distance and keep your relationship more private? Understanding what your partner expects you to do and expects to do themselves is going to be important to one of you doesn't wind up feeling betrayed by the other. You don't want to talk to your parents about every little detail and find out that your partner doesn't like that.
What About Disagreements?
This is a difficult one because no one knows what they're going to do until it all comes down to it. You can make a plan for how you're going to handle a disagreement, but in the end, you end up reacting on impulse. The important thing here is talking to your partner and trying to come up with a plan for what you're going to do when you do disagree (and it will happen). When it comes to that time, one of you should try to remember what your plan was and enforce it.
What About Money?
How are you going to handle your finances? Will, you put them all together? Will you keep them separate? Who is going to be responsible for paying bills? If you keep your accounts separate this is going to be even more important than if you decide to put them all together. What will you do with the extra money that's left over each month? Will you have a budget or will you be able to spend whatever you want? How will you save for things that are important for your future?
What About The Future?
What does each of you want for your future? Do you have specific goals regarding travel or your job? Do you want to accomplish something specific? Maybe you have some short-term goals and some long-term goals. Understanding what your goals are and what your partners' are is going to help you plan for your future. If your goals aren't the same that's fine, but you should know what they are at least before you get into a relationship that's even more serious than it already is.
What About You?
What about the expectations that you have for your partner and the expectations that they have for you? What do you each want for each other? What do you expect each other to do for you? Understanding where you're each coming from is crucial so you both can go into the relationship feeling more comfortable and knowing that your partner is going to meet your needs. If you don't tell your partner what you expect from them, it's only going to set you up for problems in the future when one or the other of you doesn't mean those expectations.
Finding Help for Your Future
When you're working on these types of questions and situations with your partner, you may want to have someone from the outside to help you out. After all, you want to make sure that you and your partner are on the right track and that you stay focused on the important situations that you're discussing, right? That can be difficult if you're responsible only for yourselves. If you find a professional, however, you'll have someone else that is going to help you stay focused on the important things and will make sure that you're discussing effectively.
ReGain is one place that you can find a professional to help you with your relationship questions. With this service, you're getting an online system that will connect you with different therapists who are located all around the country. That way, you're going to have more freedom to find someone that you feel comfortable with and that you're going to be more open with. There's no reason that you need to leave your home to get the therapy and help that you need again. You'll be able to just sit in your favorite, comfy chair, and talk to your therapist at the same time, what could be better than that?