Premarital Counseling... Do We or Don't We?
Happy June aka wedding month! That's right, 2.3 million couples wed every year to the tune of 72 billion dollars. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I can tell you that premarital counseling is the smartest investment a couple can make before tying the knot.
Every year, I counsel couples who are married, dealing with issues that could have been prevented by addressing them during courtship or even during engagement. What topics are discussed in premarital counseling? Here’s a few examples: we explore expectations of yourself and your partner; roles and responsibilities for each partner; differences within generational patterns; what commitment means to each of you; strengths already present in your relationship; and areas that need to be strengthened.
You may be in wedding prep-bliss at the moment and might not see any “potential” issues in your relationship, but trust me, you will run into conflict. No relationship is immune. Or you may be stressed attempting to navigate your mother’s and soon to be mother in law’s expectations while trying to stay true to what you and your partner envision for your upcoming wedding. Regardless of what your experience is, premarital counseling is the best investment you can make for a long-lasting healthy and happy relationship.
Here are 5 questions you should ask your partner before getting married:
Do you want to have kids someday and if so, how many? This is an important question. For some people, not having kids is a deal breaker. For some people, having kids is a deal breaker. Both are valid and need to be discussed before the flowers are paid for.
How do you want to handle disagreements? Every partner has a different communication and conflict style. If you’re a door slammer and he’s a leave the house to cool down guy, your communication skills, or lack thereof are not going to cut it. Conflict is inevitable and it’s how you manage it that makes the difference. You need to know how you’re going to respectfully handle disagreements.
How will you discuss big household decisions? Who decides what tv or car you’re going to buy, and for that matter, who decides what school the kids are going to? Where will you be spending the holidays or going on vacation? It’s best to keep the lines of communication open to make big decisions together.
How will you manage the finances? Will you have a joint account, separate accounts, or both? I see so many couples that argue over money and their different financial perspectives. He’s a big spender and she’s a big saver or vice versa. There are ways to work through financial differences by finding a balance. Premarital counseling can help you learn to appreciate the differences and make necessary compromises.
Would you be willing to go to counseling if we have marital problems? One of the reasons I became a licensed marriage and family therapist is that I truly believe marriage counseling works. I have seen couples on the brink of disaster mend hurt feelings and find renewed love and respect.
So there you have it, my 5 questions to ask before you get married. If you need help navigating these conversations before tying the knot, call us (954) 391-5305 ext 1 to schedule a session. For more information, about our Fort Lauderdale Premarital Counseling Services, visit our website.