If you’re riding high on the romance of your recent engagement and planning of your big day, the last thing you want to think about is relationship issues and working to avoid divorce through pre-marriage counseling.
You, as so many others, may think that relationship counseling before marriage is a waste of time and something that would benefit those “other couples” that fight and don’t get along as well as you and your fiancé do. This isn’t the case at all and in fact; relationship counseling before marriage is becoming quite common.
So what is marriage counseling before marriage? Counseling for couples before marriage is a type of therapy that aids in preparing couples for their marriage.
One of the many benefits of premarital counseling or pre- marriage advice is that it helps couples to identify their weaknesses and create a stable,strong, and satisfying marriage.
The benefits of relationship counseling
Counseling before marriage can encourage couples to improve their relationship by communicating and discussing about essential topics to their marriage. Counseling before marriage helps partners to set expectations and construct a way to mitigate and resolve conflicts.
There are several benefits of marriage counseling before marriage, whether you’re marrying for the first time or the fifth, including:
1. Skills for communicating more effectively
Communication is very essential for a couple to maintain a happy and healthy marriage. The effectiveness of a conversation between you and your spouse can be difference between staying in the marriage or walking out of it.
The inability of a couple to coherently and freely communicate their views and opinions to their spouse is many times the reason for a marriage to fall apart. The benefits of couples counseling before marriage is that it enables the couples to understand each other better by finding ways to communicate better.
During counseling the therapist would nudge the couples to discuss matters essential to their past, present, and future. Such as beliefs, values, finances, conflict resolution, expectations and many more.
2. Tools to strengthen your relationships
Counseling before marriage presents an opportunity for couples to use the tools of counseling and the wisdom of their counselor to face any issues and prepare for what’s to come in their marriage.
Their is no such thing as a perfect couple or a perfect marriage, some people are better at understanding their partners or they seek help early on. No matter how good your relationship is or how strong a bond a couples shares, they all can learn and benefit from pre-marital couples counseling.
3. Help in coping with and moving on from issues in your/his past
The way a person perceives their present and possible future is very much influenced by what they understood and learned from their past. Similarly, the way you and your partner deal with your relationship issues is contingent upon how effectively or efficiently you dealt with issues in the past.
Counseling before marriage benefits any couple by helping them openly discuss issues in each others past and how they were dealt with. Rather than simply shoving past problems under the rug, counseling assists you to not allow resentment to foster in you relationship and get everything out in the open.
Knowing how to cope with past problems and issues not only build more trust in your marriage but also help you teach the same to your kids. Dealing with your past problems can teach you how to reassure and comfort your partner or spouse to be.
4. Working through your goals for the future
Last but not the least, counseling before marriage is a great way to assess you and your partners future aspirations and expectations. You can find ways to discuss what goals you have set for yourself and how can you align your goals with those of your partners.
You are able to construct a rough sketch of where you might be after a certain period of time in your personal life and your marriage. This also help you to discuss your financial goals, family planning, and lower the risk of getting separated or divorced.
Many people are under the misconception that relationship counseling is limited to those dealing with a major conflict. Couples counseling before marriage can help you avoid ever having a conflict that you can’t resolve by teaching you the skills to work through things.
It can ensure that you enter marriage prepared with the know-how to express your feelings and listen to each other, which will make every aspect of your marriage better.
Once the wedding dress has been packed away and the honeymoon is over, you’ll have to deal with all of the practical parts of a marriage, like finances, housework, work schedules , and all of those other tedious things that can often come between a couple.
Making decisions about your future, such as where to live or how to bring up your kids can also overwhelm a newly-married couple and put a strain on a relationship. These are things that relationship counseling can help you prepare for.
What to expect from relationship counseling before marriage
Unless you have had some type of counseling in the past, you’re probably not sure of what to expect or have a picture in your head of what happens at couples counseling based on something you’ve seen on TV. You won’t be lying on a couch venting about your childhood or any other popular cliché.
You will likely spend your first session speaking to the therapist learning about the process. The therapist will take some time to get better acquainted with you as a couple and individually. You will be asked about things like:
- Why you’ve decided to seek counseling
- Any specific concerns in your relationship, if any
- Any concerns or fears about marriage or your future
- In order to get the most out of your sessions, you should be willing to speak openly and honestly so the therapist can learn what your relationship’s strengths are and what holds you together, what things you argue about, stresses that may impact your relationship, how you communicate, what might be missing from your relationship, etc.
Couples of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from counseling before marriage. Many of the skills learned in relationship counselling can be applied to other relationships in your life as well, which in turn can take outside stress off the marriage.
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