Marital dissolution is like the tearing of flesh.
2018’s USA Today’s publication reveals the glaring truth about 21st-century American Life – Divorce. According to the American Psychological Association, 40%-50% of married couples in the United States divorce. This picture brings forth the undeniable importance of conducting premarital counseling to waive off any possibility of future marital separation.
A divorce is an unfortunate event that literally rips families and other personal ties apart. It is not just the couple who is working through the heaviness and hardship that follows after a painful separation. Children, parents, friends, neighbors – just about everyone connected with the estranged partners is hurt when the marriage becomes tattered and twisted.
In spite of the fact that divorce rates have relatively declined since the turn of the 21st Century, it is still very much a reality in society today.
The question here is – could all of this have been avoided? Perhaps, couple counseling before marriage could have changed the sorry picture.
My first question is – did you all receive premarital counseling before opting for post-marital advice? Good premarital counseling will provide a couple with the right set of tools they need to practice forgiveness throughout the lifetime of the marriage.
What is premarital counseling?
Premarital counseling is a therapy type that works towards preparing couples for marriage. The importance of premarital counseling is undeniable. It has helped couples understand what they can expect out of their marriage.
Counseling before marriage is imperative for observing peace and harmony in life after marriage.
BYU psychology professor, Scott Braithwaite said, “Premarital counseling is a great way for people to do their homework about the most important decision they are ever going to make so that they can go into it armed with skills that are going to be very helpful,”
This is the purpose of premarital counseling.
Only an experienced pre-marriage counselor will give you a clear understanding of what your life will be once the honeymoon phase is over.
After all, the real married life is nothing similar to what romantic stories like Mills and Boons conveyed. You will get a reality check through proper premarital counseling.
In fact, a study says couples who took premarital counseling before their wedding had a 30% higher marital success rate.
And just like what the famous saying states, ‘experience speaks for itself,’ so also seeking proper premarital counseling from a professional is always better than drawing premarital advice from a layman.
Also, read – When is the right time for premarital counseling?
What are the benefits of premarital counseling?
To understand what is the purpose of premarital counseling, one has to delve deeper into the array of benefits that counseling for couples before marriage has to offer.
Let’s try and figure them out one at a time.
1. The power of transparency
Premarital counseling gives you the power of transparency.
Transparency is a key component of forgiveness in a marriage.
It is not always easy to talk about our family of origin. Also, it does not always feel good to talk about previous relationships if they rendered us scarred and scared. Who among us likes being vulnerable with a credentialed person we have never met before?
But, this very notion about premarital counseling is wrong.
Premarital counseling, if done well, will take us out of our comfort areas for a few hours. Why? Putting the bad stuff on the table and dealing with it before it shows up unannounced and trashes the marriage is not such a bad thing.
Premarital counselors insist on honesty and your marriage, if it is going to be a healthy one, will demand honesty!
Premarital counselors will help you develop the tools you will need to practice forgiveness. Active listening, “I statements,” and atonement are among the assortment of tools pre-marriage counseling brings to the future bond.
Also, read – Traffic lights in premarital counseling
2. Walk together or walk apart
Sometimes, two individuals, have no business being together for a long-term partnership. If the relationship was forged through the fire of intimacy, the couple may be running on endorphins instead of a mutually shared commitment.
If addiction and infidelity are issues before the marriage license has been signed, then what’s the value in perpetuating an unhealthy cycle?
Now, effective premarital counseling forces us to ask ourselves the difficult questions about the relationship and its future before the rings are exchanged and the vows are sealed by holy invocation.
There are many cases in which the couple, prior to the marriage or not long into it, agree to forgive one another but move in different directions later on. Premarital counseling lowers the divorce rate by eliminating any possibility of a connection to build up between the partners before the marriage takes place.
So, that way, it is better to distance yourself from the person who might be responsible for breaking your heart sometimes in the near or distant future.
3. Break fears or doubts about marriage
There is a possibility that partners, coming from broken families or have witnessed marital separation between their parents, will develop fear or doubt about the whole institution of marriage.
Such persons must make an attempt to break their doubts, make peace with their past, and break the cycle, before moving ahead with a new connection.
Past scars hidden under layers of deception, is likely to poison every possible connection the person makes with someone or the other. Effective premarital counseling can help in bringing the person out of his shell. The expert advice will eventually benefit him and make him strong enough to deal with his problems once and for all.
Be willing to risk some transparency
Do not step into a marriage without premarital counseling. Your life, the life of your partner, and your potential life together should all be honored and respected at all times. So, be willing to risk some transparency.
Trust a professional to help you through this important process.