What Are The Top Relationship Counseling Questions?

By: Dylan Buckley

Updated November 18, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

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As you and your partner begin your relationship counseling journey, or even if you have yet to discuss the possibility of visiting a therapist to help you with some of your issues, you will discover that there is, even more, you need to discover about not only yourselves but about each other in order to make changes and propel the relationship forward. As long as each of you is open to sharing as well as accepting what is shared with you, this process of exploring can be highly rewarding, and it will also set up your relationship for success down the road. While couples therapy is rarely routine, those who have already taken this journey and who are experienced with the process have encountered a large volume of valuable questions posed by their therapists that have positively impacted their relationship and their relationship with each other.

Whether you plan on receiving counseling or want to explore your relationship on your own, here are a few of the most insightful questions often asked by therapists.

Do you think you are happy? How Is Your Joy Level Affect Your Relationship?

Happiness is a contradictory idea, both complex and easy in its own right. Perhaps you feel You may be comfortable with your loved one and maybe sometimes go through several circumstances that bring about happy and positive emotions, but it is crucial that you question yourself whether or not you are really happy with your loved one. It is also vital that your partner asks the same question to you. In a lot of cases, two individuals are together simply because they want to feel safe. They would prefer to settle instead of looking for that person who makes them happy because they are scared that they won't find the right person. The question needs to be asked because often, the most encouraging results that couples counseling can yield is accepting that it's better to let something go when it’s no longer working rather than waste time on a relationship where you and your partner are not determined to save.

On the contrary, there are partners are have become too clingy to each other and their arguments may have a tremendous effect on the way they see happiness. Still, there are other couples who might have issues managing problems by themselves, which can be an entirely different issue that needs to be tackled, which also requires much care and attention. This is a time when people realize who they are and what they’re capable of doing on their own. They begin to rediscover what they are to the relationship.

What Counseling Questions Do You Hope Aren't Asked?

If there are any questions you dread having to answer honestly, you have a pretty good idea where the pain points in your marriage lie. No law says you have to tell your couples therapist anything you don't want to - although this means you won't get the benefit of their insight. You should, however, at least talk about these issues with your partner in private.

You should also be aware that your counseling sessions are designed to be a safe space where you can share your feelings without feeling judged or ashamed. Honestly goes a long way in the therapeutic process, and the more honest you are, the more you are going to get out of the experience.

Why Choose Today?


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Choosing to attend couple's counseling is a major decision and one that requires the agreement of both individuals involved in the relationship. A therapist may ask you this question to remind you of the significance of this decision and the fact that there is still a desire between you and your partner to keep the relationship going. This will also spur other important questions that will help you identify some of the issues that are currently hindering the relationship dynamic and some of the goals that you are looking to achieve while you are attending couple's counseling. If you chose to go, you most likely also chose to stay together.

What Is Your Relationship Forecast for Both Now and In the Future?

The overall damage and conflict within a relationship will vary widely from couple to couple, and a therapist needs to understand how extensive the repairs need to be before the couple can be on even ground once again. The question above is a great way to gain more insight into the relationship as couples could describe their relationship as a cloudy day, a sunny day that is partially cloudy, or one with a hurricane on the way. Once the therapist has managed to figure out how severe the damage is, they can then begin isolating some of the factors that are contributing to the overall "weather." An equally important question to ask is, what is your forecast for the future? If one or both partners anticipate failure, this is necessary to evaluate as well as it may provide a closer look at the need to repair the relationship. If the anticipated outcome is hopeful, that is very good news for the pair.

What Brought You Together in The First Place?

When couples get caught up in resentment and conflict, it can be hard to remember why they even got together in the first place. The longer they are away from that sense of happiness and togetherness, the easier it is to justify breaking off the relationship, which is a problem if the couple does want to stay together and do love each other. To help restore some of that desire, it is necessary for the couple to go back and reflect on why they decided to start a relationship with each other and think about some of the things that they love about each other. If they can come up with an extensive list, that will help to show the other person that there was love their once and that it still exists. (It simply needs to be dug out from all of the conflict piled on top of it!) If there is not much to reflect on, however, the couple may need to think about how they wish to proceed and if the relationship is worth saving at this point.

In the Recent Past, What Did You Do When Your Partner Disappointed You?

Relationships are complicated because, while this may be the person that you love and dedicate your time to, this is also the person who can singlehandedly hurt you the most. It's important to evaluate when the last time your partner hurt or disappointed you. This may refer to canceling a date at the last minute, forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning, drinking too much at a party or anything that leads to feelings of discontent. Since it's a given that everybody makes mistakes, how do you handle it when your lover fails you somehow? If you simply try to ignore it, you may need to improve your communication channels. On the other hand, if your reaction was less than supportive, it's time to look at the basic nature of your devotion to each other. Overall, learning more about what your partner has done to hurt, you can tell you a lot about yourself and why you react to things the way you do.

How Much Can You Recall About What Your Partner Did This Past Week?

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How much attention you pay to your partner and what they do is important. There needs to be a balance as individuals do not want to be ignored by their partners but also don't want to be smothered and feel as though they cannot do what they want without their significant other by their side. Both partners need to ask what they remember about what their partner did this past week. If partners can recall quite a bit of positive actions and achievements, this is a good sign as it indicates that each person is paying attention and are attentive to their partner's accomplishments and needs. If they can't recall much in terms of positive action, it can be a sign that one or both partners need to be more attentive. If more negative incidents are being remembered, this can be a good indication that there is a lot of resentment and conflict in the relationship that needs to be dealt with. If partners are arguing but not remembering what they are arguing about, this could be equally problematic as the problems may not be ones occurring now but problems that are stemming from resentment from situations in the past.

What Do You Wish Your Partner Would Do More?

This is a golden question as it allows both partners to express their desires while simultaneously helping the other partner realize that they may not have been as loving or as caring as they should've been. When these types of needs or desires are expressed out of session, it may be perceived to be neediness, nagging, or, in the case of an argument, just anger. However, when these needs and desires are presented in a safe, non-judgmental space, partners may see that their partner's needs are not being met and there is an issue at hand. This can also help set the couple for goal-setting success as they try to implement these needs into their daily life.

What Can You Do to Make Your Partner Trust You More?

When it comes to maintaining a relationship over the long term, love is good, respect is better, and trust is the touchstone. However, trust can be lost at a moment's notice, especially when your mutual trust has been damaged through dishonesty, or by cheating or falling short of the other's standards. Displaying the desire to want to be together and reform that trust is an excellent sign, but both partners need to figure out how that trust can be re-established before they can move forward once again.

A great relationship counselor will know that certain questions will dig deep into relationship dynamics and make couples think more about where they are going and what they want out of their relationship with each other. If you have been looking for these kinds of insightful questions, the list above can help you identify some that you can use for you and your partner to better help you both in and out of the counselor's office.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What questions do they ask in premarital counseling?

The most popular questions in premarital counseling focus on you and your partner’s future expectations for you upcoming marriage. A lot of the questions focus on things like the roles you’ll each take in the family, raising kids, finances, and where you’re headed later on in life. Some of the most common questions you might see in couples therapy or couples counseling before you get married are:

  • Why do you want to get married?
  • What do we both want out of our lives?
  • Where do you think we’ll be in 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years?
  • How would you describe yourself? You partner?
  • How do you think your partner would describe you?
  • How often do you drink or use controlled substances?
  • Do you have any history of substance abuse?
  • Do you want to have children? How soon? How many?
  • How important is religion to you?
  • Do you have any debts? How about your assets?
  • Will we keep our money together or separate?

This is not an exhaustive list of the topics and questions that you’ll see if you go to couples therapy or couples counseling before getting married, but it does give a good idea of what you can expect. These questions are a good place to start for couples therapy or couples counseling, since they cover many different aspects of the married life you’re entering into.

What to talk about in couples counseling?

If you’re considering marriage therapy, then you probably already have an idea of the things that you’d like to bring up and talk about with the marriage and family therapist. It’s easy to get started: just make a list of the things that you’d like to bring up at couples therapy or couples counseling. Then, make sure that the couples counselor knows that you have a list. Encourage your partner to make a list, too. The couples therapy or couples counseling therapist will help you and your partner work through the list of things that you and your partner want to improve in the relationship.

Your therapist is a qualified professional, so they’ll also have some things that they’ll want to bring up in the course of you couples therapy or couples counseling. They’ll apply some focused therapy, and they’ll help you notice things about your partner, such as body language and emotional intelligence. With the help of your therapist in couples therapy or couples counseling, you’ll get to know your partner better and vice versa.

How do couples do Counselling?

The first step to doing couples therapy or couples counseling is to find a therapist. If you don’t want to find a therapist right away, or if you and your partner are ready to financially commit to a full course of couples therapy or couples counseling, there are some great free relationship tools online that you can check out.

These include lists of good questions and topics to talk through with your partner, as well as worksheets, lessons, and other resources that can prep you for couples therapy or couples counseling. Feel free to reach out several therapists until you find the one that’s right for you.

Can unmarried couples go to counseling?

Yes, unmarried couples should feel free to go to couples therapy or couples counseling. In fact, it’s a great idea to go to premarital counseling once you’ve decided that marriage might be the right choice for you and your partner. Or, if you’re going through a rough patch in your relationship and you want to work it out in the context of couples therapy or couples counseling, that’s great too!

Couples therapy or couples counseling isn’t reserved for only married couples. It’s also a very useful tool for people in committed relationships of any type.

What are some premarital questions?

While there’s no set list of evidence based questions that every couple must ask before they’re married, there are a few that come up a lot. Answering these questions could give you a better idea of where you and your partner are headed in the future, and whether living the rest of your lives together is a happy and healthy decision.

  • Why do you want to get married?
  • What do we both want out of our lives?
  • Where do you think we’ll be in 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years?
  • How would you describe yourself? You partner?
  • How do you think your partner would describe you?
  • How often do you drink or use controlled substances?
  • Do you have any history of substance abuse?
  • Do you want to have children? How soon? How many?
  • How important is religion to you?
  • Do you have any debts? How about your assets?
  • Will we keep our money together or separate?

Even if you don’t go to couples therapy or couples counseling, asking these questions and doing other helpful exercises with your partner is a great way to prepare for a happy healthy marriage. Newly engaged couples should consider couples therapy or couples counseling so that they can enjoy the safe space to answer these questions and work out the solutions to problems before they arrive. It’s easy to set up this plan before getting married, and answering these questions can set you on the path to a better partner relationship even before the wedding day!

What questions should ask before marriage?

While there’s no set list of perfect questions to ask before marriage, let’s take a look at some of the most practical and some of the more emotionally focused questions that you should go through with your partner before your free relationship becomes a marriage. It’s easy to ask the questions and go through them with your partner, and it takes a small amount of time to take this wise step towards a better marriage.

Check out these popular marriage counseling questions, and feel free to bring them up with your partner:

  • Why do you want to get married?
  • What do we both want out of our lives?
  • Where do you think we’ll be in 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years?
  • How would you describe yourself? You partner?
  • How do you think your partner would describe you?
  • How often do you drink or use controlled substances?
  • Do you have any history of substance abuse?
  • Do you want to have children? How soon? How many?
  • How important is religion to you?
  • Do you have any debts? How about your assets?
  • Will we keep our money together or separate?

It’s important that you’re on the same page with your partner and vice versa before you get married. Couples therapy or couples counseling can help you both get on that same page. Even before you’re married, marriage counselling is a great way to make a positive change in your relationship.

Can couples therapy make things worse?

When couples first start attending couples therapy or couples counseling, they might feel that things get worse. However, this is just because they’re finally broaching the tough and touchy topics that have until now been off-limits in the relationship. At first, couples therapy or couples counseling may seem to be making the relationship more strained and stressful, but that’s just because the road to a healthy relationship is a long and difficult one. Don’t worry if things seem more difficult at first; that’s a normal step in the process of couples therapy or couples counseling.

Remember, bringing up and defining the problems in your relationship is only the first step on the path to a healthy relationship. It will take some time for the couples therapy or couples counseling to work, and it will take some patience to get to the good relationship that you’re working towards. Just because things are a bit strained or stressful at the beginning of couples therapy or couples counseling doesn’t mean that you should give up. Instead, keep working towards the healthy relationship that you desire for you and your partner!

Can I bring my boyfriend to therapy?

If you’re already in individual therapy, you should talk to your therapist before bringing your boyfriend to therapy. While couples therapy or couples counseling is an option, it should first be discussed with your therapist or counselor.

You shouldn’t just show up to a session with your boyfriend and insist that he joins in. Instead, talk it through with your therapist and decide on a proper course of couples therapy or couples counseling.

Should couples go to counseling?

Couples who are having problems in their relationship should absolutely consider going to couples therapy or couples counseling. These sessions can provide them with new perspectives to solve the existing problems in their relationship, and equip them with the necessary tools and action plans to prevent further problems. It’s a great opportunity to work through the rough patches in the relationship through couples therapy or couples counseling.

Of course, if marriage counseling, couples therapy or couples counseling isn’t the first thing that you and your partner want to do, you can always check out the free relationship resources online. These are a great way to ease you and your partner into couples therapy or couples counseling without committing to a full course of treatment outright.


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