Marriage is a special relationship that solemnizes the union of two people designed to continue indefinitely in order to be successful. It is the basic covenant unit of an eternal family. No other human association freely entered into has such lasting and eternal possibilities. However, unlike a fairy-tale, real-life courtship may not end in “happily ever after” and it’s quite normal to have disagreements in the days to come. It is these ups and downs in your relationship that strengthen your bond. Successful couples will tell you that they also learn through trial and error till their relationship matures and marriage gets organized.
Questions You Could Ask Your Spouse in the Presence of Your Counselor
Studies from Purdue University’s Couple & Family Therapy Centre prove that getting your reluctant spouse to agree to counsel is often the hardest part of marriage counseling. Partners can be stubborn or are unwilling to admit that their marriage needs help. They even consider a counselor’s services as an unnecessary intervention and a waste of money. However, you can try to understand your partner’s fears and be sensitive to their objections. Assure them that this is not about blame or shame or judging who’s right or wrong. Try and imagine stepping into your partner’s shoes. Before you respond, listen without arguing or interrupting. Convey with sincerity and calmness that there may be some things bothering you that you want to fix so that you both can be happier and enjoy a more fulfilling relationship. Once you’ve convinced your spouse, one of the ways to get the most out of counseling is to be prepared. Most often, your brain might freeze at the thought of confronting your partner when you arrive at the counselor’s office. Especially if emotions are running high, you might tend to forget what you wanted to discuss. As long as each of you is open to sharing as well as accepting what is shared with you, this process of exploring your marriage can be highly rewarding while fixing your relationship down the road. While couples therapy is rarely routine, those who have already undertaken this journey and those who are experienced with the marriage counseling session questions can vouch for their positive results. So, whether you are interested in nurturing a healthy relationship or saving a relationship that is falling apart, asking the right couples therapy questions to your spouse is a great way to determine the specific areas in your relationship that need the greatest attention now. Here is a list of insightful questions that would help to keep the conversation on track.
1. What are the main obstacles in our marriage?
It is important to understand what your partner thinks are the main problems in your relationship. However insignificant, reveal yours too. Working through these issues together can enhance your relationship.
2. Do you trust me?
Trust is a strong pillar of the foundation upon which a healthy marriage is built. It might be a difficult topic but the right time to discuss trust issues, if any.
3. Do you feel I’m mindful of your happiness?
A happy marriage is based upon selfless love. Focus on finding out what makes your spouse happy and in turn, you will find your own.
4. What are the things you love about me?
Reminding each other why you fell in love and highlighting the positive traits may help to boost confidence and approach every session optimistically.
5. What are the things that you don’t like about me?
Loving someone doesn’t mean you cannot express your thoughts about your partner. Asking this question might be a way to understand each other better. Rectify those mannerisms or find solutions to compensate for them to improve upon your relationship.
6. Are we going through a bad phase?
All relationships go through a rocky road. Examine the issues to decide if it is any personal issues that have made one fall out of romantic love, a professional problem affecting the marriage or if you’re just going through a bad phase.
7. How can I gain your trust back?
Gaining trust back amounts to forgiveness. Talk about your needs and feelings and share the reasons for what you did. Explain why you would never repeat your mistake while asking for forgiveness. Give your spouse an opportunity to tell you what you need to do to regain trust.
8. What do you feel are the biggest pressure points in our marriage?
External stress factors can put a strain on any marriage. Learning what exactly is the cause is the first step in handling it together.
9. Are there any past conflicts that need a resolution?
Identifying and resolving past conflicts without being judgmental is essential in trying to move on in a marriage or else they might continue to come up in future arguments.
10. Are you seeing someone new?
If there is infidelity, a relationship may be lacking something that makes a spouse seek love in someone else. Master up the courage to ask or admit if you or your spouse have been cheating without getting angry.
11. Are we communicating enough?
Are you able to communicate with your spouse about your wants, needs, and expectations? If you can’t talk with honesty, it is difficult to resolve your future problems. So, find new ways to improve your communication.
12. Where would you like to see us a year from now?
Discussing the short-term and long-term goals, both individually and as a couple will help you realize what you both expect to accomplish for your future.
13. Are we satisfied with our intimacy?
Every couple goes experience a change of chemistry. Find out if your partner is able to connect with you emotionally and physically without any inhibition. It is imperative to rekindle the spark by sharing fantasies or going on a holiday together.
14. What are the reasons you want to work things out?
Ask your spouse if they want the marriage to work for love and commitment or for the number of bills you share or for the children. If it is for the former, you may need to revaluate the relationship.
15. Do you feel accepted?
Ask your partner about their expectations and are you doing enough to make them feel cared for and accepted? If needed, make a list of things that you can do to make them feel special.
16. Is this relationship affecting your self-esteem?
Assess if any your action is affecting your partner’s self-worth at home and socially. Take the help of the counselor to arrive at a solution to make each other feel loved and worthy.
17. Are you willing to change to make improvements?
Working on a marital relationship needs a joint effort. Find out if your partner is willing to put forth every effort to make things better and you should also be prepared to make adjustments to keep the relationship alive.
18. Have we tried everything?
If any couple has made it to the door of marriage counseling, chances are that they have started to work on their relationship. Focus on the reasons why you married in the first place and discuss ways how you can get rekindle that emotion of love.
19. Is our marriage what you imagined it to be?
A marriage is a life-changing event. Find out if the marriage has added to their happiness quotient and made them a better person. By doing so, you would know, if you’ve added any value to your partner’s life.
20. Do you want a divorce?
If your marriage is truly a sinking ship, the most vital question can be whether you both want to stay together. If you’re absolutely sure about giving up, remember that it’s hard to turn back from a divorce that can be a mentally traumatic and expensive process.
21. What will our lives be like if we separate?
Picture a situation when you live separately from your partner, don’t see each other or share the finances. Do you think it will be better or worse?
22. Do you still love me?
Even if you’re anxious, find out if the relationship is worth fighting for. Ask your partner for an honest answer so that you can invest your time and effort in reviving the marriage.
23. Are we holding each other back?
Ask each other if you’re keeping each other’s interests in mind while making important decisions. You need to allow your partner to pursue their hobby and give them space to do their things. Complement each other for small wins as well as a bigger success so as to feel appreciated.
24. How long are we willing to work on our marriage?
You need not spend the rest of your life working on improvements in your relationship. Set realistic goals with deadlines so that both of us stay motivated to keep making the efforts till then.
25. Do we have the right marriage counselor?
A licensed marriage and family therapist will offer the right guidance and professional insight needed to work proactively towards improving your relationship. Thus, choosing the right counselor for the right advice is a must.
Love, faith, commitment, patience, empathy, and trust are the factors that contribute to a strong and enduring marriage. In spite of our conflicts, we grow in our relationships by reconciling our differences. There’s no magic pill or secret formula for a great marriage. It just takes a lot of hard work, clear thoughts, and self-exploration. Even the busiest professionals and entrepreneurs juggling careers, parenting, and other personal obligations can still have a happy and successful married life. Unhealthy behavior and resentful feelings can become more difficult to alter the longer that they persist. So, if you have any nagging concerns, counseling will only reinforce your desire to remain committed to your spouse and inspire you to reopen those channels of communication, before it’s too late.