You’ve set the date. You’ve bought the rings. You’ve bought the dress. You’ve booked the venue and maybe even quarrelled over where to put Aunt Flora on the seating chart. The two of you have spent so much time, money, and effort planning your ideal wedding—but how much energy are you putting into planning your ideal marriage? For many, the seemingly never-ending list of tasks to accomplish before you get married can distract you from what’s most important: building a secure foundation for the journey you are about to embark on with the one you love most. Your wedding day will come and go. But, if done well, your marriage will last a lifetime. Premarital counselling can be a powerful way for you and your partner to prepare for the life and family you are creating together.
What is premarital counselling? Premarital counselling is a specialised type of therapy which helps couples to prepare for marriage. Taking premarital counselling before getting married, enables couples to begin to build a healthy, strong relationship that can help to provide a healthy foundation for their union.
Premarital counselling helps couples identify and address potential areas of conflict in their relationship, counselling can also prevent small issues from escalating into serious concerns in the future. Another great characteristic of premarital therapy is that it can also help couples identify their individual expectations for the marriage and address any significant differences they might have.
Goals of Premarital Counselling
Premarital counselling is provided in order to help couples enhance their relationships prior to marriage. Through counselling, couples are advised to discuss numerous topics, including the following:
- Communication skills
- Finances and money management
- Expectations, beliefs and values
- Children and parenting
- Decision making and conflict resolution
- Intimacy, affection and sex
- Dealing with anger and emotions
- Roles in marriage
Premarital counselling is a great way for couples to enhance their ability to communicate and establish realistic expectations from one another and at the same time is also a great way to develop conflict resolution skills. It’s crucial to remember that each individual brings their own opinions, values or history into a new relationship which do not necessary match with their partners. Quite often people get married thinking that marriage will fulfil their emotional, financial and social needs.
Unfortunately, this does not turn out as they would have hoped or expected. Thus, when differences and expectations are discussed before marriage, a couple can develop ways to understand but most importantly support each other once married. Too often couples get so tangled up spending time and money planning the perfect wedding, they fail to address issues that would serve as a foundation of their marriage later on. Therefore, for newly engaged couples, premarital counselling is a positive, affirming and bonding experience which can only heighten their commitment to get married and essentially to the marriage itself.