Premarital Counseling

Setting up your relationship for success

Some people mistakenly believe that if they have to get counseling before they’re even married then the marriage must be doomed. That’s not the case at all. When you think intentionally about your relationship, you set yourself up for success. That’s all that premarital counseling is really about.

What Is Premarital Counseling?

Premarital counseling means that you and your partner go to a therapist together to work on your relationship. Unlike counseling during times of crisis, this is primarily a fun, energizing experience.

Some of the things that you might do in premarital counseling include:

  • Make plans for the future.
  • Share your dreams with one another.
  • Brainstorm ideas about the life that you want to have.
  • Reconfirm your love for one another.
  • Learn new communication skills that can improve your relationship.
  • Strengthen your bond.

Of course, you’ll also deal with some challenges during premarital counseling. You’ll also resolve conflicts, work through past issues that might be holding you back, and address some of your biggest concerns about getting married.

Premarital Counseling Helps with Marriage Concerns

Getting married is an exciting thing. It’s also stressful. You’re taking a huge leap into a new experience and you can’t truly predict how it’s going to turn out.

Plus, let’s face it, you probably come to the marriage with a lot of fear. Perhaps you’ve waited a long time to get married. Or maybe you’ve been married in the past and you’re tentatively ready to try again. Whatever your past relationship history, you’ve built up years of thoughts and emotions about what marriage means. You bring those to your wedding table.

Of course, that’s not entirely a bad thing. You also bring a lot of strengths. You have experience and wisdom that can help your marriage. Premarital counseling is important in large part because it lets you air out in your fears and concerns in a safe space. By addressing those issues honestly and openly in a safe space, you set the stage for entering your marriage with eyes wide open.

Premarital Counseling Eases Wedding Stress

The wedding itself can trigger a lot of stress. This, in turn, can place strains on the relationship. Learning to work through that stress together in premarital counseling can help you create a blueprint for handling other relationship stressors in the future.

Some of the things couples find stressful as they are about to get married include:

  • The logistics of planning all of the details of the wedding
  • Financial concerns and differences
  • Input from a variety of family members and friends
  • Disagreements about what exactly goes into the vows
  • Concerns about post-wedding living situations including blended family issues

Maybe you agree on the size of the wedding but not the location. Perhaps some of your family members think you shouldn’t have a big wedding because it’s your second or third marriage. Whatever the stressors, they impact you individually and as a couple. Premarital counseling can help you make the decisions that are right for your wedding while also setting the stage for a fulfilling marriage down the road.

“The early part of a relationship, besides the fun and infatuation, is about establishing trust and a shared future.”
– John M. Gottman

Is Premarital Counseling Right For Me?

You might mistakenly believe that premarital counseling is only a religious thing, because it’s something that people commonly do with their faith counselors. While that’s certainly one route, it’s not the only one. There are many different types of premarital counseling, and you can find the one that fits your needs.

You might also wonder if you really “need” premarital counseling. After all, things are going well in the relationship or you wouldn’t be getting married. Furthermore, you are both smart, capable, successful people who know how to be fairly straightforward about what you want. So, can’t you do this relationship thing on your own?

Sure, of course you can. However, even the smartest people find themselves challenged in relationships. The very nature of what draws us to the people we love can trigger some of our biggest emotions, including those that are hard for us. As a result, even though we try to bring our best selves to the relationship, we encounter a lot of potential landmines. Premarital therapy helps you harness your own strengths to navigate those landmines.

You haven’t “failed” because you want help from a therapist. Instead, you’re wisely taking advantage of all of the tools at your disposal to get your marriage off on the right foot. Of course, you won’t know for sure if premarital counseling is right for you until you give it a try. Contact me today to learn more about what I can offer you.