Have you thought about pre-marriage counseling? The question may put you off, but before you move on to the next blog, why not take a moment and read what I am about to share with you and see if maybe you might not see the wisdom in considering such an idea. I do find it interesting that people will seek all kinds of advice and counseling when it comes to financial, career, and educational planning, but when it comes to receiving advice for relationship development, there seems to be so much resistance.
So what keeps many couples from pursuing pre-marriage counseling? Well, there are a couple of primary reasons, fears, excuses…or whatever you want to call them.
First, many couples believe that living with each other is enough to determine whether or not they are compatible enough to enter into the commitment of marriage. However, statistics show that divorces are actually higher among people who marry after having a de-facto relationship with each other. There is something about marriage that distinguishes from simply living together – which means that pre-marriage counseling is incredibly important to couples who have been cohabitating. Pre-marital counseling is a way of learning how to successfully make the transition from one kind of relationship to another.
Secondly, another big issue or fear is: “What if the issues brought up in counseling cause us to reconsider getting married?” You may get some surprises! It is possible that, even though you have lived together, some of your partner’s attitudes towards certain things that matter to the relationship (such as communication, gender roles, and children) have escaped your notice. Pre-marriage counseling will help you see differences that have an impact – not to discourage you from getting married, but to help you plan ways of overcoming or resolving them. Marriage is an art, and you will be honing your partner by developing relationship skills to increase the chances of a successful marriage.
Lastly, yes…there may be things that may come up that give reason for you or both of you to decide to postpone your wedding until they are resolved. Don’t be afraid to face these issues before you walk down the aisle. It is easier to work through some issues before the event, than when you are married and the stakes are far higher.
You must understand that your wedding is one day in your life, but your marriage is all the rest of the days that come after it. No other relationship comes close in terms of the challenges and triumphs of marriage. It is the most intimate relationship that you will ever choose to be a part of that is humanly possible.
If you are open to considering pre-marital counseling to help prepare you for marriage, then your chances for a great marriage increases. Being willing to look honestly and receive advice requires humility, and humility is one quality that creates success in life. Another name for humility is "teach-ability". If you and your partner are ready to learn new things about your relationship and how to make it the best it can be, then the world is your oyster.