Every second marriage is unique, and premarital counseling for second marriages should be tailored to the needs of each couple. However, there are some questions that couples in second marriages can discuss during premarital counseling to help them avoid common pitfalls.
This blog post outlines 61 different questions that may be helpful for second-marriage couples considering premarital counseling.
Here are the best resources that go hand in hand with this guide. (Available on Amazon--Start a 30-day free trial here)
- Preparing for Marriage Couples Guide
- Preparing for Marriage Leaders Guide
- The Meaning of Marriage-Timothy Keller
- Devotions for Engaged Couples- Gary Thomas
Not sure where to start with a premarital counseling conversation, start here.
The point of premarital counseling for second marriages is really all about helping those involved find healthy ways to live together and deal with any difficulties that come up along the way by understanding each other better through open communication and mutual respect.
- What are some of the challenges you faced in your previous marriage?
- How would you define “love”? Is it different from being “in love” and what does it mean for both partners equally?
- How has the idea of marriage changed in your mind since this will be a second marriage?
- What expectations do you have now for second marriages? (Expectations of yourself, your spouse, the family dynamics)
- How are these different than those in your first marriage that did not work out?
- Do either one of you feel like this is “just another wife/husband” for them since it’s their second go at love with someone else?
- What are your thoughts on divorce?
- What baggage do you need to deal with from your former marriage?
- Do either one of you want to have any children together, if so when would be best time-wise (is there an age difference)? What’s your opinion on having kids with second partners vs. first spouses?
- What skills have you learned in order to better communicate with each other?
- Do you know what it takes to be a step-parent?
- What are your hopes and dreams for the second marriage?
- Are there any “deal breakers” or topics you do not want to talk about with your partner?
- How will each of you best challenge and encourage the other person when they are second-guessing themselves or their decision?
- What skills do you think will be most beneficial in order to make sure things go better than the last time around – especially since there was no premarital counseling involved the first time?
- Do either of you want children, and if so do both partners agree on this decision?
- What does commitment feel like to each partner considering that they have been through a second marriage that has either ended in divorce or is still currently ongoing?
- How can you best support and encourage one another in the coming years?
- How will we handle finances, moral values, and children from previous marriages or relationships?
- Do you trust me to make decisions about our life together as a couple?
- Can I ask any question without fear of retaliation in the form of criticism, anger, or withdrawal from a conversation with you?
- How will you handle conflict?
- What do you think is the most important thing in a marriage?
- Is there anything that would make it difficult for either of us to stay married and happy with this person we’re considering marrying?
- Do you have any regrets about our relationship or past relationships? If so, what are they and how did they feel when these things happened to them (depression, anxiety)?
- Have you had any thoughts about committing suicide or done anything recently that made you want to commit suicide because of depression or mental illness during the last five years; if so please describe. This question should be asked only if one partner has experienced suicidal ideation
- What are your thoughts on moving out of the city to live in a rural area?
- How do you react when someone is angry with me or doesn’t want to be around me?
- Do we have an inventory of our positive qualities that will help each other work through difficult times?
- Do you agree about how much time and attention should be spent between children/grandchildren (if any)? Who can offer more support during this time period–you or me? I’m concerned about feeling lonely. Are there things I could do differently so that I’m not always waiting for you every evening after work before bed?
- Would you be willing to move if I wanted to live closer to my family for a while or permanently? What are your thoughts on this idea?
- How do we envision our future together in terms of children and work, etc.? Is there anything that would make it difficult for either of us to stay happy with each other over the long term (depression, anxiety)?
- What are some of the things that have caused you to feel resentful or angry with your partner?
- Is there anything about this person we’re considering marrying that makes it difficult for you to be happy and satisfied in our relationship?
- What promises do you want us to make on behalf of each other at the end of our premarital counseling session today?
- Do either one of us believe marriage needs a spiritual component, so how will we address those beliefs together when making vows?
- How can I help keep my partner’s moods balanced during times when he/she is struggling emotionally or mentally?
- How can I best support my partner if s/he feels lonely due to feelings of isolation within our shared life?
- Do you think our relationship will change once we have kids? How do both of us feel about that idea?
- Is there anything I can say or do to make it easier for you when things get tough emotionally in the marriage, and vice versa?”
- In your previous marriage(s) did either of you: blame yourselves too much or not enough for what went wrong; are less able to see any positive contributions the other made; find fault with one another more easily compared to how s/he sees oneself. And if so, how could this be a problem now in your new relationship?”How might these patterns show up again in our current relationship given similar circumstances?
- Do we both share similar spiritual beliefs and values?
- Do you believe that I’m the only woman for you -or- am I just one of many women in your life who could satisfy a physical need but not emotional needs?
- Are there any sexual practices (e.g., pornography) that could threaten our trust or security within this relationship?
- Is there anything we should be aware of that might make it difficult for either of us to stay married and happy with this person we’re considering marrying?
- Do you believe people can learn from their mistakes ?” If so, what is your understanding of how someone learns from his/her past errors in judgment? What do you think happens when a person won’t admit he/she has made an error in judgment because they don’t want judgment on themselves as well (for instance – will God judge them)?
- Are there any hot-button topics or issues for either of us related to sex, money, parenting or anything else important that we should discuss before getting married?
- Is it okay if one (or both) of us has needs not met by our partner(s)?
- What are the specific ways that you want to honor your current spouse?
- Knowing what I know now, would I marry this person again?
- What are your thoughts on infidelity and extramarital affairs?
- How do we handle disagreements with family members who have different values from ours? What steps could be taken to prevent this type of conflict from happening again after the wedding ceremony has been completed?
- Would you have any objections to me continuing my legacy family business, even if it’s something you don’t like doing yourself?
- How would you feel about us getting a pet together as a couple, and what kind of pet do you think is best for our lifestyle/household size/etc.?
- What are your thoughts on how we should handle our finances?
- Is there anything else that might be important to discuss before we marry so that the marriage lasts and both of us stay happy with each other?”
- How will our families know that they can trust us? How can I make sure this person’s family trusts me the way my family trusts me and vice versa?
- What will happen if we cannot work out our differences?
- Are there any major obstacles to a successful marriage in the family background of either person?
- Can you give me some examples of how I may be contributing to or causing conflicts, even when I don’t intend them that way? What can I do differently in these situations so they won’t come up again?
- How does having children from a previous marriage affect the second marriage when considering living arrangements, finances, etc.?
If any of these questions seem like they’re too personal or have been answered many times before, feel free not to answer them.
The goal is just to express all concerns and expectations so that both parties know what’s going into their second marriage. Remember: premarital counseling for second marriages should fit the needs of every couple!
What is the best way to premarital counseling for second marriages?
Meet with a therapist, minister or spiritual leader individually before meeting as two people.
Consider your past history and consider what happened in previous relationships (negatively AND positively).
Discuss how you want to deal with conflict if disagreements arise during marriage. What will be important? Who has more power over decisions? How do you plan on contributing financially after marriage/divorce etc.?
Taking these steps can help couples make their second marriage last even longer than their first one! For more information about premarital counseling for second marriages, check out their blog posts. We have some great articles addressing specific topics that may be helpful.
- The benefit of premarital counseling
- When should I start premarital counseling
- How long does premarital counseling last
- Reason to join a premarital counseling class
- DIY Books On premarital Counseling
- Premarital Counseling session on finance
I hope this list of 61 premarital counseling questions for couples in their second marriages is helpful. If you know someone who’s getting married soon or has been married more than once, please share these questions with them! Thanks for reading!”