Is pre-marital counseling for you?:
The short answer is a resounding YES. Getting married without pre-marital prep is like starting a business or any important venture without preparing. Half of all marriages end in divorce, and only half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run.
Most commonly, those couples who do receive some premarital counseling get it from their religious advisor. If you or the couple have already received premarital sessions from a religious adviser, the pre-marital program offered is great as a supplementary approach to those sessions. Whatever marriage prep couples choose to take—should include activities to give them real skills, real expectations and real knowledge of self and partner to face the inevitable challenges of a committed relationship.
What to look for in pre-marriage programs and counselors:
Here’s concise list of seven relationship skill and knowledge areas that research has shown to contribute to the success and endurance of marriage:
- Personalities and families-of-origin
- Conflict resolution
Make sure that the pre-marriage counseling or prep you choose covers all of these. Here are some additional questions to help you select the pre-marriage prep that’s right for you:
- Does it include an assessment inventory to help you understand your areas of compatibility and strength, as well as areas you may need to address?
- Is the content based on marriage research?
Will the counseling or class help you and your partner agree on goals and strategies for managing and continuing to work on your most important unresolved issues?
Why pre-marital counseling is important:
It is probably no coincidence that 50% of all marriages end in divorce and that a very small percentage of people who marry complete any kind of pre-marriage education or counseling process. A structured process of education and exploration is critical to the long-term success of a marriage-simply because it prepares partners for many years together and eliminates many of the surprises that people encounter. Pre-marital prep is based on the reality that it’s important to strengthen your relationship and prepare constructively for future challenges and conflicts that everyone will inevitably face at some point in your relationship. Marriage prep is an alternative or supplementary approach to educating engaged couples and newlyweds in the skills, habits, attitudes, and enrichment techniques that research shows lead to happy, enduring marriages. Any tool that can give you the ability to forge a stronger, healthier, happier relationship with your partner is a worthwhile activity, and pre-marital counseling in particular can help you avoid years of struggling to find the answers yourself.
What if we don’t have any problems, do we still need pre-marital counseling?
Again, the short answer is a resounding YES. Pre-marital counseling is not about solving any problems, but rather catching them before they start. It is this preventative measure that makes pre-marital counseling so effective, so crucial.
I’m afraid of what I might find out about our relationship:
Pre-marital counseling isn’t meant to sink young lover’s boats; it is quite the opposite. Pre-marriage counseling sessions want you to succeed by letting you know about issues that might come up in the future, and allowing you a safe, and neutral platform to ask questions and voice your concerns.
I have additional questions that are not answered here:
If you need further information or have any questions about pre-marital counseling that are not addressed on this page, don’t hesitate to contact me by clicking here.