Premarital Counselling is therapy with two people prior to their marriage, to help give them more realistic ideas of what to expect and how to cope with living with another person as a spouse; relating to each other as a committed pair. By taking the time to explore the reasons you came together, your similarities, your differences, your hopes and your dreams, as well as your expectations of one another, it is sometimes possible to avoid the disappointments that many couples face with the passage of time.
Pre-marital counseling offers the opportunity to explore your differences in a relatively safe, supportive, constructive environment. And while some couples may choose to postpone their union until key differences can be resolved, most couples find that pre-marital counseling helps to prepare them for the kind of life they would like to build together. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. Premarital counseling can also help you identify weaknesses that could become bigger problems during marriage.
Through premarital counseling, couples are encouraged to discuss a wide range of important and intimate topics related to marriage, such as: Finances, Communication Beliefs and values Roles in marriage Affection and sex Children & parenting Family relationships Decision making Dealing with anger Time spent together. The initial period of any relationship is called the honeymoon period; and after that fairytale, marriage can be a rude reality check. In most cases, quarrels over money, family and trust break a couple apart.
A pre-marital session helps partners accept each other better and avoid future complications or conflict. ” Contrary to popular belief, pre marital counseling isn’t only for couples who are going in for an arranged marriage. It is also very important for couples who have had long courtships or have been living together. In arranged marriages, the people going to spend their life together are perpetual strangers, with no idea of what lies ahead of them. In India specifically, arranged marriages are sealed with just one word of advice for the bride “you HAVE to adjust, and you HAVE to compromise.
Premarital Counselling ensures that the couple do not just “fulfill” the responsibilities of marriage for their family, but also participate in it wholly as individuals. In india marriages are seen as a ‘union of two families’ and the individuals who are supposed to spend the rest of their life together, they get lost in the entire plan. Pre Marital Counselling ensures that doesn’t happen. People who have had long courtships and have been living together, need it perhaps more than than people who’re going in on for arranged marriages .
Why? Because once you’re living in with someone ,you think you know everything that there is to know about that person and marriage cant spring any surprises. But guess what? You WILL be surprised greatly by what surprises pre marital counseling will bring for you. Marriage changes the set of expectations two individuals have from each other. More issues have to be dealt with, like children, financial planning etc. Most couples spend more time planning their weddings than their marriages!.
If you think about the amount of financial and emotional investment that goes into preparing for the wedding itself, doesn’t it make sense to invest a little in strengthening the relationship at the onset? Many couples preparing for marriage honestly believe they are strong going into the union – and they probably are in a lot of ways. Being caught up with all the loving feelings and other feel-good stuff going on ahead of nuptials, couples often don’t consider the potential pitfalls. Those “pitfalls” are often times what leads them into a therapist’s office some time down the line.
Here six great reasons to get pre marriage counseling: 1) Strengthen Communication Skills: Being able to effectively listen, truly hear and validate the other’s position is a skill that isn’t necessarily a “given” for many people. Couples that really communicate effectively can discuss and resolve issues when they arise more effectively. You can tune up your talking and listening skills. This is one of the most important aspects of emotional safety between couples. 2) Discuss Role Expectations: It’s incredibly common for married couples to never really have discussed who will be doing what in the marriage.
This can apply to job, finances, chores, sexual intimacy and more. Having an open and honest discussion about what each of you expect from the other in a variety of areas leads to fewer surprises and upsets down the line. 3) Learn Conflict Resolution Skills: Nobody wants to think that they’ll have conflict in their marriage. The reality is that “conflict” can range from disagreements about who will take out the trash to emotionally charged arguments about serious issues – and this will probably be part of a couple’s story at one time or another.
There are ways to effectively de-escalate conflict that are highly effective and can decrease the time spent engaged in the argument. John Gottman’s (www. gottman. com) research has shown that couples who can do this well are less likely to divorce in the end. 4) Explore Spiritual Beliefs: For some this is not a big issue – but for others a serious one. Differing spiritual beliefs are not a problem as long as it’s been discussed and there is an understanding of how they will function in the marriage with regards to practice, beliefs, children, etc. ) Identify any Problematic Family of Origin Issues: We learn so much of how to “be” from our parents, primary caregivers and other early influences. If one of the partners experienced a high conflict or unloving household, it can be helpful to explore that in regards to how it might play out in the marriage.
Couples who have an understanding of the existence of any problematic conditioning around how relationships work are usually better at disrupting repetition of these learned behaviors. ) Develop Personal, Couple and Family Goals: It amazes me how many married couples have never discussed their relationship goals – let alone personal or family. I honestly think it just doesn’t cross their minds! This is a long term investment together – why not put your heads together and look at how you’d like the future to look? Where do you want to be in five years? Approximately when would you like to have children? How many children? There are many areas that can be explored and it can be a fun exercise to do together.
Pre marriage counseling doesn’t need to be a long process, especially if you feel you’re starting out with a very solid foundation and only need some clarifications and goal-setting. For some people who are poised to start out the marriage as a “higher conflict” couple or have deeper issues to contend with, the process could take a bit longer. Regardless, be sure to take the time to invest in your marriage as you might in the event itself. The return on your marriage investment has the potential to be life long What you can expect Premarital counseling typically includes five to seven meetings with a counselor.
Often in premarital counseling, each partner is asked to separately answer a written questionnaire, known as a premarital assessment questionnaire. These questionnaires encourage partners to assess their perspectives of one another and their relationship. They can also help identify a couple’s strengths, weaknesses and potential problem areas. The aim is to foster awareness and discussion and encourage couples to address concerns proactively. Your counselor can help you interpret your results together, encourage you and your partner to discuss areas of common unhappiness or disagreement, and set goals to help you overcome challenges.
Your counselor might also have you and your partner use a tool called a Couples Resource Map — a picture and scale of your perceived support from individual resources, relationship resources, and cultural and community resources. You and your partner will create separate maps at first. Following a discussion with your counselor about differences between the two maps, you’ll create one map as a couple. The purpose is to help you and your partner remember to use these resources to help manage your problems.
In addition, your counselor might ask you and your partner questions to find out your unique visions for your marriage and clarify what you can do to make small, positive changes in your relationship. Keep in mind that you bring your own values, opinions and personal history into a relationship, and they might not always match your partner’s. In addition, many people go into marriage believing it will fulfill their social, financial, sexual and emotional needs — and that’s not always the case. By discussing differences and expectations before marriage, you and your partner can better understand and support each other during marriage.
Early intervention is important because the risk of divorce is highest early in marriage. In Pre marital counseling, as couples you become aware of so many issues that you never thought existed earlier between you two. Premarital counseling is a way to pull the darkness out from its hiding places so that you can turn it over in the light and see it for what it actually is. Remember, preparing for marriage involves more than choosing a wedding dress and throwing a party. Take the time to build a solid foundation for your relationship.