One of the questions I often get from engaged couples is, “how can premarital counseling benefit us and why should we do it?” Once you are engaged, there is a lot of focus on the “big day.” What will my dress look like? Where will we get married? Buffet or sit-down dinner? How many bridesmaids and groomsmen? Do I have to invite weird Uncle Tom? However, one of the most important questions should be, “we are preparing for a successful wedding day, but are we preparing for a successful marriage?”
Marriage is a life-long commitment and lasts long after the last piece of cake and the last dance. And let’s be real, raw, and honest: marriage is hard. Do you grow closer as a couple and overcome obstacles and difficulties when things get hard, or do you shy away from conflict and struggle? How well do you know your partner? Have you prepared yourself for both the joys and tough times that will inevitably come? Have you talked about marriage expectations, communication styles, how best to resolve conflict, your values about money and who will manage the finances, what type of parent you will be, and how to manage family and outside relationships?
Premarital counseling allows you a safe space with a neutral third party to have these conversations and prepare for potential challenges. It gives you a place to talk about values, what is most important to you individually and as a couple, and learn skills and tools to create and maintain a strong marriage. A successful marriage is the product of a strong foundation, one that you create when you feel trust, safety, and security with your partner. The better you know your partner, the stronger your foundation will be.
At the end of my last PREPARE/ENRICH session with couples, I ask for feedback in the form of “was this helpful and, if so, what did you find to be most helpful?” Each person to whom I have posed this question has answered similarly: that it allowed them to get to know and understand their partner on a deeper level and to have conversations about topics in a way they had not experienced before. In other words, it allowed them to not only prepare for the excitement of the big day. It also prepared them for marriage and all of the joy and challenges their new union will bring long after their wedding day has passed.
Are you interested in learning more? I offer a complimentary 30-minute session to help couples decide if PREPARE/ENRICH premarital counseling is right for them. Contact me for more information or book here!