At the heart of premarital counseling is a desire to explore and address relationship topics that will enable both partners to take their relationship to a more conscious and committed level.
Premarital counseling also provides the opportunity to address friction points, budding problems, and other potential stumbling blocks for a young relationship. If your relationship is at the stage where both partners want to deepen their commitment to their relationship, premarital counseling might be a good option for you.
When To Seek Premarital Counseling
As the name suggests, “premarital counseling” is usually sought by couples that are planning to get married in the foreseeable future. For many, marriage is a sacred, cherished, and manifest expression of a couple’s love and commitment. That said, we understand that not all couples in committed relationships are planning to marry. With this in mind, whether premarital counseling is suitable for you might depend less on marital status and more on your intentions to deepen and strengthen your relationship bond by engaging in purposeful and heartfelt dialogue.
Premarital counseling can offer a format and timetable to address important relationship concerns that might otherwise get pushed aside as you prepare for your wedding day. It is normal to sidestep topics that we perceive as having the potential to create tension or conflict in a relationship. Similarly, we might avoid a conversation simply because we feel embarrassed or awkward about the topic. Again, this is quite normal.
By pursuing premarital counseling with a therapist, you and your partner are consciously and purposefully setting aside time to talk about and explore relationship topics and issues.
Potential Discussion Topics:
- Motivations for marriage and expectations for the relationship
- Roles and responsibilities (e.g., division of labor, finances, child rearing)
- Communication and conflict resolution
- Personal and spiritual values
- Role of extended family and friends as support
- Sex and intimacy
- Trust and integrity
- Balance between marriage, work, and personal lives
Making Time To Deepen Your Connection
Premarital counseling can help you explore such topics by providing an environment that is structured, supportive, and non-judgmental. We can also help deepen your dialogue by exploring how differences in personality, attachment styles, and formative life experiences (family of origin, sex, race) might be affecting the relationship. We can also help you address emerging problems in the relationship, such as recurring heated arguments or the “silent treatment.”
Relationship problems go hand in hand with love, commitment, and marriage. There is a lifelong learning curve for couples. Relationships are complicated. Moreover, stressful life events happen.
Whether your problems are relatively minor or quite serious, sorting though relationship issues tends be complicated and emotionally laden. As couples counselors, we can help you and your partner identify and address your relationship problems and find solutions to your concerns.