Pre-Marital Counseling – What TO-DO!
Posted by Improving Lives Counseling | Articles
Your Wedding To-Do List is literally 75 tasks long and all of them should have been done yesterday! On the top of your list: Choosing the Right Person to Marry-check! Dress-check! Invitations-check! Bridesmaid Dresses-check! Premarital Counseling-not yet! I know, I’ve been there; the day is important and the dress, the dress is really important, but where on your To-Do list is “Establishing the Foundation for Your Married Life”? Premarital counseling helps ease the anxiety and fears couples experience surrounding their new life together. Adding counseling on the To-Do list isn’t meant to increase a couple’s wedding stress. Counseling helps to alleviate stress by providing support to engaged couples.
Premarital counseling helps couples prepare for a strong, healthy marriage. Couples can use counseling as a resource to gain a vision for their future married life. Counseling helps couples identify expectations and possible difficulties that may arise due to differences in beliefs and values. Discussing a couple’s strengths and weaknesses gives the couple a better chance for a satisfying marriage. The goal is to encourage couples to be proactive in their marriage before it begins. Seeking counseling before marriage also paves the way for a couple to utilize counseling as a support in the future when difficulties arise during married life.
Addressing general concerns in counseling leads to better communication; this can promote compromise and clarify concrete and positive changes that each person in the relationship can make for a better life together. Couples are encouraged to talk about important topics, such as their values, beliefs, and expectations regarding finances, religion, parenting, roles, goal-setting, intimacy, and sex. Examples of frequent questions brought into counseling are: Are we going to combine our banking accounts? How are we going to plan for our financial future together? What goals do we have for saving money? When do we want to have children? What role is expected of each person when children come into the picture? How will we discipline our children?
One of the most challenging discussions for many couples is the topic of sex. Counseling provides a place to begin an open dialogue about intimacy and sex in a marriage. Some common topics in this area include: How would each person like sex to be initiated? How many times a week does each person expect to have sex? What are the anxieties or concerns about sex as a married couple? Learning about each other’s needs and expectations concerning sex can pave the way for a more satisfying sex life. Sex can be viewed as a litmus test to the health of the relationship. Sex isn’t what makes a relationship healthy, but couples seem to have more intimacy and sex when they feel happier with one another.
Premarital counseling is often offered by licensed therapists or religious institutions. The duration of counseling typically range between 4 to 8 sessions. The type of counseling provided will depend on the counselor you choose.
Take time to prioritize your wedding TO-DO list. The whole reason for the event is the relationship; celebrate it by taking the time to create a good one.