This may sound a little like preventative medicine, and something you don’t necessarily want to hear about when you’re already planning the wedding, but having counselling before the event is something quite a few couples invest in. And it may bring with it a few surprises worth discovering before the day, rather than after it.
In countries like Australia it’s now a legal requirement, but does pre-marriage counselling work? And who needs it, anyway? Surely if you have lived together then pre-marriage counselling isn’t necessary?
Looking at the stats living together is not a good enough preparation for marriage. Divorces are actually higher among people who marry after having a de-facto relationship with one another.
Research also shows that pre-marriage counselling helps reduce the possibility of divorce. If nothing else, counselling creates an awareness of the problems that could raise their ugly heads after the ‘big day’ has discreetly been and gone and life happens. And it gives you a few tools with which to deal with them.
It’s quite common within religious institutions for pre-marriage counselling to form part of the wedding preparations, institutions like FAMSA offer formal pre-marriage counselling, and you could consider Imago marriage counselling.
What to expect:
You will explore issues like communication, gender roles, children, values with regards to money, sex, and how you settle disputes.
Learn about the past, learn about one another’s feelings on the future, discover how to anticipate challenges. And above all, celebrate your success – couple counselling is a wonderful environment to remind you of one another’s strengths.
But what if thorny issues arise, and your relationship begins to look as though it isn’t a match made in heaven?
Troublesome differences are just that. Differences of opinion, and something on which one can work, depending on how reconcilable they are. Pre-marriage counselling can lead to couple therapy to work through these differences.
If nothing else you will learn better listening skills, communication skills and better understand the challenges, fears and struggles of your partner. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to deal with these before marriage.
Happy Wedding Planning!