Getting married is not just about the thrill of the wedding day. Any long-term commitment requires hard work and dedication to succeed. Love is definitely important in any relationship, but if you don’t have the other important tools like trust and respect, any partnership can be hard to manage. Traditionally, premarital counseling was offered through a couple’s religious institution, but in modern times, many couples look for independent advice to help prepare them for marriage outside the church.
With over 50% of marriages now ending in divorce, it’s wise to build a solid foundation that will weather the challenges of time before you get married. As two people come together to share a life, they will need to deal with not only their own issues but how they affect the partnership. Premarital counseling can help prepare loving couples for all the trials of being in a lifelong committed relationship. There doesn’t need to be an existing problem before you enter into counseling. The process is meant to teach you how to resolve issues before they become an overwhelming problem.
As a couple prepares to build their lives together as one, the most important construction is the laying of a firm relationship foundation. Counseling can make clear the similarities and differences between a couple and how to manage to form a good partnership. Prior to marriage, many couples are focused on the passion and wonder of new love and can fail to consider how they will work as partners in the long term. Counseling allows couples to consider all the aspects of their relationship and step back in contemplation about how well suited they are together.
According to Trillium Counselling, the importance of couples counseling cannot be understated when it comes to those that are heading to the altar. Learning how to deal with inevitable conflict, planning and managing the demands of family life, and facing issues head-on are just some of the bonding benefits of premarital counseling.
1. Build Essential Communication Skills
The keystone to a successful marriage is the ability to openly communicate with each other. Although two people are being joined as one partnership, each member has their own issues, dreams, and desires. Through premarital counseling, new couples can learn essential communication skills that will help them to meet challenges in the future. Learning how to listen with empathy and understanding the depths of their partner can help encourage healthy communication between a couple.
When couples have a disagreement, the most common response is to shut down and stop communicating. Whether you aren’t comfortable with conflict or would rather stop the argument before it is resolved and not rock the boat, failing to communicate can be at the root of future disagreements. When conflicts are not settled through communication, the same feelings and arguments will often come back over and over to haunt a relationship.
2. Address Issues Early On
Young couples are often overwhelmed by the romance and passionate love of their partnership. However, that doesn’t mean that each partner isn’t struggling with their own issues that can creep into the union. Confronting issues early on in a relationship can eliminate problems during the marriage. Resentments and trust issues should be resolved early on through premarital counseling.
Issues between couples that are not addressed early in the relationship will often fester and become a source of tension and resentment. Through counseling, couples can learn how to express their feelings at the moment rather than burying feelings that can become a problem.
3. Experienced Advice
The best marriage advice comes from those that have experienced their own long-term relationship. Premarital counselors are often trained professionals that can give educated advice based on experience and knowledge. Taking the examples from established couples can help to set an important example for newlyweds.
Relationship counselors are there to offer unbiased advice with no agenda. Although talking about problems with family members is also a comfort, it is often given by people without the expertise needed to solve the deeper issues. Trained counselors have the right education and experience that is needed to help you get to the heart of your issues.
4. Learn About Each Other
The in-depth questions and analysis that happens during counseling can help partners to discover more about each other. Expanding the knowledge of each other’s dreams and interests can open the relationship up to change and intimacy between partners as well as a deeper understanding. As a couple, you may feel like you already know everything that you need to know about each other. Favorite colors and meals are just a sliver of the things that make up a person. The deeper connections, dreams, and beliefs are the important parts of a person that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Through premarital counseling, couples can discover the deeper person within and develop a better understanding of what makes them the person that they have become. We are all made up of a total of our experiences, everyone is different and it’s important to learn how to respect the differences to be able to make a marriage work.
5. Plan for the Future
Making sure that partners are on the same page for the future is an important part of premarital counseling. Setting mutual goals, financial and family planning should all be subjects given consideration and discussion before walking down the aisle. Premarital counseling provides the perfect setting for couples to talk about their future expectations.
Many of the disagreements in a marriage involve different styles of parenting and family planning. You and your partner may have talked casually about starting a family, but until you hammer out the details, it’s hard to know if you are truly planning the same style of future. Learning about how your partner was raised and what type of parenting style they believe is the best before you start a family can help you avoid disagreements in the future.
Getting married is a lifelong commitment that takes work and dedication to each other. Heading into your marriage with the right tools and skills can help you face the challenges and joys of the years to come. Start your married life with a solid foundation built with trust, realistic expectations, and open communication and you will be on the path to a successful union.