Premarital counseling has been undergoing some revamping in current times. It has evolved greatly from the mandatory sessions your pastor made you comply with prior to marrying you and your love. There are many options that remove the theological perspective from the marriage. The value of premarital counseling remains the same. By demonstrating your commitment to your relationship, your motivation to take preventive measures in conflict, and your openness to face challenges, you are more likely to have long-term success in your relationship (correlational research backs me on this statement).
So what is premarital counseling? It is a package of sessions where you and your partner can explore a variety of common (and not so common) conflicts in marriage- kids, money, communication and conflict resolution, in-laws, sex, world views (aka politics and religion), delegation of responsibilities, etc. You will each have the opportunity to talk about how you agree, disagree, and resolve. This is a great time to talk about any final issues before you take that big leap.
Many couples will think, “Oh we don’t need to talk about that. We know how to work through those issues.” That is a humorous time for me to see when the seemingly insignificant topic for that particular couple becomes the highlight of therapy. What one person may not think is an issue, may be of great concern to the other person. Also, just because you haven’t talked about it, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue. The greatest outcome for many couples is knowing that you approached these topics and you were able to talk through them. An essential learning component in premarital counseling is teaching couples that this is only one of many times that you will have to revisit and renegotiate these topics. Having that notion, will achieve the greatest outcomes for happy, lasting marriages.
What are some of your premarital topics?