If you’re newly engaged, you may be spending a lot of your time planning the wedding. But while you’re focusing on the flowers and the flavor of the cake, here’s why it’s good to spend time preparing for your life together, too.
One of the best ways to fulfill a promising future together is through premarital counseling. Why not go into your life together, already prepared to face life’s challenges in ways that help you both grow?
Some of the top issues that emerge in the first years of marriage include:
- Discovering the unspoken expectations we all have, about what married life should look like
- Developing a stronger sense of “us”
- Struggling to communicate and resolve differences
- Feeling like your partner’s personal habits are driving you crazy
- Feeling under-appreciated, taken for granted
- Dealing with debt or financial problems
Counseling before your marriage helps you focus positively on your ability to communicate, to preserve the love you already have, and deepen the health and wellbeing in your most important relationship.
Who is Premarital Counseling For?
Premarital counseling is for couples want to help each other grow, face rough times with resilience, and enrich their joy in life together. They see marriage as a vital haven for personal growth, growth as a couple, and the most important source of their security, strength and wellbeing.
Counseling helps couples who want to remain emotionally connected and secure. It’s for people who want their lives together to feel good, even with the big and small challenges life brings. They want skills to solve the problems that are solvable. For issues they can’t resolve, they want to find ways to live together happily and make peace anyway.
What Does Premarital Counseling Cover?
Couples come in for counseling before marriage so they can work as partners to discover their strengths as a couple, along with their challenges and growth areas. Knowing these going in can help you support one another with greater awareness. You gain a deeper level of understanding for any areas where you may be struggling.
We also see individual people for pre-marriage counseling. This can be highly appropriate and allow for some very important work. It’s an excellent source of support to face hard questions such as:
- What if we can’t have children?
- What if one of us loses our job?
- How do I deal with the stress between me and my future in-laws?
- How do I keep the parts of my single social life I still want?
- What if I want to change something about my partner or our relationship?
What Can Couples Learn from Pre-Marital Counseling that They’d Miss Otherwise?
Insights into your strengths and potential issues as a couple is empowering. So, too, is new knowledge that has come from psychology studies. New research shows that the early years of a marriage strongly indicate the future direction toward happiness or unhappiness and divorce.
It’s not about how much you argue, found marriage researcher Ted Huston, PhD, who followed 168 couples for 13 years after their wedding day. It’s about keeping mutual good feeling alive.
The staying power of a couple’s love and affection had a lot to do with the success of their marriage over time. Huston saw 56 couples divorce during his study. They started with a positive initial level of love, but a downward spiral began as early as the first two years. Huston found that a loss of intimacy and positive feeling, rather than conflict, led to the end of these marriages.
What You’ll Experience in a Premarital Counseling Session
Couples will talk together in session, and will learn valuable information about themselves, each other, and the process of building and sustaining a good relationship. This information includes how to talk openly and clearly about sensitive topics, how to understand more and argue less, and the importance of being one another’s cheerleader in life.
When you learn some key facts behind the feelings you have as you work on your new life together, you can discover how to open doors to communication and intimacy you otherwise wouldn’t know were there.
Being engaged can be an exciting time. It’s also a great time to make married life even better, as you go into it prepared for the wonderful, deepening relationship it can offer.