Premarital counseling can be extremely beneficial to couples and can set a strong foundation for their marriage, helping them to anticipate challenges which are bound to come. They can learn how to use challenges as stepping stones to a closer and more intimate relationship, rather than experiencing the challenges as stumbling blocks to derail their marriage. The degree to which premarital counseling is helpful depends on the skill of the counselor as well as the openness and willingness of the couple to learn and grow in their relationship.
Premarital counseling is a great way for couples to begin talking early about relatively taboo subjects and those which aren’t given enough attention while dating. These can include: · Gender roles and breakdown of responsibilities around the house · Discussion of when (or whether) to have children · Acknowledging past pain that may create challenges in a new relationship · Clear decisions around finances and religion that the couple will follow One of the best outcomes of premarital counseling is the foundation it lays for future communication. Couples will feel more safe talking about sore subjects once they understand the basics of good communication skills.
In my church, most of the couples there have to go through mandatory pre-marital counselling, where they learn about the Christian way of the married life, and they also learn about their pre-set roles as the commenter above mentioned. Yes, it can be really good to help prepare the couple, but in my opinion it all boils down to whether they practice what they learned and developed the values that have been emphasized to them all along. As they say, you can bring a cow to a river for water, but you cannot make the cow drink it unless it wants too.
I personally went for a premarital counselling session and it did give me perceptive about the expectations of marriage and the roles of a husband and wife. While I didn't agree with some of the topics especially about the roles, I learned very effective communication and interpersonal skills that I sometimes apply in my marriage, and it works.