Pick a date…CHECK!
Choose the perfect dress…CHECK!
Reserve the reception hall…CHECK!
Enroll in premarital counseling…HUH?!
The perfect wedding is important. But how about living happily ever after?
It’s easy to get swept away with the details of wedding planning. Between the endless choices for invitations, bridesmaid dresses, flowers, table settings—the last thing on your mind is counseling with your future husband.
But hear me out.
Counseling should be a top priority. Here’s why.
It’s exciting to head on a life journey with your future husband but you probably wouldn’t get in the car for a drive to an unfamiliar destination without your trusty navigation system. The same goes for marriage. A roadmap helps you navigate through the rough areas that inevitably come with marriage such as issues related to communication, money, anger, and intimacy.
Why set yourself up to become another statistic? More than 50% of US marriages fail, but that doesn’t mean you have to be one of them. Research shows that couples who invest in premarital counseling reduce their chance of divorce by 31%.
As a licensed professional marriage counselor with two decades of clinical experience, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples just like you. I have also trained military couples on premarital/marital counseling and how to prevent and cope with the most common issues that come up in relationships.
A successful relationship takes work and you want to have a first aid kit at your convenience not necessarily because you are going to use it today, but you always want to be prepared.
Why Do I Need Premarital Counseling
Premarital counseling is a specialized type of therapy to offer benefit to couples who are considering marriage. Unlike couple’s therapy, which usually takes place when there’s a problem, premarital counseling is about prevention and learning ways to prevent conflict and issues from escalating.
“Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage.”
Even the happiest couples experience stress and conflict, and it’s important to learn how to deal with these issues constructively as you prepare to live together for a lifetime.The goal of premarital counseling is to identify and address any areas of conflict in your relationship and teach partners effective strategies for discussing and resolving issues.
Benefits of Premarital Counseling
Premarital counseling is about discussing common issues that come up with couples such as: communication, anger, money, physical and emotional intimacy and learning how to handle conflict as a couple. Couples usually explore these questions; “are we sharing your finances or splitting expenses? Are we going to have a pre-nuptial agreement? How do we want to handle debt? How many children do we want to have and where do we want to live?
I have worked with partners to help identify areas that may cause conflict in their relationship later on such as; child-rearing methods, family dynamics etc. The goal is to help couples work through these issues in the early stages in the relationship. Partners often develop communication and conflict resolution skills and address fears they might have about marriage. We all need to learn the skills to maintain an intimate, mutually nurturing relationship.
What to Expect in a Premarital Session
Couples discuss issues together and explore ways to cope and handle potential challenges they may develop over the course of their marriage. Premarital counseling can be positive because of the commitment each partner demonstrates towards improving and strengthening their relationship.
Premarital counseling differs depending on your needs. Some couples choose to have 1-3 sessions and others may want to participate for a longer period of time. Couples may also choose to meet with the therapist individually for a few sessions which helps them to speak more openly about their concerns and goals for their relationship.
I work with couples who seek to bring their analytical and creative skills to the art of building a life together. Many of my engaged couples say their premarital counseling time is beneficial, and meaningful.