“Relationships are a lot like houses: without a good foundation, they’ll crumble.” – Christina Lauren, The Honey-Don’t List
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Congratulations!!! You proposed, and now the dates for the wedding are set.
You must be investing your energy in planning the venue, decorations, seating plans, and so much more. You would love to remember your wedding as the best day of your life.
You, like most couples, may have been busy accomplishing the never-ending tasks but may not have spent enough energy in building the secure foundation for the marital journey ahead of you with your loved one with Premarital counselling.
Wedding day is one day of your life. However, marriage can be a lifetime of happy accomplishment when done well.
With premarital counselling, you can prepare for the life and family you will create together. Every relationship needs a good foundation to not only survive but thrive.
What Are The Goals Of Premarital Counselling?
Premarital counselling is an effective tool to transition to a smoother married life. It helps to improve your communication and conflict management skills to help increase your overall relationship satisfaction and quality.
Premarital counselling helps to build deep commitment to each other by having a realistic view of marriage.
Premarital counselling can last from a few weeks to a few months. Your relationship will determine how long you need premarital counselling. It is wise to work through existing conflicts before getting married in some cases.
Couples may have different goals for pre-marriage counselling, but some common ones include:
– Build your marriage on the foundation of open and effective communication techniques
– All marriages will see conflicts. Learn how to manage disputes to ensure a peaceful marriage.
– Identify the roles of each person in distributing household responsibilities such as laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.
– Discuss the belief’s you bring into marriage in a safe and non-judgemental space.
– Identify the concern you may have with regards to marriage and openly discuss them.
– Talk about tricky topics that you may want to sweep below the carpet, like managing finances,
– Managing parents.
– Resolving recurring arguments in your relationship
– Recognise and process your personal triggers of anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, etc.
Every couple experiences pre-marriage counselling differently. As a couple, you and your therapist can work on finding solutions that suit your personalities, lifestyles, and goals.
Counsellors, marriage and family therapists, and psychotherapists may approach premarital counselling differently. Still, the goal remains the same: to enable you and your partner to have the conversations and develop the skills you need before entering into a lifelong marriage.
What To Discuss With Your Counsellor?
1. Understanding each other's marriage expectations
Halfway through the second session of ‘pre-marriage counselling’, the therapist asked Jill if she agreed with James that she would be doing most of the work about bringing up their children. Jill immediately replied, “Hold on, no way. I expect both of us to take up equal responsibility. I am not willing to give up my job.”
She was surprised to hear James’ expectations that came from his early childhood experiences and his belief that children need a full-time mother tending to their needs.
A therapist then mediated a heated discussion about expectations and assumptions. Finally, the couple discussed their beliefs about children and worked on them till both were happy with their expectations.
Imagine having this conversation after marriage, and instead of changing the spoilt bulb, you may end up changing the house!!
2. The Past you bring into your marriage.
Many couples come after marriage to save their marriages as their past interferes with their present. I had a couple who came because his wife could not let go of her suspicious nature. Her father had several extramarital affairs, which impacted her belief that her husband would also cheat on her.
Premarital counselling helps to air some of the childhood issues, and if healing is required, the counsellor will also meet the couple individually or refer them for individual counselling.
3. Learn to Resolve Conflicts in Marriage
“I am like that, and I cannot change”. Well, this is a definitive statement I hear. However, premarital counselling helps recognise our defense coping mechanism, learn to be vulnerable, and discuss topics challenging they may be. The foundation to a successful marriage is having open conversations and the ability to resolve conflicts.
4. Financial Management Skills
I have had couples who come and say they are poor financial planners, or they hide their finances from each other, etc. Money can be an essential ingredient in keeping the marriage alive or ruining it.
Every person has a unique relationship with money. There is no right or wrong.
In premarital counselling, you will discuss your beliefs around finances and lay it open for mediation from your counsellor in a safe and non-judgmental environment. A couple can avoid this typical relationship snag by understanding each other’s money stories, past and present financial histories, and shared future goals and intentions.
It is a well-known fact that intimacies are highly personal, and most marriages encounter intimacy problems.
Even though it might be uncomfortable to talk about your sex life in front of a stranger, understanding the general physiological and emotional gender differences, as well as those specific to [you], can open up the possibility of shaping a healthy physical relationship.
6. Issues surrounding family
“I don’t want to stay with your parents”, “I want a house of my own”, “I do not want children”, “I want my child to follow my religion”.
There are so many beliefs around family you bring to the marriage. If they are not discussed openly, they can create unimaginable wounds and break-ups. Premarital counsellors facilitate couples to understand and define the issues and their beliefs around family and children. It leaves them and their marriage better prepared.
Premarital counselling helps to develop a better understanding of core values and differences.
Do you know what to do when your partner’s desire for a big city conflicts with your dream of quiet country life? You can feel threatening or unable to resolve your differences if you let them creep up on you. Though they don’t need to be that way, our relationships can be enriched and enlivened if we meet our differences with openness and honesty. In addition, you and your partner can benefit from premarital counselling by learning to compromise and cooperate as you plan out your future together.
Contact us today to sign up to build the strong foundation of your future marriage.