Premarital Counseling FAQ

Why should every engaged couple put “Premarital Counseling” on their bridal registry?

Congratulations! You’re either getting married or seriously considering it. While getting married can be one of the best times of your life, it can also be incredibly stressful.  Whether you’ve known each other a long time, already been living together, or have had a whirlwind romance, taking this big step into a new phase of your relationship is a major transition and the first of many as you and your partner grow and develop over time.  Preparing the best you can will help set you and your partner up for a lifetime of happiness.

What is Premarital Counseling?

A common misconception is that premarital counseling is for couples who need therapy, but it is much more than that. Premarital counseling is the opportunity for couples to learn skills that will help you maintain your marital friendship, expertly manage conflict, and nurture trust and intimacy.  It is also an opportunity to learn about the research, based on studying thousands of married couples over decades to determine what predicts a sound relationship, which is the basis for those skills.

Think of it this way, premarital counseling acts as the greatest insurance policy a couple could ever purchase for themselves.

What are the benefits of Premarital Counseling?

Some goals of premarital counseling include building skills in areas like communication and effectively resolving conflict, in addition to navigating crucial questions about the couple’s life together.  According to Psychology Today, it is beneficial for couples to deal with issues early on, before they become bigger, relationship ruining problems.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman found that most married couples wait an average of 6 years from the time a problem first manifests until seeking professional help.  Learning ways to cope with conflict and practicing open communication can have a positive impact when issues arise.

Other skills can help you nurture and maintain the close, loving, fun and intimate connection that led you to get married in the first place, as you deal with all the demands of work, relatives, children if you decide to have them, and the day to day responsibilities of running a household.   Premarital counseling can help couples explore what they want and need to develop and maintain a successful marriage into the future, solidifying and clarifying the commitment they are making.

Make an appointment!

It is easy to get caught up in designing the invitations, coordinating the guest list, picking the flowers, choosing the cake, ordering the dress, and all the other parts of planning for the big day itself.  Premarital counseling can help you take a step back and remember why you are getting married and commit to continuing the behaviors that got you to this point. Participating in premarital counseling shows your partner that your serious about the longevity and the health of your marriage.


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By Valerie Steinman