Premarital Counselling: Make Sure You’re On the Same Path Before You Say “I Do”

a couple holding each other affectionately silhouetted against a sunset - premarital counselling

When you are about to get married or enter a civil partnership it’s easy to be complacent with an “everything is great” attitude. After all, you’re getting married, right? How many couples are there, though, that could have benefited from premarital counselling but waited until it was too late to go to therapy and ending up in difficulty? That’s why you want to make sure both of you are on the same path before making a lifelong commitment to each other.

What is premarital counselling?

Premarital counselling is relationship counseling meant specifically for those who are about to join one another in lifelong union. It looks to address issues like:

  • Handling relationship conflicts
  • Negotiating communication styles
  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Looking at common areas of difficulty in relationships

As you are preparing for the big day, there are plenty of opportunities for anxiety and conflict to arise, providing the prefect opportunity to practice the communication skills you’ll learn in premarital counselling.

Go More In-Depth with Premarital Counselling

Besides stress management and improving communication, premarital counselling can also help you both look at the “big picture” of your relationship. For example:

  • Do you share the same values?
  • How do you plan to establish a life together?
  • Do both of you want to have children? What is important for raising a family?
  • Are you on the same page when it comes to managing money?
  • How much does religion matter to both of you?

Hopefully, you and your partner have already had some of these conversations during the dating/courtship phase. A relationship counsellor can work with both of you to go deeper and to help you make sure that your values are aligned with one another’s.

Be More Open to Listening

Perhaps the biggest argument for attending premarital counselling is that now is the time when you are most receptive to your partner. This is because both of you are in love and want to make a commitment to each other. Therefore, it will be easier to sit down, listen to one another and absorb any feedback that either of you has. Also, you might be more willing to make changes that will have a positive effect on your relationship. Imagine trying to do this five, ten, or even twenty years into your marriage, when both of you have established firm mindsets about each other?

But We Don’t Have Time for Premarital Counselling!

Will you have more time in the future, when there are children, work, and both of you are finding that there are serious problems in the relationship? Of course, when you are getting married there are so many other things on one’s plate. Whether it is the logistical arrangements of the wedding or negotiating the dynamics between relatives, there is always something that needs to be done. Yet taking part in marriage counselling now can help ensure that all the efforts you are putting into this special day are worth it.

Does That Mean Premarital Counselling Can Prevent Divorce?

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life. Even the most loving and caring relationship will have rough patches and tough times. However, when you do have those moments, you will be better prepared because you chose to take part in premarital counselling first. You will have the communication skills, a deeper understanding and be more able to listen and relate to your partner. There will be a better chance for the two of you to work through the problem and find a solution because you attended premarital counselling.

Instead of looking at premarital counselling as an inconvenience or unnecessary, consider it to be an investment. It is a chance to make sure you are right for each other, to practice how to communicate and to become better listeners. You will lay the foundation for a union that will hopefully stand the test of time.

 Taking the next step

If you feel that premarital counselling might be helpful, please call us on 0151 329 3637 or email enquiries@counselling-matters.org.uk. Alternatively, complete our online referral form and we will get in touch with you. 

Image by Oziel Gómez via usplash.com.

 

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