Attending couples therapy is a great approach to working through challenging issues, improving communication, establishing partnership objectives, and strengthening your relationship. If you’re new to couples therapy, you might be curious about the types of questions that will be discussed during a session or what you should inquire about with your couples therapist.
Your decision to go to therapy will have a significant impact on the essential couples therapy questions that you and your spouse choose to address. You can be worried about communication, money, or trust.
You can use the questions listed here to ask your partner, yourself, or your therapist during couples therapy.
Key couples therapy questions to ask each other
Let’s dive in to know these essential couple therapy questions to ask each other.
What in our relationship seems to be its biggest point of strength?
It is preferable to begin by recognizing good emotions and actions. This establishes a productive, rather than a critical, tone for the conversation.
You might see the following qualities in your relationship:
- Healthy Ways to resolve previous disputes
Spend a few minutes discussing the wonderful aspects of your relationship.
What about the biggest flaw?
After discussing the things your relationship does well, spend some time discussing potential areas for development.
Don’t criticize anyone’s actions right now in particular. With this query, you’re building the groundwork for a productive relationship investigation.
Keep it general by including terms like:
- Recurring conflicts
- Time management issues
- Feeling reserved
You can start addressing specific habits once you’ve placed the relationship in a context of progress against a backdrop of what is already working well.
What one habit do you think I should work on?
It’s time to start considering how individual activities impact the relationship.
Your spouse has the chance to be open and offer advice when you inquire about what you might do better. It exhibits openness to dialogue and transformation as well.
Keep in mind that the goal of this exercise is to strengthen, not to undermine. Ask for clarification when necessary, remain calm under pressure, and be open to receiving comments. Your partner is taking part in this for the benefit of your relationship and to make you both happier. Instead of focusing on your shortcomings, consider your possibilities for a more fulfilling relationship.
What would you do with your life if you could do everything you wanted without worrying about money?
One of the most thoroughly studied and successful methods of couples counseling ever developed is the Gottman Method. The Gottman Method, among many other things, emphasizes the significance of shared life objectives and philosophies in long-lasting, contented marriages.
The solution to this question is hypothetical, of course. Most of the time, money is undoubtedly an object. However, answering this question might enable each partner to learn more about what matters most to the other.
The following are some examples of ultimate life objectives to get the dialogue started:
- Social or charitable reasons
- Exploration (traveling to space, scuba diving, and looking for relics)
- Gaining knowledge and becoming an authority on a particular topic
- Having fun and relaxing
Have fun discussing the life of your dreams, but make careful to mentally record what your spouse is saying. Your understanding of how to make them happier may be revealed by their responses.
For instance, if someone chose to travel, you may infer that they place a great value on learning new things, making new friends, and being surprised.
Then, you might want to surprise them with a weekend road trip to a location neither of you has ever been to for their next birthday.
Are there any topics from your past that you haven’t discussed with me but would like to?
A lot of our adult behavior can be attributed to childhood experiences. Knowing more about your partner’s past may help you understand why they act a specific way or struggle with a certain aspect of your relationship.
Just a short reminder: Try not to press the issue too much. It’s acceptable that the majority of us have aspects of our lives that we don’t necessarily feel ready to discuss. The very last thing you want to do is coerce your partner into sharing information that is likely best explored with a qualified therapist first.
If they volunteer to talk about anything they’d like to, pay close attention to what they say and try to deduce how it might be affecting the relationship now. Typical answers to this query include:
- Having mixed-blood families
- Leaving a “broken home”
- Physical or emotional abuse in the past
- Drug dependency
- Relationships in the past and their resolution
We advise consulting with a couples therapist if you believe that something from your or your partner’s past may be impacting your relationship to ensure that you can move toward healing safely and efficiently.
What do you think our relationship will look like in a year? 5 years? 20 years?
Similar to our hypothetical money-no-object question, this one can assist you in defining the relationship’s purpose in more concrete terms.
Don’t let the fact that your partners’ responses may differ scare you; it happens frequently. Long-term partnerships must accept the fact that there will inevitably be turning points, concessions, and shifting priorities. Nothing you talk about here is final.
During this section of the conversation, you might also ask the following sub-questions:
- Do you hope to get married in the future?
- Want children?
- How might your future aspirations for your work impact the relationship?
It’s absolutely fine if you and your partner don’t have the same opinions or morals. It can be beneficial to disagree on some of these issues. Again, a couples therapist can assist you in resolving this issue if you find it difficult to address it or if your future plans seem to be at odds.
How can I make our sex life better?
Intimacy and feelings are frequently intertwined through sex, except for asexual partnerships.
Your sex life can benefit greatly from improving your relationship overall, but the opposite is also sometimes true. A healthy pair may become even stronger with a more satisfying sexual relationship.
To get the conversation started, bring up the following topics:
- What times of day do you feel most at ease in the bedroom?
- What can I do to increase your sense of love in this situation?
- How should we consistently talk about sex?
- Is there anything in our physical relationship that you would modify, add, or take away?
This topic might be difficult since it can feel awkward to be open about sex, especially in long-term relationships. Try to keep communication open and devoid of judgment. Talking to a marriage counselor can be helpful if you run into trouble.
What can I do to help our relationship’s communication flow more smoothly?
This is a really useful query. It allows both partners a chance to ask for or suggest changes to how they communicate with one another.
Numerous issues in a given relationship frequently result from the same communication breakdown.
Let’s imagine, for instance, that you and your partner frequently disagree over issues like who should take the dog for a walk on Tuesday, what you have planned for the yard this weekend, and why the bedroom is strewn with filthy clothes.
There might only be one communication gap between you two that could end your arguments about the dog, the yard, and your clothes at the same time. Perhaps all you need to do is have a 15-minute conversation every Monday to assign chores.
Almost every couple could stand to improve their communication, but so few do anything as simple as asking each other how they can do it.
Do you have a relationship?
It’s possible that you lacked the fortitude to confront your lover about possible infidelity. Therefore, the ideal opportunity to discuss it with them is during a counseling session. Prepare yourself to hear what they have to say without allowing your rage to overcome you. Your confidence might increase as a result, and you might approach the sessions with optimism.
Do you believe me?
The basis of any relationship is trust. Ask your partner if they feel comfortable confiding in you, speaking openly with you, and being around you, and consider whether you feel the same way. If the response is no, you might need to work with your counselor to resolve your issues.
What do you think of me regularly?
You may find out if your spouse enjoys being around you and is enthusiastic about you by asking them this question. Ask them if they smile when they think of you as well. If the answer is “no,” you might need to reflect on your actions and look for ways to reignite the flame.
Are we prepared to make concessions?
Examine your marriage to discover whether there have ever been instances where one of you had to sacrifice everything to ensure the happiness of the other. If so, you might need to talk about your boundaries and establish shared objectives. To make your marriage work, you and your partner must compromise on several different areas.
What about our connection makes you happy?
Inquire about the things that bring your partner joy. This could assist you in learning what makes your partner happy; it might be contentment, loyalty, intimacy, humor, etc. This inquiry will also reveal whether you have been disregarding the issues that are most significant to your relationship.
What led you to seek out or accept expert assistance?
Why did they seek counseling? How they anticipate the issue(s) being handled or remedied. You might be on the correct track if you both sought counseling because you still want to remain with one other and save your marriage.
Build Your Relationship With These Exhaustive Couples Therapy Questions by Topic
This list of couples therapy questions by topic gives extra understanding and exploration into particular facets of a relationship in addition to the questions covered in detail above. By helping partners work through their differences and openly communicate with one another, these essential couples therapy questions hope to strengthen their relationship.
Questions regarding communication in couples therapy
- How can our dialogue be more constructive?
- Do we struggle to comprehend one another?
- Is it tough for you to express yourself?
- Is it challenging for you to communicate your feelings?
- Does it get tough for us to connect because of my busy [schedule/work obligations/anger… etc.]?
- Feeling lonely?
- Would scheduling a conversational time help?
- Can we develop problem-solving skills together?
- Can we improve our ability to work together and compromise?
- What do you think the problems with our communication are?
Couples therapy questions regarding establishing relationship goals
- What kind of future do you envisage for us?
- What do you believe will help our relationship advance?
- Do you consider this relationship to be yours?
- What does spending quality time mean to you?
- What were we doing when we last shared a laugh? When was the last time we did so?
- What can we take away from our errors?
- How can we make our home more cheerful?
- What in our lives do we need more of?
- What in our life could we do without?
Intimacy-related couples therapy questions
- How do you define intimacy?
- What does closeness to you look like?
- Where on your list of relationship priorities does intimacy fall?
- Do you experience sexual satiation in our union?
- What, in your opinion, hinders intimacy?
- Do you feel at ease having a close relationship?
- Are you at ease?
- Do you avoid close relationships?
- What private activities can we engage in together?
- Do you fear that romance is extinct?
Values-related couples therapy questions
- Do we have similar ideals, you and I?
- How significant is religion to you?
- How important is politics to you?
- Do you believe that we concur on moral issues?
- Do you think we concur on moral choices?
- What kind of principles did your family uphold?
- What cultural values do you hold?
- How essential is creativity to you?
- Do you wish to broaden your knowledge in various spheres of life?
- Do we regard each other?
Infidelity-related couples therapy questions
- Why do you think you cheated on your partner?
- Why do you believe your partner opted for couples therapy over a breakup or divorce?
- Do you believe you are capable of forgiving a cheating spouse?
- What motivates you to reach out to one another?
- What does dedication entail to you?
- What are some constructive methods to handle rage and resentment?
- How can we all get better together?
- Do you believe me?
- Can you come to trust me once more?
Finance-related couples therapy questions
- Do our financial circumstances put a strain on our marriage?
- Do you believe I can handle our finances on my own?
- Can we jointly handle our finances?
- What can we both do to improve our financial situation?
- Should our partnership be characterized by greater financial openness?
- Is our partnership a financial strain on you or us?
- Do I have financial responsibility?
- What impact are finances having on our marriage?
- Do you find it awkward to discuss money?
- Can we improve how we talk to each other about our budget?
Questions about everyday life in couples therapy
- Do we both participate in home duties?
- Do you feel overburdened by your daily obligations?
- What would you say your state of mind is today?
- When you first wake up, how do you typically feel?
- How do you typically feel right before bed?
- Is there anything your spouse can do to make your day easier?
- What obstacles do you face every day?
- Describe your ideal day in your own words.
- What does a poor day for you look like?
- What role does your spouse have in your day?
Individual independence-related questions in couples therapy
- How long do you stay apart?
- Do you favor spending more time alone?
- Do you feel at ease apart from each other?
- Do you consider yourself to be an autonomous individual?
- Are there any activities that both you and your partner enjoy?
- When the two of you are apart, do you feel secure in your relationship?
- When you’re apart from one another, do you trust your partner?
- Would spending more or less time apart improve your relationship, in your opinion?
- Do you consider it crucial for people to be independent?
In conclusion, during couples therapy, the appropriate questions can help you and your partner forge a better, more satisfying relationship. You can develop a deeper understanding of one another’s viewpoints and collaborate to overcome obstacles by addressing specific issues and regions of concern. Remember that open and honest communication is the key to a successful and happy relationship whether you utilize the questions covered in full above or complement them with the extra topic-specific inquiries. You may overcome any challenge and create a loving, enduring relationship with the assistance of a qualified therapist and a desire to cooperate.