Why You Should Say “Yes“To Pre-Marital Therapy
Marriage is the biggest and most important personal and emotional commitment that most people ever make in their lifetime, yet most base their decision to get married upon their experience with and advice from their own families and friends. Even when arranging the wedding, careful planning and research can go on for years.
But the preparation for the marriage itself is often neglected, and couples often fail to discuss how they will deal with fundamental issues that will arise within the marriage such as money, sex, faith and child rearing until after they are wed. However, compare that with situations where people decide to buy a new house or car, choose a career or where to work - most adults research the subject and seek professional advice and assistance. People associate couples’ therapy with problems that arise after marriage, but why wait until you marry to address issues that may then arise?
Preventative pre-marital counseling has proven benefits for couples that help to create the basis for a successful marriage: according to a report in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology, a survey found couples that receive professional pre-marital education had higher levels of satisfaction within their subsequent marriage and there was a 30 percent drop in the likelihood of divorce over five years
So what are the Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling?
If you think about an aspect of how we live our lives apart from marriage, such as our houses or our cars, couples almost always accept without question the need put in hard work to maintain and improve those possessions.
Despite the fact that a marriage involves sophisticated and intricate emotional thinking and actions, the marital maintenance required is not thought of as a daily necessity in the same way. Yet the more you put in, the more benefits you’ll receive:
1. Couples will enter the marriage knowing more about their partner’s reasons for wanting to get married.
2. Expectations of building a family and aspirations can be clearly expressed so that the couple can get on the same page from the outset
3. Family routines are often sources of strife in marriages – mundane tasks like cooking, paying bills, shopping and cleaning have to be tackled, and it gives the couple an opportunity to avoid feeling over-burdened with one or more of these duties and to divide them as they feel is reasonable.
4. It gives the couple a chance to talk about their future vision for their marriage, and to speak about subjects that they feel fearful about which may escalate if left undealt with until the pressures of married life escalate
So why do couples need Pre-Marital Counseling?
Let’s face it, for most engaged couples, planning to get married is far more exciting than the prospect of talking about dull and intimidating issues with a stranger in pre-marital counseling – but also consider these reasons to go ahead:
1. Cost – weddings are already very expensive and counseling may seem like another seems like another burdensome cost. But the cost of a wedding is for one day, the investment in counseling r therapy will possibly stay with and improve your marriage for life. Let’s be brutally honest, it will cost far, far less than a divorce down the line.
2. Fear – couples can be afraid of the stigma that others might impose if they say that they are seeking counselling or therapy, or feeling like it is an admission that there are major problems in their relationship. However, that emotional issue that feels like a minor itch before you get married can escalate into a major rash after marriage if left untreated – so deal with the problem like you would ideal with a medical condition and try and prevent the issue getting worse from the get-go.
3. Success – it is an opportunity to look at, promote, praise and enjoy the positives in your relationship, and a focal point for couples to remember why they chose their partner. In the frantic run-up to most weddings it is not uncommon for couples to feel doubt and apprehension. So it is a valuable opportunity to stave off those insecurities.
So try to find a pre-marital therapist that you both like and can relate to, and if that works try to retain the same therapist during your marriage, because he or she will have knowledge of your marriage history and will be a valuable resource to consult and confide in at the first signs of difficulty. The investment in your communication and life skills will provide you both with the basis to work upon creating your ideal marriage.