Exploring The Benefits Premarital Counseling Books Can Provide

Updated March 24, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Many couples may be intrigued by the idea of premarital counseling to strengthen their bond before tying the knot, but working directly with a therapist isn’t an option due to scheduling, finances, or other reasons. Read on to learn how premarital counseling books can provide numerous benefits, helping you and your fiancé build a robust, healthy relationship that becomes a thriving, enduring marriage.

Getty
Did you know premarital counseling can build stronger marriages?

What is premarital counseling?

Premarital counseling is a branch of couples therapy that helps engaged couples get to know each other better before the wedding. This therapy is solution-focused and intended to help both partners navigate discussions about the crucial aspects of merging their lives with the support and guidance of a mental health professional. 

Does premarital counseling build stronger marriages?

Studies show that couples who participate in premarital counseling experience a significantly lower divorce rate than their counterparts who don't consult a professional prior to getting married. Usually, couples who underwent premarital counseling start their marriage on the same page. This can increase relationship satisfaction because partners enter their shared life with realistic expectations. Open, honest communication and compromise are often woven into the fabric of successful, long-term relationships. 

How premarital counseling books can strengthen your marriage

Sometimes, working with a premarital counselor isn’t an option. In that case, consider using premarital counseling books to inform you of the topics you and your fiancé should discuss as you deepen your bond and prepare to entwine your lives together. 

Putting you both on the same wavelength about crucial issues

One of the primary purposes of premarital counseling is to help you and your fiancé get on the same page about the issues that matter most to both of you. From whether and when you want to have children to how much debt you both have, you should know an array of things about your partner before getting married. 

Learning how to communicate your needs and emotions

Compromise and communication are generally the foundation upon which healthy, solid marriages are built. Premarital counseling can equip you with the tools to express what you need and feel to your partner, allowing them to provide the care and support you need. Neither of you can read the other's mind, and effective communication goes both ways. You may also learn about your partner's love language and how to make them feel seen, understood, and loved. Studies show that communication skills can impact relationship satisfaction.

Questions you may want to ask

  • Is there anything that shuts down communication for you? 
  • What do you need to feel loved, understood, and valued?
  • Can we develop a code word for when we need time and aren't ready to talk yet? This can help you both know you're walking away from the situation, not the relationship. 
  • How can I help when you've had a rough day or are in a bad mood?
  • When you talk to me about problems in your life, do you want me to listen or help you brainstorm solutions?

Planning realistic expectations for married life

For many people, expectations and reality rarely meet. Marriage can be the same if you don’t take the time to set realistic expectations for your partner and for what your married life will be like. Ensure you both know what the other needs and wants from a relationship and how to love them the way they need to be loved. 

Questions you may want to ask

  • Do you want children? If so, when?
  • How do you want to raise those children? Discuss discipline, guidance, parenting style, religion, and other topics you think could cause a conflict. 
  • How will household chores and other roles in your shared life be divided?

Talking about how you want to face and solve problems together

How are you going to handle your conflicts? Premarital counseling can help you identify potential problem areas and develop practical coping and conflict-resolution skills so you work through your problems together rather than seeing each other as adversaries. 

Offering guidance on which topics you should discuss before marriage

Premarital counseling books can offer guidance on the essential topics you should discuss before marriage. 

Topics premarital counseling books suggest covering:

  • Communication and expressing yourself to your partner
  • Identifying potential areas of compatibility and conflict
  • Childhood and early life experiences
  • Family history and members
  • Finances and future plans
  • Children and parenting
  • Expectations for your partner and married life
  • The timeline for your marriage
  • Career plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Dreams and ambitions
  • How to resolve conflicts

Learning about each other’s past, emotional hang-ups, and boundaries

Premarital counseling books can help you and your fiancé discuss meaningful past experiences in your history, explain emotional hang-ups that may cause future issues, discuss potential or diagnosed mental and physical health problems, and express your sexual boundaries, expectations, proclivities, and curiosities. 

Discussing your financial status, debt, and plans for merging finances

Once you get married, your life isn’t just yours anymore. Your fiancé will be taking on shared financial responsibility for your wedded bliss, and they deserve to know about substantial debts, your history and habits with money, and other issues that could occur so you can plan how to handle things with the least amount of conflict and disruption to your lives.

Questions you may want to ask

  • Who will be responsible for physically paying the bills and balancing your accounts?
  • How will the financial obligations be split? While 50/50 seems fair, it may only fit some situations. 
  • Does either of you have substantial debt, such as student loans, credit cards, or bankruptcies on your credit report?
  • What are your future plans, such as when or if to purchase a home, car, or other major purchase? How will those decisions be made?
  • When do you both want to retire? What are your plans for saving that money?
  • What do you prefer for spending vs. saving? Differences in habits can lead to conflicts. 

Making you think about how your life will change after marriage

Premarital counseling books can help you and your fiancé by providing the framework that allows you to think about how your lives will change after getting married. When you have a realistic, practical idea of what it will be like to be married to your fiancé for the rest of your life, you may be more satisfied and face less disappointment with your spouse. 

How to use premarital counseling books

While premarital counseling books are intended to serve as preparation for working with a licensed therapist and are not themselves considered therapy, they can help you and your partner shape your conversations. 

“Among the twelve things you should know: that being in love is not enough to make a successful marriage, that romantic love has two stages (and how to make the transition), that mutual sexual fulfillment is not automatic, and that personality profoundly affects behavior. The stakes on marriage are high, but the rewards of preparing are even higher.” — Things I Wish I’d Know Before We Got Married, Gary Chapman

If you’re reading premarital counseling books, tackle them one at a time, reading them with your partner and stopping to discuss anything that stands out to you or brings up a related thought. Take notes if that helps you organize your thoughts.

Getty/AnnaStills
Did you know premarital counseling can build stronger marriages?

How premarital counseling can help you build a stronger marriage

Premarital counseling helps many couples learn crucial information about each other before getting married so they can walk down the aisle with realistic expectations, prepared to put in the work to build a life together. If you’ve recently gotten engaged, consider working with an online therapist through a virtual therapy platform focused on relationship issues like Regain. Participating in couples counseling together before getting married can help you develop practical plans for navigating conflicts in your relationship, learn how to communicate with each other, and establish an achievable vision of your married life. 

Therapy can be hard to fit into a busy schedule, and doubly so when there are two of you to consider. Studies show that online couples therapy and premarital counseling work as well as in-person treatments, often with lower costs, shorter wait times, and a substantially wider selection of treatment providers. You shouldn’t have to work with a therapist who doesn’t make you and your fiancé comfortable or isn’t a good fit for your needs and personalities. Teletherapy platforms make connecting with another licensed therapist simple if your first match isn't a good one. 

Takeaway

Premarital counseling books can be an excellent resource to help you and your fiancé navigate the challenging discussions you should have before getting married so you both go into your shared life with sensible expectations, prepared to compromise when necessary. This article offers insight into the various benefits of reading premarital counseling books with your fiancé and how couples therapy before marriage can strengthen your relationship.

For Additional Help & Support With Your ConcernsThis website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started
This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.