Is Pre-Marital Counseling A Good Idea?

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on Is Pre-Marital Counseling A Good Idea?

Building a stronger connection before committing

No matter how loving your relationship, problems and difficulties inevitably arise.

For many couples, this may happen within the first few years. This is completely normal; conflicts or setbacks are not any sort of failing on their part.

In fact, seeking therapy as problems develop allows a couple to resolve problems fairly quickly, allowing them moving forward without too much difficulty.

This resiliency is possible because resentment between partners hasn’t built to point that it becomes unmanageable or gets in the way of effectively working through core relationship issues. Unresolved resentment makes it much harder to deal with problems and creates significant relationship barriers.

The earlier a couple seeks therapy the better the prognosis for the relationship.

Interestingly, the largest number of couples consistently seeking out premarital counseling are engaged couples or those actively involved in a religion. Faith institutions have done a good job of encouraging, or even requiring, couples to seek counsel before marrying them. This group of couples usually has access to a variety of helpful tools and information well before marriage.

Given that early intervention improves the odds for their relationship so significantly, why wouldn’t a couple pursue premarital counseling?

Factors that prevent couples from choosing premarital counseling

Of course, there are plenty of couples who are not religious, cannot legally marry, or choose not to marry. These couples generally do not seek out premarital counseling for a couple of reasons:

  • Fear that openly discussing problems with a counselor signals doom for the relationship. Some couples may believe that they are opening a relationship Pandora’s box. They may think that asking questions, bringing up difficult topics, or seeking guidance speaks negatively about their union. They may feel that premarital counseling it essentially admitting failure before they even commit.
  • A lack of understanding regarding normal relationship changes. The early days of a relationship seem so effortless that couples often underestimate the work it will take to stay connected. As stressors build, maintaining positive feelings requires relationship resources best acquired before strain becomes chronic. Couples without skills for connecting and communicating won’t be able to insulate and protect their relationship over time.

What are the benefits of premarital counseling?

  • Couples are better able to adapt. Individual personality styles and habits may require negotiation and adjustment. It can be difficult to manage significant differences and preferences. When inevitable differences clash, premarital counseling helps manage problems.
  • Couples learn to communicate productively. Especially regarding more difficult issues, helpful, supportive communication is encouraged or improved. Premarital counseling helps foster the ability to communicate through conflict while maintain connectedness.
  • Couples are able to clarify relationship expectations. Ideas about the way partners perceive behavior, future plans, and household ideals should be addressed to assure that a couple is on the same page, thereby reducing misunderstanding and miscommunication.
  • Couples can deal with the needs and issues of blending families. The impact of children and past partners on their relationship may be realistically evaluated, considered, and understood from the start. Contending with these challenges up front in counseling reduces
  • Couples can come to recognize and acknowledge incompatibility. Though usually not the case, for some couples, incompatibility cannot be overcome. Facing relationship truths before committing to marriage is crucial. Premarital counseling helps partners accept this situation. Sorting out incompatibility head on is better for both parties, saving partners a lot of grief and pain.

Pre-marital counseling provides skills for productive communication and emotional connection needed to construct a more fulfilling relationship. It may prove an invaluable investment into the life of any couple looking to make love last.

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