Pre-Marriage Counseling: Is it Right for You?
The question has been popped, you have said yes, told the family, picked a date, found a venue, and selected your bridal party. Planning is going smoothly, everything is great. Until someone, be it an older relative or that married friend, asked if you are partaking in pre-marriage counseling. At first, you brush it off. Why do you need to? You and your sweetheart are perfectly fine, riding the high of being engaged and soon to be married, and other than small arguments about napkin colors everything is good, right? ….Right?
Pre-marriage counseling is not meant to tear a couple apart, nor is it meant to make the couple question their decision to get married. In reality, it is used to make sure that the couple is on the same page when it comes to spending their future together. Many officiants with religious backgrounds will require couples to go through it before agreeing to lead their ceremony. Couples can also find counselors outside of religious affiliations who will help ensure that the couple is ready for the next big step.This counseling can take place any time while the couple is engaged and planning their wedding, and varies on how long it will take depending on the one leading the counseling, the number of times you need to meet, and how much the couple feels needs to be discussed. Topics discussed will normally include things like finances, immediate family and in-laws, children, communication, personal goals as individuals and a couple, and, if needed, religious aspects of the couple’s life. There are many other topics that could be discussed as well and are normally things that ensure that the couple’s marriage has a sturdy foundation to build upon.
Some couples believe that since they have asked one another these questions at some point in their relationship that counseling is not necessary, and this can be true. Couples with strong forms of open communication may be able to bypass counseling so long as they are able to continue talking to one another. Some may even be able to discuss these things with their family members present instead of involving a third party. However, just asking one quick question, and receiving an answer just as fast, about any of these topics and then moving right along is not the best way to handle it. This can lead to misunderstandings and arguments because of the lack of clarity. Having a counselor present can allow couples to elaborate on their answers in an environment where they do not feel as if they will be chastised for their views and feelings.
The decision to have pre-marriage counseling is truly up to the couple. Some may not feel the need to, some may want it for extra assurances, and others may want it just to appease their family. Whatever the reason for it, couples will normally leave each session learning something new about one another and have time to reflect on these things before going back. At the end of the counseling, couples can have a whole new perspective on one another, be closer than ever, and feel beyond ready to say I Do.