Getting engaged is an exciting time for most couples. You get the chance to plan a wedding and imagine the exciting life you’ll have together. However, most people also have anxieties about the potential downside of marriage. Premarital counseling can help relieve such fears.
If you are concerned about what could go wrong in your relationship, you’re in good company. Prenuptial agreements are growing increasingly more popular and common, regardless of age and income. The reality is that 50% of marriages end in divorce, and people naturally want to ensure that they are safe and secure.
Fortunately, there are effective steps you can take if you fear what could happen in the future. Studies have shown that premarital counseling can drastically lower your chance of divorce. Many churches and religious leaders encourage premarital counseling for couples because of this lower divorce risk.
While it may seem counterintuitive to get counseling before anything is wrong, it can have surprising benefits both immediately and for years down the road. Here are some reasons to consider premarital counseling.
1. You’ll learn to communicate better. Premarital counseling teaches you and your partner how to talk about sensitive issues. Each partner will learn to better understand their ways of approaching conflict. You’ll learn that you don’t have to solve every problem–the key is to process each partner’s subjective experience and work through the underlying emotions together.
2. You’ll compare your future plans. Premarital Counseling helps you and your partner have honest discussions around the issues of religion, children, and traditions. You need to know how you both feel about topics such as having children and how many, or where you want to live long term.
While these desires may change over time, it’s a good idea to compare your basic values and goals. This will help prevent shock and disappointment later on.
3. Counseling will help you discuss money and debt. It’s critical to talk about money and debt before you get married. Money management is one of the most recurring conflicts married couples face. To begin, each partner needs to disclose debts and how they plan to manage them.
Premarital counseling also helps partners understand overall expectations when it comes to finances. You’ll want to discuss your individual incomes, and if you will join funds or keep separate accounts. Both partners also need to be on the same page on how they want to spend or save money.
4. You and your partner will learn how to fight and disagree. How couples respond to problems and conflicts relates to their likelihood of divorce. Premarital counseling helps you understand how to deal with issues and disagreements whenever, and often before, they arise. You’ll learn how to de-escalate conflicts and make sure little problems don’t turn into major arguments.
And, you’ll practice ways to work through issues instead of letting feelings fester and allowing resentment to grow. This is extremely important in creating a satisfying marriage.
5. Premarital sessions will teach you how to nurture your sex life. A premarital counselor can help you and your partner figure out how to deal with issues related to intimacy. For example, one partner may feel there is too little sex in the relationship, or may feel insecure or unwanted.
Sex often happens more spontaneously at first, but can change over time. Partners need to constantly nurture their sex life and carve out time for intimacy dates. This can help you to re-establish the closeness and sexual desire you once had.
The sexual part of your relationship allows you to feel connected, builds trust, and helps with stress. And, it helps you simply like and feel more affectionate towards one another.
In premarital counseling, you’ll learn how to deal with conflicts, desires, and expectations relating to sex, and how to communicate with your partner about them.
6. Roles and responsibilities will be outlined. It’s generally a good idea for partners to discuss how they will share responsibilities in the household. Related topics to review might include the following:
- Will your career impact how much free time you have?
- Will you both keep working when you have children?
- If you or your partner have children from a previous marriage, what will be the boundaries when it comes to parental responsibilities such as discipline and caretaking?
- How will routine household tasks be divided, such as paying bills, cleaning, and cooking?
Premarital counseling will help you sort out these important issues so you can relieve anxieties as you move forward together in your marriage.
7. Boundaries with in-laws can be discussed. Problems with in-laws are so common that it’s become a routine joke. Premarital counseling can help you find common ground and establish boundaries when it comes to in-laws and extended family members.
Your counselor will help you have open discussions on topics such as who you will be spending the holidays with. Both partners need to discuss the expectations of their own and the other person’s relationship with family members. It’s important that you negotiate these issues so both partners feel comfortable.
These are just a handful of the many benefits of premarital counseling. Most couples struggle as each of these issues come up. However, with a bit of preparation at the beginning, you can sidestep many of these common surprises that can harm relationships.
If you and your partner would like to learn more about premarital counseling and how it can help ensure a happier marriage, contact us today to schedule a first appointment.
The Relationship Suite
We are a group of skilled therapists specializing in couples/marriage counseling. Since Covid started we have been working with couples providing Online Couples Counseling in New York, New York City including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, South Hampton, East Hampton, Montauk. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE.
Due to Covid we are also providing Virtual Couples Counseling in New Jersey, Hoboken, Jersey City, Princeton, Chatham, Morris, Westfield, Union, Bergen County, Colts Neck, Tenafly. Schedule a complimentary consultation by clicking HERE