Congratulations on your engagement! It’s an exciting time for you and your partner. It’s also a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level before your big day. Premarital, or pre-marriage, counseling offers multiple benefits to couples looking for help in starting their marriage on a solid foundation.
Pre-marriage couples counseling isn’t always necessary for a successful marriage, but it can help partners learn more about each other and lay the groundwork for a stable relationship. Even couples that have developed a healthy relationship can take advantage of counseling. Let’s take a look at five examples of premarital counseling benefits.
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR PARTNER
You may think there isn’t much more you could learn about each other, especially if you’ve been in a relationship with your partner for a long time.
Premarital counseling brings up questions and topics you may have not considered talking about. Experienced therapists and counselors have worked with many different couples and have seen all types of scenarios arise. Counseling also provides a safe place to share feelings or new information that may have been hard to bring up beforehand. Be open to not only sharing your own experiences, but also listening to anything new your partner may share.
EXPLORE UNCOMFORTABLE TOPICS OR DIFFERENCES
Now is the time to talk through any difficult topics that have arisen throughout the relationship.
Pre-marriage counseling opens a door for new ways of communicating, and discussions that previously turned into arguments may become resolved or result in a compromise. You may also find that some uncomfortable topics can’t be resolved, and that’s okay. You’ll receive help in navigating what the next best course of action could be as a couple. Just remember to be completely honest throughout the experience. Don’t be afraid to speak what’s on your mind, even if it could make your partner feel uncomfortable.
You can also take this opportunity to discuss any differences you have in the relationship. Maybe one partner wants to raise children a certain way while the other has a different approach. Even if this may seem like a problem for the future, exploring differences now can help prevent divorce later.
ESTABLISH BETTER COMMUNICATION
Do small disagreements often turn into larger arguments? Do you often feel like your partner doesn’t fully understand what you’re communicating? Not everyone communicates in the same way, every time.
Some partners focus more on visual cues and communicate with hand gestures or body movements. Other partners may rely more on audible cues and clear statements that let them know exactly what to do. Just because two people don’t communicate in the same way doesn’t mean a resolution can’t be reached.
Pre-marriage couples counseling explores new ways of communicating that benefits both parties. Learning more about how your partner consumes information can lead to better discussions. It’s important to recognize communication differences, and identify ways that work for you as a couple.
PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
Even if your style is more go-with-the-flow than life planner, it’s important to be on the same page about certain aspects of your future. Questions about finances, goals, children, spirituality, responsibilities, and even sex should be discussed before entering into a life-long commitment. You don’t need to have every little detail of your lives figured out, but it’s best to know the expectations or desires of your partner before saying your vows.
OVERCOME EXISTING DOUBTS
It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about getting married. Some people experience pre-marriage jitters while others remain solid in their desire for marriage. Neither one is the right or wrong way to feel. However, if pre-marriage doubts become mind-consuming or overwhelming, premarital counseling can offer a healthy way to express those concerns with a professional and your partner.
Don’t be afraid of expressing your doubts or reservations. It’s important to be open with your partner, as well as be honest with yourself. If the relationship isn’t heading in a direction you’re comfortable with, it’s better to figure that out now than after the wedding.
Nervousness doesn’t mean there’s something inherently wrong in the relationship, either. For example, you could be more worried about being the center of attention at a wedding than the actual marriage itself. Maybe the idea of a large wedding with a lot of people scares you, but the feelings become mixed with general anxiety about the relationship. There are a lot of reasons people may doubt following through with a marriage, and premarital counseling can help you work through those feelings to determine the root cause.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to premarital couples counseling. However, many of the benefits remain the same. Stronger bonds, better communication, relationship security, and identified areas for growth are all potential opportunities for couples that go through counseling.
At Cornerstone, we believe in helping people build a solid partnership before marriage. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us, even if you’re just curious about how our sessions work. Schedule an appointment or give us a call today at (217) 222-8254 to get started.