Why You Should Consider Premarital Counseling
words by // Eve Green
Premarital counseling is the process that a couple engages in, guided by a qualified professional, to discuss and explore important topics that will help in forming a relationship that will set the foundation for an enduring and happy marriage. There are different ways to approach premarital counseling, though most frequently couples visit a therapist, psychologist, or head of a religious institution. Couples planning on saying their vows in a house of worship may be required to complete premarital counseling prior to the wedding. Entering into premarital counseling may make couples or individuals feel vulnerable, but using this opportunity to safely explore strengths and weaknesses can help provide the tools to work through obstacles in your future. Consider these reasons Why You Should Consider Premarital Counseling.
Learn Effective Communication Skills
One of the biggest benefits of premarital counseling is learning effective communication skills. A neutral third party helps each person discover the ways in which they communicate . . . and don’t communicate so well. Learning about how couples talk to each other will go far in improving future discussions and help each person understand themselves and their partner better.
Getting real about money may help prevent future financial fights. Money will always be a sensitive subject, but it’s important to lay it all out there before getting married. There shouldn’t be any secrets surrounding money (or anything else) when you are planning to get married. So, you should discuss everything from debts (like student loans) to future financial expectations and how everything will work.
Talk Out Problems
Every couple has issues and it’s unrealistic to think that they will all be resolved prior to the wedding, but this is certainly the time to talk out your problems and begin the process of conflict resolution. Bridal Guide suggests, “Clear the air about resentments you've been hanging onto throughout your relationship. A counselor will help you resolve these issues and free yourselves from them so that they don't cause massive damage later on in your marriage.”
Discuss Children and Careers
By this time you’ve hopefully already discussed whether or not you plan to have children, but this subject gets much more complicated. During premarital counseling, you and your partner should discuss when you plan to expand your family, how many children you want, and whether one of you will stay at home or both of you will work. There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, it’s just important to get on the same page as this topic can cause major resentments if each person isn’t in agreement.
Premarital counseling is an opportunity to define your marriage expectations and role beliefs in front of a neutral third party who is professionally trained to guide the conversation. In addition, this is an ideal time to discuss any major topics such as extended family issues, religion, and finances. While nothing can guarantee a long-lasting marriage, studies show that premarital counseling helps pave the way for a long and happy marriage by giving you and your partner the skills you need to tackle any bumps in the road, ultimately allowing your relationship to thrive!