Is Premarital Counseling Really That Helpful??
We do preventative care for so many things in our lives. We go to the doctor at least once a year to make sure our bodies are healthy. We visit the dentist every six months religiously to ensure our oral health. We take our pets to the vet for checkups and we even take our cars in every three thousand miles for a service to protect our investment. However, when it comes to our relationships we simply assume that everything will fall into place. We spend more time and money preparing for the wedding than preparing for the marriage. Statistics show that couples who engage in premarital counseling have a 30 percent higher success rate than couples who do not. Wouldn’t you try something that could make you 30 percent more happy, healthy, and successful? Of course you would!!
Premarital counseling assists couples with insight and tools, preparing for what we know to be true…MARRIAGE IS HARD…and it can also be GREAT!
Couples enter marriage with:
- Unspoken, maybe even unconscious expectations, roles, and rules
- Personality differences, gender differences, spiritual differences
- Intentional or unintentional facades
- Fears and past hurts
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts
Marriage experts and authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott, describe 4 myths couples have before marriage:
- Both people expect the same things from marriage
- Everything good in the relationship will get better
- Everything bad will disappear
- My spouse will make me whole
These issues can and will cause conflict, and navigating them is something for which couples can and should prepare. Here are a few topics a professional, marital therapist can help engaged couples prepare for:
- Learn how to cultivate passion, intimacy, and commitment
- Learn how to develop a habit of happiness through creating healthy expectations for your partner and yourself
- Learn how to say what you mean and understand what you hear
- Understand and appreciate the unique differences in the genders
- Learn how to fight right
A Happy, Fulfilling Marriage…
…is still one of the most important life objectives for 93% of Americans, but less than 1 in 5 couples engage in premarital work. The divorce rate still rests just below 50% with fewer and fewer people committing themselves to marriage. This information suggests marriage is still important, however, instead of preparing themselves, couples are facing the devastation of divorce or fearfully choosing not to marry.
No couple walks down the aisle hoping that one day their marriage will end tragically in divorce. So, if this is the case, and premarital counseling is proven helpful, then why wouldn’t you want to give your marriage the same care you give your health, teeth, pets, and even your vehicles! Make the choice now to seek out a professional marriage counselor to assist you and your future spouse in starting your married life with a plan for success instead of just hoping things work out.
Parrott, L. (2015). Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
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