8 Undeniable Reasons for Trying Premarital Counseling
As you plan your wedding, you might find yourself feeling torn between cake flavors and linen colors. You might spend months perfecting the guest list and menu and all the intricate details that come with bringing your special day to life.
But as exciting as the prospects of happily-ever-after can be, the reality is that about half of all first marriages end in divorce. And while you don’t need to take on a defeatist mentality, mature couples understand that marriage requires hard work, compromise, and healthy communication.
Premarital counseling can be one of the most important gifts you give yourself (and your future spouse) before tying the knot. Let’s get into some of the main benefits.
Defining Core Values
All marriages are ultimately built on a set of values. These values can include anything from spending leisure time to your career to whether you want children.
Ideally, you want to be on the same page with your partner when making meaningful choices in life. Even if you two don’t always see eye-to-eye, it’s essential that you understand where the other person is coming from.
Premarital counseling can help you both recognize and communicate these values ahead of time. That way, there aren’t difficult surprises after the wedding.
Strengthening Conflict Resolution
Some arguing is inevitable in a marriage. All couples fight, but how you fight typically matters more than how often or what you fight about.
Unfortunately, it’s easy for couples to fall into dysfunctional communication patterns over time. Therefore, learning how to navigate conflict appropriately in the beginning stages can help set you both up for success.
We all have uniquely intimate relationships with our cash, and financial issues frequently rank as one of the top reasons for divorce. Yet, many couples enter marriage lacking a logical roadmap for how they will manage money.
Premarital counseling can help partners collaborate on their financial goals. It can also be a starting point for having important conversations around key topics like:
- Past financial mistakes.
- Current savings and investments.
- Possibility of combining assets.
Sharing Family Visions
There’s a common saying that when you marry someone, you marry their entire family. While this may not be exactly true, it’s important to consider how you relate to your future spouse’s parents, siblings, and relatives. Likewise, you want to consider how they get along with your family, too.
Family matters can get inevitably complicated. Talking them out with a third person can help you both collaborate on how you want to be a united front.
Boundaries can be either covert or explicit, but they are always the cornerstone of healthy communication and mutual respect.
Many couples need support identifying and setting limits in their relationship. Therapy can help you both discuss the boundaries related to:
- How you spend time with another.
- Hard rules regarding trust and fidelity.
- Physical touch.
- Keeping secrets.
- Sharing sensitive information to other people.
- Household chores and home responsibilities.
Exploring Intimacy Concerns
Sex and intimacy often represent essential components of a healthy relationship. However, issues in these areas may occur before the wedding. Some couples naively assume the problems will disappear once they become married.
Intimacy often has to do with trust, safety, and vulnerability. Exploring these crucial topics in therapy can help you both feel reassured moving into the next phase of your relationship.
Reviewing the Possibility of Children
Most experts strongly recommend that couples talk about having or not having children before getting married. This topic often represents a significant deal-breaker, and it’s essential that you understand your partner’s intentions in advance.
Premarital counseling can help review parenting topics like:
- Whether you intend to have children.
- How many children you want to have.
- What parenting styles or values are important to you.
- When you want to have children.
Identifying Potential Red Flags
Some people start to recognize severe issues in the relationship once they seek professional help. Having this insight may be challenging, but learning it before the wedding gives you options for how you want to proceed.
Keep in mind that red flags don’t always signify incompatibility. In some cases, both partners will just need to work together to make the necessary changes.
But even if you decide to call off the engagement, it’s often easier to cut your ties before rather than wait until after the wedding.
When Should You Seek Premarital Counseling?
You can technically start premarital counseling at any point during your engagement. However, it may be better to start the work earlier, rather than try to “cram it in” before the wedding.
After all, premarital counseling isn’t just something you check off on a to-do list. It’s an active and collaborative process that may take several months.
You owe it to yourself (and your future spouse) to build a strong foundation for your future. At Willow Counseling, we are here to help! Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with one of our couple’s therapists.
Willow Counseling, PLLC – Nashville, TN
Willow Counseling, PLLC exists to provide quality trauma-informed mental health counseling to the Nashville community, recognizing the interconnectedness of our emotional, spiritual and physical selves. We work together to alleviate symptoms, learn better coping skills, relieve burdens, remove the pain of trauma, and so much more. However, our greatest desire is for you to know what it means to feel purpose and joy again and to recognize the strength and worth you have to offer the world.