You may be thinking, “why would I need to go to counseling before I’m even married?”. Although this might sound premature, there are many benefits to attending premarital counseling before tying the knot. The choice to add this in the wedding planning process is completely up to the individual couple, but here are some tips if you’re thinking about signing up and how to get started:
Why consider it?
Premarital counseling can begin any time prior to the wedding. If you’d really like to work through topics with your significant other, it might be better to set it up sooner rather than later. Creating a space to directly work on communication can provide you with time to discuss your unique stories and how they fit into each other’s lives. Your time in counseling can help combine visions you each have for the future so that once you are married there is a clear path for where you want your relationship to go. Also, if you and your significant other have had communication issues in the past, premarital counseling is a great place to sort out those feelings and work on effective communication before your marriage even begins!
Benefits of Premarital Counseling:
Being married will send you over-the-moon with exciting ideas, hope, and vision for the future. Some of these visions can include challenging topics, but counseling can help you sort out the details. Some of these topics include kids, finances or intimacy. With a third party in the room, counseling provides guidance into navigating some of the deep (but exciting) waters that marriage provides. A therapist can guide you through all of the emotions that are associated with life decisions while helping you develop effective communication skills. It can be challenging to convey how you feel in the emotional moments but if you’re able to process your thoughts with a third party then clarity can be brought to the situation. Even if you and your fiance have already discussed hopes for the future, premarital counseling can provide a space for you to openly talk about your relationship.
How do I get started?
There are multiple ways to begin premarital counseling, ranging from expanding current practices or doing a little research to get started with a therapist in your area. If you and your fiance are part of a religious institution then this is a great place to seek additional counseling. A combination of choices may be available including small groups or meeting with a member of your church for individual counseling. If you would rather seek premarital counseling elsewhere, another great option is if you already see a therapist. Consider the possibility of including couple sessions along with your individual meetings. Beginning these sessions with someone who is already part of your trust circle can make premarital counseling easier to start. If you don’t see a therapist or would like to seek counseling elsewhere, a little research can go a long way. Ask friends for recommendations or search for marriage counselors in your area and look at their reviews or sessions that are offered. It’s possible for any couple to find a premarital counseling fit that makes them feel comfortable, safe, and successful.
The benefits of premarital counseling cannot be stated loud enough. This provides a place to have open communication about your relationship and it provides a safe place to discuss some of the more difficult topics that marriage presents. At the end of it, you and your fiance will be able to communicate easier and it may set you up for more success in marriage. Think about your options based on the community you are in – whether a church or therapist can provide the resources you are looking for. If not, there are premarital counselors everywhere who are willing to help you before the wedding day comes!