Relationships are rewarding, revealing, and definitely challenging. Before diving headlong into a lifelong commitment, there are two things that experts suggest to couples. The first is to get pre-marriage advice from successful married couples, and the second is to undergo pre-marriage counseling as part of the wedding prep.
You do not have to be on the brink of divorce, in a sexless marriage, or growing apart to reap the benefits of seeing a marriage counselor. Pre-marriage counseling with a therapist doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your relationship. It could actually be the opposite!
Before you go and see your counselor, check out what to expect in premarital counseling with this quick list.
1It Isn’t Always Easy
One thing you will learn in pre-marriage counseling is that your sessions aren’t always going to be easy. This doesn’t mean that it will always be hard, emotionally draining, or lead to fights. On the contrary, your sessions should leave you feeling closer, hopeful, and accomplished.
It won’t always be easy to get up in front of a complete stranger and talk about your feelings or past experiences. This is why it is so important that you and your partner find a therapist or counselor who suits both of you.
Your counselor shouldn’t be offended if you request someone else to do your sessions. He should know the importance of having someone you’re comfortable with and how it can make a session successful.
Even if you do find a counselor who you feel at ease with, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll have an easier time expressing your thoughts.
Being Honest With Each Other
There may be aspects of your relationship that need work that you haven’t previously mentioned to your spouse before. Perhaps you aren’t happy with the way your spouse behaves when they are frustrated or you have been unsatisfied in the bedroom.
Such topics can be difficult to admit to your spouse, especially when you are in front of someone else.
2You Will Always Learn Something New
Think you know your partner inside and out? You may be surprised!
Whether you have known your spouse for 10 months or 10 years, there is always going to be something new to learn. This can be both a good and a bad thing.
Learning about your differences can give you the opportunity to work them out and make appropriate solutions based on what you want and need.
Another great thing you will learn in therapy is what will trigger your partner.
If you had arguments as a couple, you may already have a good idea of what topics and words will upset your partner. Pre-marriage counseling can help you go deeper into those arguments to make sure they don’t happen frequently.
Expectations are another thing you and your spouse will learn from each other. For example, you expect your partner to make a move sexually and your spouse is expecting the same from you. Both of you go to bed feeling rejected and unsatisfied.
By being in therapy together, you will learn each other’s expectations when it comes to intimacy, support, and even finances.
3Pre-Marriage Counseling Really Does Help
One thing that couples know about therapy that you don’t? It works.
It can really help you have a strong and happy relationship as long as both partners are willing to work hard.
Here’s a list of its benefits:
Helps evaluate your relationship
Your counselor will bring to light what is important to each of you and can help you bring both of your expectations together. He can also help you evaluate the best aspects of your relationship. He can highlight the importance of showing appreciation for those qualities daily.
A therapist can help you in what is widely considered one of the most important parts of any marriage: communication.
A study of 79 couples found that spouses who practiced positive discussions and emotional exchanges reported happier, more successful relationships than those who had negative behavior. This shows that one partner’s attitude can have a direct impact on their spouse’s well-being.
This study stresses the importance of couples practicing healthy communication and that is something you can learn in the counseling session.
You won’t be able to know what your partner is thinking if he isn’t communicating it to you and vice-versa. Couples must be able to talk about any topic in order to learn and grow together.
Evaluates areas in need of improvement
No relationship is perfect. There are always areas that could use some improvement. Your counselor will be able to help you and your spouse discover what aspect of your relationship may need some work. This will help you achieve a smooth transition into married life.
Create a plan for the future
Going forward, your pre-marriage counseling can help you and your partner learn the best ways to show love, cooperate, communicate, and solve problems in your marriage.
Pre-marriage counseling isn’t always easy but it is always beneficial. Couples will learn how to communicate with one another, how to prepare for any bumps along the road and to resolve marital problems before resentment builds. Protect the future of your marriage by engaging in a couple’s therapy.
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Author: Rachael Pace
Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.