There used to be a taboo against getting pre-marital counseling. Many people saw it as something only certain religious couples would do. Or that it was evidence of problems that might make marriage contraindicated. However, it’s increasingly common for couples to see a therapist before getting married. After all, you’re about to join your lives together in a very significant way. That definitely merits the kind of open communication and problem-solving that therapy for couples can offer.
Is Your Relationship in Need of Therapy?
At first, you might wonder how you could possibly need couples counseling before you are even married. There is a myth that couples only go to therapy when something is very wrong. If things are that wrong before the marriage, why would you even get married?
The truth is that you don’t need to be in crisis to benefit from couples’ therapy. In fact, couples who go to therapy before things are bad can often nip problems in the bud, avoiding the kind of deeper conflicts that ultimately lead to divorce. If you want your marriage to have the best chance of thriving, then learning how to shore up the foundation of your relationship and navigate through core differences before the marriage are important keys to relationship success.
Couples Counseling Can Help
Couples counseling can help before marriage in so many different ways.
First of all, if you’re already planning a wedding together, then you’re likely under a lot of stress. Even though wedding planning is exciting, it is challenging. Couples often end up fighting about wedding details including cost, location, and who to invite. Premarital counseling can help you negotiate these issues so that you can both have the joyous wedding of your dreams.
Premarital counseling offers a lot more than that, though. It helps you really get on the same page as you begin your lives together. It provides a safe space to talk with each other about the fears and concerns that you naturally have moving forward. Many couples don’t want to address these things because they just want to bask in the pleasantness of getting married. However, failure to address big issues early on can lead to a lot of heartache in the future.
Premarital counseling provides you with the tools you need to learn how to effectively communicate about challenging topics. These tools will benefit you all throughout your marriage.
Talk to a Professional Today
People talk about many different issues in premarital counseling. Some people come to resolve specific challenges before the marriage. For example, if you have been in a long-distance relationship, you may need to discuss what relocating to live together is really going to look like.
Even if there is no singular problem, you may wish to focus on setting shared goals together to get your marriage off on the right foot. Some of the things that people discuss in premarital counseling include:
- Whether, when, and how many children to have
- Issues related to parenting styles
- Gender role beliefs, which can arise even in non-traditional relationships
- Step-parent and blended family concerns
- Financial histories, challenges, beliefs, and goals
- Traditions and cultural beliefs that are important to bring forth in the marriage
- What important values are associated with marriage