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What kind of marriage counseling questions would they ask me?

If you're considering going to marriage counseling with your spouse, getting an idea of some marriage counseling questions before going, will give you a good feel of what marriage counseling is all about. The main role of the marriage counselor is to find the root cause of the difficulties in your marriage and find appropriate solutions to fix these problems.

Much of a marriage counseling session will involve the couple being asked questions in order to get to the cause of the problems and also to get the married couple to open up more. There are two main types of questions:

  1. Small questions: These change the mood, tone, direction of how the session is going.

  2. Big questions: These explore the moral and social aspect of married life and how it relates to your specific situation.

Basically, the counselor will use a combination of both to come to an assessment of your situation. Marriage counseling questions, by themselves, are often therapeutic with couples coming away from the sessions feeling more positive having heard each other’s responses to such questions.

Marriage Counseling Questions Can Be Therapeutic

The reason for this is that marriage counseling questions allow a couple to communicate with each other differently than usual. Couples in a difficult marriage are usually used to one type of conversation - arguing about their problems. This type of conversation revolves around topics such as:

  • Who's to blame

  • Who should do this

  • Who should behave this/that way etc

Marriage counseling questions allows a couple to view their marriage problems from a wider perspective. This is because they allow a couple to discuss marriages and relationships in general.

In this way, marriage counseling questions have the effect of changing negative emotions such as anger, guilt and recrimination into more constructive emotions such as thoughtfulness, curiosity and enthusiasm to engage in conversation.

What are some examples of marriage counseling questions?

The following marriage counseling questions aim is to examine each of the partner’s method of thinking. This allows the counselor to better see where the problems are originating from and how best to deal with them.

  1. How have you found the strength to talk with a stranger as regards your problems? Many people who come to marriage counseling are often worried that doing so might in some way make their situation worse. If marriage problems are at an advanced stage, the person who sought the marriage counseling may be worried about having their feelings disrespected by their other half in front of the counselor.

    By asking the above question, you acknowledge that it took courage to seek marriage counseling and this creates a safety cushion for that person to open up more. Consequently, this makes it easier for their partner to open up in response.

  2. What have you noticed in other marriages that are similar and different to your own? Marriage counseling questions like this try to examine each partner’s expectations on married life. Couples that seek marriage counseling generally see other relationships around them as being better and happier than their own. However, when asked why they believe this, couples usually have to resort to guesswork to back up their case.

    This throws up an interesting point - that the true substance behind marriages is usually out of sight and not shown in public. Considering this, a couple can gain great strength in knowing that other peoples relationships aren't perfect but that their problems may simply just not be visible. Knowing that a marriage isn't always perfect and will have problems, can better prepare a couple for when those problems do occur.

  3. Would you think that your problems are as a result of things that are inside or outside your marriage? Marriage counseling questions like this are known as context questions and they're used to identify more clearly where the difficulties in your marriage lie. It's common with problems in a marriage that outside problems such as work, past experiences, relationship with in-laws etc can be projected from one person onto their spouse. In trying to improve your marriage, these problems need to be isolated and dealt with.

  4. What experiences from your family growing up have helped or created difficulty for you in your marriage? Your family background is crucial to the construction of your future family with your spouse and children. How a person was brought up is often the way they expect their marriage to go. If a person was used to getting their own way when they were younger, they may find giving in to their spouse on issues very difficult.

    Likewise if a guy’s mother was a homely wife and didn't used to argue with his father, he would expect a similar type of relationship between himself and his wife as a married couple. It's important that each partner understands how the past can have a role in his or her current relationship. Discussing this with a counselor will make it clearer to each partner that compromise is essential for any relationship to work.

  5. If a year from now your relationship has improved, which one of you do you think will have changed for this to happen? This question opens dialogue about what each partner would like to see changed in the other. The idea is not to isolate one person and make them change. Rather the goal is to display that firstly; change is required to improve the marriage and secondly; that BOTH partners will need to make some changes to make this happen.

Final thought on marriage counseling questions

Your counselor may not ask these marriage counseling questions exactly as they are put here. However, they will ask variations of these in an effort to get to the same answer. Marriage counseling questions are not intended to trick you but rather are intended to get to the bottom of your current difficulties.

Often when a couple come to marriage counseling, resentment has built up to the point that one or both partners may not be willing to fully open up on their feelings. These marriage counseling questions are a round about way of extracting this crucial information so work can begin on mending the relationship

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