Premarital counseling is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship before getting married. It may help prepare you and your future spouse for marriage and ensure that you maintain a strong and healthy relationship. Premarital counseling may also help you identify the difficulties in your relationship and address them before they become bigger problems. These sessions can be incredibly beneficial for couples who are beginning a new life together.
The goals of Premarital Counseling
Getting married is a big step, so it’s important to make sure you are completely ready. Premarital counseling aims to improve your relationship with your future spouse before you get married. During counseling sessions, you may discuss a wide range of topics, such as finances, family, intimacy, anger issues, and communication.
Premarital counseling may help prepare you for the conflicts you may deal with in your marriage and how to resolve them. A skilled therapist can help you and your future spouse improve your communication skills and conflict-resolution skills. By discussing your expectations and differing opinions with your future spouse in a nonjudgmental environment, you can go into your marriage with a better understanding of one another.
What to Expect from Premarital Counseling
The idea of premarital counseling may be intimidating to some couples, but there is nothing to be afraid of. Sessions are conducted in a relaxed, safe and nurturing environment, created together with you and a skilled therapist. This is an opportunity to address relationship issues early on and go into your marriage with a healthy start.
In your first counseling sessions, you may be asked to separately answer a questionnaire to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. Your therapist could help you begin to discuss areas where you disagree, and guide you through overcoming your challenges. Do not be afraid to be completely open and honest. Your therapist is there to help you, not judge you. The more open you and your partner are, the better your therapist may help you build a strong and lasting relationship.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Premarital Counseling Sessions
In order for you to receive the needed benefits from premarital counseling, it’s important for you to make a true effort during the therapy sessions. Here are few tips for getting the most out of your counseling sessions:
Keep Your Sessions Private: Whatever you discuss during sessions should be kept between you and your partner. If you tell your friends or family members about anything that was discussed during your counseling sessions, it might break your partner’s trust.
Recognize that Counseling May Be Challenging Sometimes: Even if you and your partner have a solid relationship, respect may not always be easy. One of you may say something that the other does not like or the two of you may argue about certain issues. The important thing is that you listen to one another’s concerns and resolve your issues together.
Express Thankfulness to Your Partner: It is a good idea to let your partner know that you appreciate him or her attending premarital counseling. If your significant other knows that you are grateful, he or she may be more willing to continue these counseling sessions.
Acknowledge a Problem Exists: Some couples have difficulty admitting that certain problems exist within their relationship. This is a big mistake. If you know that there is an issue in your relationship but are not willing to admit it, there will be no point to premarital counseling. The sooner you recognize and accept there is a problem, the sooner you can resolve it.
Be Patient: The amount of time premarital counseling may take depends on several different factors, such as how many unresolved issues the two of you have and your willingness to compromise. If counseling seems to be taking longer than originally expected, remember what you are there for and keep your eye on the prize. Too many couples give on premarital counseling if things get tough and they do not get immediate gratification. If you continue with the counseling, you may be more likely to resolve your issues.
Be Willing to Change: The two of you should be willing to make changes to your behavior if it benefits the relationship. Most couples come in with a list of changes that they want to see in their partner and fail to focus on changes that they themselves can make to improve the relationship.
Have Realistic Expectations: It’s important to go into premarital counseling with realistic expectations. Don’t expect that simply attending counseling will improve your relationship or that the counselor will fix your relationship. Change happens between sessions and the responsibility and credit is yours! We can only provide you with the tools you need to make things right. It’s up to you and your partner to improve your relationship.