Premarital Counseling is one of the things few couples have on their wedding prep to-do list. And even when it is, the sessions only address things superficially. I feel very strongly about the importance of this part of wedding preparation because it's so often neglected, but the most essential part of getting ready to take that next step to the altar.
Here's why getting in-depth premarital counseling (from someone certified in marriage and family therapy) is so important:
- It allows you to delve into your family histories and how your upbringings will affect different aspects of your relationship.
- You get equipped with strategies to help you deal with conflict and communicate with each other calmly and respectfully, without demeaning one another
- It helps you identify potential problem spots that you will face based on your personality types
You may be thinking "If it's not broken, why fix it?" or "We handle our problems just fine." But courting and being engaged are very different from sharing your whole life with someone and living with them every day. Every flaw, ever aspect of your characters will only be magnified once you get married. Because now you're living together, paying bills together, and having to pick up each other's slack. And those things have a way of eroding the romance that you had in the beginning. So unless you've already set the foundation for how you will deal with your problems, it will be that much harder on your marriage when they do come.
So I encourage those of you thinking about getting engaged to find a certified marriage and family therapist, and have as many sessions as you can so that you and your partner can really get a preview of how to face life as a married couple in a way that enhances your closeness instead of destroying it. You'll be so happy you did. I've seen couples that got married around the same time as my husband and I, who are now divorced because of issues that they never learned how to work through. They were ignored or put on the back burner time and time again, and they festered into a cancer that destroyed their love. If you're really serious about making your marriage last forever, make this a priority. It's the most important investment you'll make into your future marriage.