44 Premarital Counseling Questions and Common Discussion Topics

What *exactly* is discussed in PMC anyway?
Questions I was asked at prewedding marriage counseling that every couple should talk about
Photo by Oana Craciun on Unsplash
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated May 08, 2024

While you're planning your wedding, you're likely also looking ahead to your impending marriage. As spouses-to-be, you should talk through premarital counseling questions and prompts to help you better align on your future hopes and goals. Some couples even say the process of PMC is a personal reflection process that builds self-awareness. Our take? Just like a house needs a strong foundation, so does a marriage. Premarital counseling assists you in laying that groundwork by giving you the space to address important topics such as sex and intimacy, finances and future goals with the assistance of (in most cases) a licensed mental health counselor, who can ensure you're both feeling safe and heard. Here's a preview of premarital counseling questions and topics you'll cover.

In This Article:

What are the Goals of Premarital Counseling?

Ask any couple that defines their marriage as "successful," and they'll point to healthy communication as an attribute within their relationship. One of the main goals of premarital counseling is to prepare couples for marriage, which sounds straightforward enough, but how exactly those tools are implemented requires a lifetime of learning for most. That's typically covered in premarital counseling.

"It is always a good idea to go through a practice of looking at topics that will come up throughout marriage," says Rabbi Elyssa Cherney of TacklingTorah in Philadelphia. "That is why this piece is a part of the wedding planning process that I work on with couples." After all, premarital counseling places communication skills front and center. And, here's the TL;DR of it all: By learning effective communication strategies and navigating these critical conversations early on, you can build a sturdy foundation upon which your marriage and love can flourish.

It's encouraged that couples work with a professional–a therapist, religious leader or your officiant–to adequately cover a healthy range of premarital counseling questions. "We cover many topics from hopes and dreams to communication exercises that help manage tasks they will have to do as a married couple," Cherney says. "While I don't require the couples I work with to do their premarital counseling with me, I do ask that they do counseling of some sort prior to the wedding."

What Topics Are Covered in Premarital Counseling?

Generally, topics typically covered in premarital counseling sessions cover everything from finances, family upbringing and planning, faith, intimacy, and more. Many couples wonder what are the top three things that couples should discuss during premarital counseling, and why? Without being too prescriptive, premarital counseling can widely range according to a couple's goals. "Sometimes, couples may be navigating a challenging topic such as merging two faiths in their future home, or picking one faith to raise their future children. They may also face topics like how to marry someone of a different faith than themselves," says Cherney. "Faith-based counseling has many merits leading up to a big decision like marriage. I welcome couples to sit down with their trusted clergy to have these discussions."

Additionally, some premarital counseling questions and topics may be uncomfortable to broach. (There's a reason why PMC is usually an in-person activity, though some couples opt to work with professionals through digital platforms and premarital counseling apps.) But the following topics are important to discuss to ensure you're entering marriage with maximum confidence and clarity. They can include but aren't limited to:

  • Communication
  • Finances
  • Beliefs
  • Values
  • Roles
  • Responsibilities
  • Sex and Intimacy
  • Family relationships
  • Possible children
  • Decision-making processes
  • Conflicts and results
  • Hobbies and leisure time

    Common Premarital Counseling Questions

    The basic premarital counseling questions below will likely be ones you'll be asked to discuss in premarital counseling. By honing your ability to express your thoughts, needs, desires and concerns, you and your partner can navigate conflicts with grace and empathy.

    The Basics

    • Why are we getting married?
    • Who are we as a couple and what are our goals?
    • How do you describe your relationship?
    • How would you describe yourself?
    • How do you think I see you?

      The Household

      • What are your household habits like?
      • What does a daily routine look like to you?
      • What types of roles and responsibilities will you take in the household?

        The Past

        • Do you have any kind of criminal record?
        • Have you ever resorted to physical violence?
        • What are your drinking (or substance-use) habits like?
        • What is your mental health history?
        • How do you feel about therapy and counseling to guide our marriage?


        • Does religion have a role in your life?
        • Do you believe in a God?
        • Do you see us raising a family under an umbrella of faith or a religion?
        • Why is it important for me to convert to your faith or religion?


          • Do you save or do you spend?
          • What is your perception of money? How do you view it?
          • How much debt do you have?
          • How about assets?
          • What are your future financial goals?
          • Let's talk about accounts—what types will we go for in marriage?
          • What is your weekly budget?
          • How do you ensure your bills are paid accordingly? What is your system like?
          • Have you ever met with a financial adviser?


            • How were you raised?
            • What is your family like?
            • Let's talk about values—what does your family prioritize?
            • What do you see our future family prioritizing?
            • Do you have kids or want kids in the future?
            • How many, if so, and what does your timeline look like?
            • What and how do you view yourself parenting?


              • What are your expectations when it comes to sex?
              • Do you feel affirmed by it?
              • How do you define both physical and emotional intimacy?
              • What makes you secure or insecure?
              • Do you believe in monogamy?

                Trust and Forgiveness

                • What are pillars in a relationship to you?
                • What does trust mean to you?
                • How do you face conflict?
                • What is your 'right' way to resolve issues?
                • Are you able to forgive?
                • If so, what is your philosophy around forgiveness?

                  As mentioned, professional guidance is encouraged when having these important conversations. "A good counselor should not only guide you but they should also challenge you to have deep conversations with your partner as well," says Cherney. "The discussions should continue outside of the counseling environment as well. I always stress to my couples that the wedding is one day but the marriage is forever."

                  –Jamie Cuccinelli contributed to the reporting of this article.

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