Premarital Counseling: How It Can Help Your Relationship
There are many ways in which premarital counseling may help your relationship. For instance, it can improve your communication skills, empower you to address any issues you may be experiencing, give you a chance to plan the future together, and teach you about marriage. Premarital counseling can also help you learn about yourself, help you build a happy marriage, teach you how to argue in a healthy and effective way, and strengthen your bond with your partner. While attending premarital counseling sessions in person may always be a valid option, you can also opt to attend sessions from home through an online therapy platform for added convenience and flexibility.
Premarital Counseling Can Improve Communication Skills
You may think you have good communication with your fiancé and, indeed, the two of you may be pretty good at talking to each other about many different things. However, once you enter marriage, there can be challenges with communication, especially as you spend more time together and encounter life's challenges. Premarital counseling can help you improve your communication skills in several ways.
Premarital Counseling Can Serve As An Opportunity To Address Issues
Premarital counseling often gives partners the opportunity to address any issues they may have and to resolve them before entering the marriage. This can start the marriage on the right foot with fewer challenges to manage and cope with.
Issues that many couples may need to resolve at some point in their marriage and that often arise in premarital counseling can include views on money and finances, whether to have children, approaches to raising children, where to live, religious differences, and the division of household labor. Working these details out in premarital counseling can prevent conflict later. It may also be easier to talk about these issues openly when a licensed therapist is present to facilitate communication.
Premarital Counseling Can Be A Chance To Plan The Future
You may be busy planning the wedding, but counseling can be a great time to plan the marriage. While couples may have talked dreamily about their marriage, this setting often allows people to make more concrete plans for their future. This might include specific goals for their lives together, including for their family, career, and financial planning.
Having time to talk about the future in premarital counseling can be especially helpful for couples that may have differing visions for their future. It can provide a place for both parties to talk and listen, potentially allowing each partner to feel heard. They can talk with the help of the counselor and bring their visions together into a united plan for the future. This can shift the marriage in a healthy direction.
Premarital Counseling Can Teach You About Marriage
Some couples enter marriage with different ideas of what marriage is and what it can look like. This might be especially true if the partners grew up in different types of households. If one partner had divorced parents or a single parent, their ideas about marriage might differ from a partner who grew up with happily married parents. Premarital counseling can help both partners examine their views of marriage and get to know and understand each person’s perspective.
When couples work with a therapist, they can explore their individual and joint visions of exactly what they want their marriage to be. The therapist may have the partners discuss their current views, identify any differences, and determine how they want to define their marriage. They can also help couples by recommending premarital counseling books and other resources.
Premarital Counseling Can Help You Learn About Yourself
While premarital counseling is generally focused on the relationship and both partners as a unit, it can also help each partner learn more about themselves as individuals. Good marriages are normally built on a foundation of two individuals coming together into a unit, and so each should usually be able to function both independently and interdependently in the relationship.
Sometimes, premarital counseling can uncover something that one partner may want to work on individually, and the counselor can refer them to an individual therapist so they can have an opportunity to work through any issues that may stand in the way of a healthy marriage.
Premarital Counseling Can Help You Build A Happy Marriage
Premarital counseling is not always focused on discussing issues and avoiding potential problems; it is often focused on building a happy marriage together. Counseling can provide a place to discuss many things, including what you can do as a couple to make your relationship feel happy and fulfilling. Couples can prepare for the end of the honeymoon phase and plan ways to extend it.
In general, when couples know how to talk about their emotions, wants, and needs, they may be able to build and maintain a happy relationship. A therapist can also help partners talk about what they each want in the relationship, including what they need to feel happy and fulfilled. The couple can even work together, along with help from their counselor, to discuss the things they plan to do to maintain a happy marriage. This might include planning for date nights and other habits to maintain their bond.
Premarital Counseling Can Teach You How To Argue
Even the happiest marriages will likely have times of disagreement. Learning to communicate better can help couples talk rather than argue and can make arguments more productive. Premarital counseling can also teach couples conflict resolution skills.
Couples can start to learn conflict resolution skills just through the process of counseling. The therapist can help them use these skills as they talk about and work through areas of difference and resolve problems during counseling sessions. The couple can practice these skills and use them outside of the session too. The therapist may even ask the couple to practice particular skills outside of the therapy setting.
Premarital Counseling May Strengthen Your Bond
In many cases, the biggest goal of premarital counseling is to strengthen your connection as a couple. Marital relationships often contain many components. There can be elements of friendship, emotional and physical intimacy, and a commitment to stay together for the long term. If you have chosen to marry, you likely already have a strong bond, but counseling can make it even stronger.
Online Premarital Counseling
In addition to the benefits discussed above, research shows that couples who participate in premarital counseling tend to have more successful marriages, as defined by lower divorce rates. This outcome may be a product of these benefits, as the couple will likely have started the marriage better and may have the skills to effectively manage any problems that arise.
Further, having had a previous positive experience in counseling, these couples are usually more likely to return to couples counseling later in the marriage if needed. This can keep the marriage going well, potentially preventing bigger problems and divorce.
Premarital counseling can be a great investment for the future of your relationship. You may be able to find a local therapist for your premarital counseling. However, many couples that are busy with wedding planning, work, and other commitments prefer to pursue premarital counseling through online platforms or teletherapy. This can enable the couple to participate in and receive the counseling they need, but with an easy schedule and from the safety of their home environment.
One study looked at the efficacy of online couples therapy and found that it was generally just as effective as traditional face-to-face couples therapy. The online couples therapy typically had positive effects on couples’ relationship satisfaction and overall mental health.
Premarital counseling may help your relationship by:
- Empowering you to address any existing issues in your relationship
- Improving your communication skills
- Teaching you to argue respectfully and productively
- Giving you an opportunity to plan your future together
- Helping you discover what your marriage will look like
- Strengthening your bond with your partner
This type of counseling can be an excellent way to prepare for a happy and healthy marriage. You can find a premarital counselor online or in your local area.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does premarital counseling do?
In general, premarital counseling helps couples prepare for marriage. Some of the things that may be discussed in premarital counseling can include:
- Beliefs and values
- Roles in marriage
- Affection and sex
- Desire to have children
- Family relationships
- Managing anger
- Time spent together
When should you start premarital counseling?
If possible, you should generally attend premarital counseling shortly after getting engaged. However, there’s normally no wrong time to attend counseling together as a couple.
Is premarital counseling a good idea?
Premarital counseling can be a great idea if you’d like to lower the chance of divorce, improve your communication skills, and strengthen your bond as a couple.
What questions do they ask in premarital counseling?
Some of the questions that may be addressed in premarital counseling can include the following:
- What do you appreciate most about your partner and your relationship?
- Are you on the same page about having children?
- How will you handle your relationships with your families?
- What does spirituality mean to you?
- What does sex mean for both of you?
- How do you look at spending versus saving?
- How do you plan to handle your finances?
- How will you resolve future conflicts?
Is premarital counseling biblical?
Premarital counseling can be biblical if that’s your preference, but it does not have to include any religious components.
Can you do premarital counseling online?
Yes, premarital counseling can be completed through various online therapy platforms.
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