Is Pre-Marital Counseling For You?
Wedding season is here and if you're newly engaged, this post is for you. The reason you say 'I do' is often lost in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. And that's why pre-marital counseling is essential. I was skeptical at first but meeting with a mediator put things in perspective. Despite the stigma, here's why pre-marital counseling can help.
1. Why me?
Pre-marital counseling is for everyone because we can all benefit from expert advice. You might picture a happily ever after, but every relationship has obstacles. It's specifically for committed couples that want to work on their relationship by learning new skills. You will get down to the nitty gritty aspects of your relationship to make significant progress. Remember that it's better to smooth out any kinks during your engagement, rather than waiting until you seal the deal.
2. What to expect
Pre-marital counseling will help you prepare for a strong, healthy and happy marriage. Expect to have conversations about finance, communication, living arrangements, goals, beliefs, expectations, etc. These discussions will shed light on any weak areas and the facilitator will offer advice on how to improve. Josh and I are great communicators and I thought we talked about almost everything. After 5-6 one hour sessions, I can confidently say that the advice we received continues to guide our relationship.
3. Who to work with
Pre-marital counseling is often required if a religious figure serves as the officiant. If you choose not to have a religious ceremony, therapists and counselors are also a great resource. Regardless, seek a mediator that you trust and can be vulnerable with. I also suggest working with someone who has been married for a long time and who has similar values because it's important that they can speak from experience. Some counselors charge a small fee, so don't forget to ask about that!
Our favorite pre-marital counseling tips:
Discover your love language! Take the test here to determine how you best receive love. It's important for me to hear words of affirmation from Josh. If I didn't know this, Josh wouldn't know to share meaningful words and conversations with me. On the contrary, I understand Josh and his needs better because I know he values holding hands and maybe a hug every morning.
Some of the things you love about your significant other are the things that will also drive you crazy! For example, I clean the entire house every Friday at 6:30 am. Josh is not a morning person and he secretly despises waking up to a vacuum. On the contrary, he knows that we would never be compatible if I was sloppy and unorganized. Pre-marital counseling helped us put small annoyances like this into perspective.
Photos by Faith Desroches