Premarital counseling is a form of therapy that is provided to couples to prepare them for marriage. This counseling plays a vital role in this preparation. It is provided with the aim of helping couples have strong and healthy relationships, thereby giving them a greater chance of enjoying a stable as well as satisfying marriage.
Why Marital Counseling is Provided
Premarital counseling is provided in order to help couples enhance their relationships prior to marriage. Through this counseling, couples are advised to discuss numerous topics, including the following:
- Intimacy, affection and sex
- Communication skills
- Finances and money management
- Expectations, beliefs and values
- Children and parenting
- Decision making and conflict resolution
- Dealing with anger and emotions
- Roles in marriage
Getting premarital counseling is a great way for partners to enhance their ability to communicate and establish realistic expectations from one another. It’s also an excellent way to develop conflict-resolution skills.
It is important to not forget the fact that when each individual brings his/her opinions, values or history into a particular relationship, they do not always match with their partner’s. Often times, people get married believing that it will fulfill their emotional, financial, social, and sexual needs – and it does not turn out as they had expected.
When differences and expectations are discussed before marriage, the couple can develop ways to understand as well as support each other after they are married. Early intervention is crucial because the risk of divorce is normally at greatest early in marriage.
Benefits of Premarital Counseling
Here are some of the benefits you can gain by getting premarital counseling.
- You gain insight – Let’s face the facts. When two people are in love, they often overlook those things that they ultimately have to face when married. Premarital counseling can shed light on these issues and help the couple solve them before it takes them by surprise.
- You get outside professional guidance – You benefit from having a licensed marriage and family therapist’s wise and trained perspective that gives you an unbiased view on your relationship, and how to make it last.
- You strengthen communication skills – Good communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. Without communication, there’s nothing to hold the relationship together and help it function smoothly. Counseling is a great way to help couples strengthen their communication skills.
- You set realistic expectations – Expectations within marriage can fall into different areas ranging from sexual intimacy to household chores. Discussing expectations with understanding and respect while being flexible is the attitude that leads to teamwork and resolution. It removes resentment and hurt and builds a peaceful home.
- You get tips on financial planning – One of the main reasons why marriages turn sour are financial and money issues. Many young couples do not have an idea of what it takes to manage finances together as a couple. Counseling explores the meaning of money each partner has and teaches the couples financial skills even before they face the issues in real life.
- You understand each other’s major triggers – Identifying the “push buttons” you and your partner are most sensitive about is an important step toward avoiding and overcoming the personal triggers. Through premarital counseling, couples can identify each other’s major stressors and learn how to support each other through thick and thin.
- You identify potential conflicts – No two people believe or have completely similar ideas regarding life in general. It is important to identify any potential conflicts before they even occur. This can be done through counseling to ensure stable relationships.
- You learn de-escalation techniques – Conflicting situations are some of the toughest things you’ll face in your marriage. Given the destructive nature that escalation plays in relationships, it is important to develop tools and strategies to limit and reverse this process. This is why when a potentially explosive situation occurs and negative emotions amplify, de-escalation is needed.
- You establish shared vision – To have a successful marriage, you need to have a vision and a shared vision you and your partner both have expressed to each other. The vision is a conscious and deliberate way to create your relationship together towards your destination. It also gives couples a kind of roadmap to help them assess whether they are “on course” in their relationship, so that they can put in the necessary corrections.
Too often couples get so tangled up in spending time planning the perfect wedding, that they fail to address issues that would serve as a foundation of their marriage later on. Yet, for many couples, pre-marital counseling is a positive, affirming and bonding experience that enhances their commitment to marry. This is why premarital counseling is the key to building and nurturing this foundation to ensure a happily ever after.
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