Could Premarital Counseling Start a Marriage off Right?
Couples looking to get married can be grouped into two categories: those that value premarital counseling and those that don’t. “Why do I need to go to counseling before I get married?” some ask. The truth of the matter is, premarital therapy determines how strong a marriage will be.
People get married today and part ways tomorrow. What went wrong even though they were once deeply in love? Why can’t they stand each other? The answer is simple, marriages are not made in heaven, they require lots of hard work. Do not wait to go to marriage counseling, do the proper thing and get premarital counseling.
These days, too many issues lead to divorce – financial problems, raising kids, adultery, emotional hurt, in-laws, work, and much more. The wise thing for couples to do is seek counseling before saying “I do.” But in most cases, the only couples who undergo counseling are those who practice a religion. You don’t have to be religious to get counseling. No matter how happy your relationship may be, problems will crop up when you are married. Counseling will help you know how to deal with these problems.
Why Seek Pre-Marriage Counseling?
Premarital counseling is a therapy specially designed for two people who are about to get married. It opens their eyes to the reality of marriage. It helps identify weaknesses that may become problems during marriage and ensures couples have strong, healthy relationships and that their marriages are happy and stable.
Many couples steer clear of premarital therapy because of fear. They are afraid to talk about their problems openly because they think it will lead to more problems or a breakup. While it can be hard to talk about your frustrations and resentments, releasing your feelings in a structured context can allow you to move past them.
During pre-marriage counseling sessions, you will openly discuss your weaknesses and strengths, kids, in laws, sex, money, and other sensitive topics. The counselor may recommend premarital counseling books to help you fully comprehend the institute of marriage.
Premarital therapy is mostly provided by certified therapists but may be offered by religious institutions. Some spiritual leaders will only conduct a marriage ceremony if the couple has undergone counseling.
The Benefits of Premarital Counseling
Given the high rate of divorce, the best way to help your marriage survive is go to pre-marriage counseling. Here are some reasons why counseling is so vital.
It Helps a Couple to Face Issues
During premarital therapy, you and your partner will discuss problems that often lead to divorce in marriage. Counseling helps you to tackle crucial issues and to find out what your partner thinks about each issue. For example, you may talk about what you will do if in-laws try to interfere with your marriage or how you will save and spend money. You will know how to handle serious issues and this will prevent disagreements later on. Counseling will help you to address existing issues in your relationship and to work through any negative feelings before they escalate.
You Learn How to Communicate Effectively
Communication goes a long way towards determining how strong a marriage is. Poor communication is one of the main reasons marriages fall apart. Counseling helps you learn how to communicate with your partner. You listen attentively and know what they want and need. When you become familiar with someone, it’s easy to take them for granted. But when you constantly communicate and express your love, you build a marriage that can endure many hardships.
It is important to learn how to be a very good listener. It is also important to know what your true feelings are and be conscious of when you are projecting your own pain upon your partner.
The more you know yourself and the higher level of commitment that you have will give your partnership (Marriage) the best opportunity to not only be successful but to feel joyful and safe along the way.
It is important to realize that things that do not seem to bother you at the beginning of your relationship may crop up later. When you recognize this you can be educated on how to best deal with every possible situation so that the pain, separation and suffering can be minimized and possibly even completely eliminated.
You Learn Something New
In the early stages of love, you’ll never think that problems will show up and affect your relationship. But problems arise and affect the strongest of relationships. Premarital counseling helps you to discuss things you don’t normally discuss like expectations, sex, and painful past experiences. You may think you know your partner well, but you may not be aware of their past hurt or how they expect the marriage to be.
You Avoid Divorce
According to many studies, couples that attend premarital counseling are less likely to divorce. This is the main reason why many religious leaders advise couples to get counseling. Counseling sessions will help you go into marriage knowing what to expect. You will understand your partner, trust them, and know how to communicate with them. Many marriages break down because of lack of communication. It creates a base for infidelity, lack of trust, financial problems, and other issues. Don’t wait till your marriage is falling apart to get marriage counseling, get it now.
Premarital Counseling Questions
While you and your fiancé may have talked about many things, you may not have talked about how to make your marriage work. There are some pre-marriage counseling questions your counselor may ask to help you know what you’re getting into. They include:
- What do you love most about your relationship?
- Do you love and trust your partner?
- How will you make decisions after you’re married?
- Do you agree or disagree about having children?
- How will you deal with relationships with in-laws?
- Is spirituality important to you?
- Do you prioritize spending over saving?
- How will you deal with future conflicts?
- Who will take care of the home?
- How will your individual friendships change after marriage?
- What are your values?
- What are your goals?
Premarital Counseling Books
While you may be busy planning your wedding, set aside time to read premarital counseling books. They will help you to prepare for marriage and to know what you’re getting into. Here are 7 premarital counseling books to consider.
- Love and Respect – Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts – Dr. Parrott & Les Parrott
- His Needs, Her Needs – Willard Harley
- The Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
- For Men Only/For Women Only – Shaunti Feldhahn
- Before You Say “I Do” – H. Norman Wright
- Preparing for Marriage –David Boehi & Dennis Rainey
Protect Your Marriage
You see, people have different opinions when it comes to premarital therapy, but one thing is for sure: it works. Marriage is not a bed of roses, it takes a lot of work. If you want your marriage to survive and not go down the slippery slope others have gone, get premarital counseling. Think of it as insurance, something that will safeguard your marriage during tough times.
As I said earlier therapy can help you learn so much about yourself and the more you know about the way your ego and personality functions the less you will be projecting upon your partner. It will also help you learn how to deal with your own frailties and be more openhearted and compassionate with your spouse.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.