Premarital counseling is not just for couples in severe distress.
Premarital counseling can help you build a strong base for your future as a married couple. It will help provide you the tools necessary to learn how to communicate better with each other. Sometimes what seems like a small issue has the potential to grow into a substantial wedge and you don't realize it just yet. Your therapist may even see some red flags and point them out to you so you can work through these before they become damaging to the relationship.
Here are three main reasons that seeing a professional counselor before the wedding day is a good idea.
1. Build a Strong Foundation
Think of premarital counseling as a flight course. It’s teaching you how to handle turbulence and learn foundational skills that will be needed in a marriage. Premarital counseling will help you build a strong foundation for your future marriage. If your foundation is shaky, your relationship can be more prone to major cracks and breaks down the road.
2. Talk About Expectations
Premarital counseling is a great venue to openly talk about your expectations for anything from finances to sex. Your counselor will help you identify areas where a problem might crop up and give you the opportunity to work on a compromise now, before you’re married. You might not realize that your spouse thinks you should stop seeing your friends for happy hour once you’re married, or you may have different ideas about what you will be doing for the holidays. It’s better to talk about these now rather than later.
3. Work on Conflict Resolution
Relationship issues that are present before marriage won’t just disappear the day after the wedding. Premarital counseling is essential if your fighting has been bad, or there are emotional wounds in the relationship. Therapy is a safe place where you can open up about conflicts and learn to communicate in a non-attacking way. Your counselor may even see some issues that you were blind to. Don’t feel bad about this, but take the counselor’s advice seriously and use it to build better communication and conflict resolution.
Marriage is a big step for every relationship. It’s important to discuss how you two expect things to change – and what you expect not to change – once you tie the knot. A counselor will help you build a strong foundation and explore topics you may not have thought about (or may have avoided) in a safe space.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653