Relationships are rewarding, revealing, and definitely challenging. That’s why young couples are embracing 3 truths of pre-marriage counseling as part of their wedding prep.
You do not have to be on the brink of divorce, in a sexless marriage, or growing apart to reap the benefits from a marriage counselor. Pre-marriage counseling with a therapist doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your relationship. Just the opposite!
If you trust a health app on your phone to care for your food and exercise goals, why wouldn’t you trust a licensed professional to help you and your partner building a long-lasting, happy marriage together?
Many couples today are making pre-marriage counseling a common step to take before saying “I Do”. Whether you’re already married and seeking to strengthen your relationship or are making a therapy part of your pre-marriage counseling, these are 3 things you will learn during your sessions.
1. It isn’t always easy
One thing you will learn at pre-marriage counseling is that your sessions aren’t always going to be easy. Don’t take this to mean that they will always be hard, emotionally draining, or lead to fights. On the contrary, your sessions should leave you feeling closer, hopeful, and accomplished.
One thing you will learn at pre-marriage counseling is that it isn’t always 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 spouse find a therapist or counselor who suits you. Your counselor will not be offended if you request someone else to do your sessions with because they know the importance of having someone who you are comfortable with in order to get the most out of your therapy.
Even if you do find a counselor who you feel at ease with, this does not mean it is going to be easy to unload your problems and secrets in front of.
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.
2. You 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 about one another. This can be both a good and a bad thing.
Finding out in therapy that you are not on the same page about family planning, for example, can be hurtful and frustrating. However, learning about these aspects of your partner also gives you the opportunity to work out your differences and make appropriate future plans based around your mutual wants and needs.
Another great thing you will learn in therapy is what will trigger your partner.
If you’ve already had arguments as a couple, you may already have a good idea of what topics and words will upset them. Pre-marriage counseling can help you delve deeper into past experiences that cause these triggering events and help prevent verbal missteps in the future.
Expectations are another thing you and your spouse will learn about each other. For example, you expect your partner to make a move sexually. However, 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 both learn what the other expects regarding your intimate life, support, financial planning and more.
3. Pre-marriage counseling really does help
One thing that couples know about therapy that you don’t? It works. You may submit to marriage counseling because it’s something your partner wants, but the truth is, it really will help you have a strong and happy relationship so long as both partners are willing to put in the effort.
Helps you 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. They can also help you evaluate what some of the best aspects of your relationship are and highlight the importance of showing appreciation for these qualities daily.
A therapist can also help you in what is widely considered one of the most important parts of any marriage: communication.
In 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 wellbeing.
This study stresses the importance of couples practicing healthy communication, which can be learned during therapy.
You cannot know what your partner is thinking if they do not communicate it to you, and vice-versa. Couples must be able to talk about any topic, big and small, in order to learn and grow together and not apart.
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 in order to have a smooth transition into married life.
Create a plan for the future
Going forward, your pre-marriage counseling can help you and your finance to learn the best ways to show love, cooperate, communicate, and problem-solve in your marriage.
Pre-marriage counseling isn’t always easy, but it is always beneficial. Couples 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 couple’s therapy while you’re still engaged.
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.