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Let’s talk communication (pun intended).
When we were engaged (FOUR years ago!), we went through premarital counseling sessions. We still talk about how awesome and helpful these were for our marriage—not only did we get to be mentored by a couple with years of experience being married, we were also forced to think through and talk about things that would be potential points of contention in marriage.
One of my favorite parts of our time in premarital counseling were the questions listed below. Our task was to individually answer the questions presented on various topics and then come together to discuss the questions. Some of the questions will be things you’ve probably already thought of. Even if that’s the case, it’s incredibly helpful to learn to communicate the expectations you both have,
Of course, what you each say doesn’t mean you’ll be saying the same thing in 10+ years (we obviously grow and change with time), but it’s a wonderful starting point. We’ve added to and edited the list of questions, but the base is from our church and the premarital course we did through them! Another helpful resource for us was the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. If you’re looking for a great book to read together, check it out here!
So, sit back, answer the questions below, and take a date night (or two or three, because there’s A LOT to discuss) and learn something new about your significant other!
How will you make decisions once you’re married? What will you do when you cannot agree?
When you are ill, how much sympathy and attention do you desire? What does being taken care of look like to you?
How much time do you expect to spend with your friends after you’re married?
How will you relate to opposite-sex friends after you are married?
What is your typical response to conflict?
Do you consider yourself more of a saver or a spender?
How will you decide on major purchases?
Who will pay bills and keep the checkbook?
Do you anticipate both husband and wife pursuing careers? If so, for how long?
How were finances modeled to you? How might this be different than what was modeled for your future spouse?
What is your philosophy of giving (to your church, missionaries, or other charitable organizations) and how will you make decisions about giving?
In what setting would you want to live (city, suburb, small town, rural, mountains, desert, coastal, etc.)?
Is there a setting that, if possible, you wouldn’t want to live in?
Is there a specific place you want to live?
Will you live in an apartment or a house? Would you prefer to rent or buy?
What do you expect your standard of living to look like after five years of marriage?
After you’re married, how soon do you expect to have your home reasonably furnished? What does “reasonably furnished” mean to you?
What types of food will you eat? How will you decide who cooks?
How important are family mealtimes to you? Why?
How often will you eat out?
How clean do you want your home to be? What does “clean” mean to you?
Who will do household chores, like laundry, grocery shopping, car maintenance, home repairs, yard work, and house cleaning?
Do you want a pet? If so, what type? Here’s a picture of our cat to remind you that pets are GREAT
Social & Entertainment
How often do you want to invite people to your home? Are there times when you don’t want people in your home?
What kind of entertaining do you expect to do?
How often will you go on dates?
How will your personal friendships change?
What hobbies or recreational pursuits will you pursue individually? Together? How often do you expect to pursue them?
Parents & Relatives
How do you think your relationship with your parents will change after you’re married?
How much time do you anticipate spending with your parents and in-laws?
What other relatives do you expect to be involved in your marriage and family (siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins)? In what ways would they be involved?
If you have children, how involved do you want your parents and in-laws to be in your children’s lives? How will you accomplish this?
What type of relationship do you hope to have with your parents and in-laws after marriage?
When and how often will you pray and read the Bible together?
Where will you attend church and what will your involvement be?
In what ways do you anticipate reaching out to others as a couple?
Holidays, Vacations, & Special Occasions
Where will you spend holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter? How will you decide?
What expectations do you have for celebrating the holidays?
How would you like to spend your vacations?
How will you celebrate birthdays and wedding anniversaries? What was your example growing up?
How much will you spend on gifts for family, friends, and each other for birthdays, Christmas, Weddings, and Anniversaries?
How will you spend your weekends?
Sex & Intimacy
In your first year of marriage, how often do you expect to experience sexual intimacy?
What are your expectations about sex on your honeymoon?
What do you feel about your spouse at times saying no to having sex?
*Also take time to consider if there is anything you are uncomfortable with in the realm of sex and intimacy*
Children & Parenting
What is your attitude toward children?
Do you want children? If yes, when do you want to begin having children and how many do you want?
What would you do if you cannot conceive children?
What is your view on abortion?
How do you feel about birth control? Would you use it/would you want your spouse to use it?
How will you discipline your children? How do you envision sharing that responsibility?
What is your view and experience of parental involvement? What did you enjoy? What would you do differently?