We can all agree that marriage is a beautiful and exciting journey. However, it’s not without its challenges. The reality is that not all marriages are successful, and many couples find themselves struggling to keep their relationship afloat.
Couples often face communication breakdowns, financial stress, intimacy issues, conflicting values, and differences in personalities. These overwhelming challenges can lead to resentment, unhappiness, and even divorce.
But, what if you have a way to increase your chances of having a healthy and fulfilling marriage?
Understanding premarital counseling
Premarital counseling is a form of therapy that couples undertake before getting married, aimed at addressing potential issues that may arise in the future.
It is a safe and confidential space where couples can discuss their fears, insecurities, and concerns about their future together.
The aim is to allow couples to identify their strengths and weaknesses, work on their communication skills, and learn effective conflict-resolution techniques.
Couples can also learn how to manage their finances, set realistic expectations, and navigate the ups and downs of married life.
The goals of premarital counseling
The ultimate aim of attending a premarital counseling session is to have a successful marriage.
Let’s break that down:
- To improve communication
Imagine a scenario where a couple is arguing about their finances. The husband feels they should save more money, while the wife wants to use some of their savings for vacation.
They both start to get defensive and raise their voices, and the conversation quickly escalates into a full-blown argument. Next, one partner begins to feel cold and resentful toward making the union successful.
After attending a premarital counseling session, that would not be the case since the couple would learn communication techniques to prevent this scenario.
For example, they might practice active listening by repeating back what their partner said to ensure they understood their perspective.
The husband might say, “So, if I’m hearing you correctly, you want to use some of our savings to go on vacation because you feel like we need a break.”
The wife could then confirm whether that was accurate or not. Doing so makes them both feel heard and understood, setting the tone for a productive conversation.
Furthermore, premarital counseling would help them recognize and avoid communication barriers that could derail the conversation.
For instance, if the husband started criticizing the wife’s spending habits or started stonewalling by refusing to engage in the conversation, the therapist would help them recognize and overcome those barriers.
- Put your perspectives in order
Another goal of premarital counseling is to help couples put their perspectives in order. This means that couples can gain clarity and understanding of their values, beliefs, and expectations regarding marriage.
Through this, couples can discuss individual perspectives and learn to negotiate and compromise to reach mutual understanding and agreement.
For instance, a couple may have different perspectives on the roles and responsibilities of each partner in the marriage.
Through premarital counseling, they can explore each other’s perspectives and values and come to a shared understanding of how they will manage household tasks, financial responsibilities, and parenting duties.
In this, they can establish trust and respect in their relationship, creating a stronger and more fulfilling union.
- Reduce emotional isolation
Through premarital counseling, couples can practice expressing empathy, validation, and understanding toward each other’s emotions, which leads to a deeper sense of connection and intimacy in their relationship.
Let’s illustrate this for you to understand.
Consider a scenario where a couple frequently argues and has difficulty understanding each other’s perspectives. They feel frustrated and disconnected, and their emotional distance continues to grow.
After a premarital counseling session, the couple would learn to express their emotions safely and constructively. They would practice sharing their feelings and experiences with each other and learn to listen to each other with empathy and validation.
For example, the husband might say, “When you don’t listen to me, I feel ignored and unimportant.”
The wife could then respond empathetically, saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I didn’t realize my behavior was making you feel ignored. Can you help me understand what I can do to make you feel more heard?”
By expressing their emotions in a respectful and supportive way, the couple can feel more understood and less alone in their relationship.
- Plan the future
A premarital counseling session allows partners to discuss and plan the future. For example, they might discuss their career aspirations, where they want to live, and whether or not they want children.
They may also discuss their financial plans, such as buying a home, and how they plan to manage their finances as a couple.
Through these conversations, couples can ensure they are on the same page about their future together and have a shared vision for their life together.
They can identify potential conflicts or challenges that may arise and work to find solutions to them before they become problems.
It can also help couples establish a shared set of values and expectations for their marriage. This includes discussing vital topics such as trust, honesty, communication, and intimacy.
By establishing these values and expectations early on, couples can avoid misunderstandings and conflicts in the future.
- Understand cultural differences and their impact on relationships
In today’s diverse society, couples from different cultural backgrounds may face unique challenges in their relationship.
Premarital counseling aims to help couples learn to appreciate and understand each other’s cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and values.
They can also learn to communicate effectively about cultural differences and find ways to positively integrate their cultures into their relationship.
For example, couples from different cultural backgrounds may have different expectations regarding family roles, communication styles, and social interactions.
By discussing these differences in premarital counseling, they can learn to appreciate each other’s perspectives and work together to find a compromise that works for both.
It can also help couples navigate the challenges of merging different cultural traditions and practices. By learning to communicate effectively about cultural differences, couples can create a more inclusive and supportive environment in their relationship.
- Self-understanding and discovery
Often, individuals bring their own past experiences, beliefs, and emotions into their relationship, which can impact their ability to communicate effectively and build a strong emotional connection with their partner.
Through premarital counseling, couples can better understand themselves and their own emotional needs. They can learn to identify and manage their emotions healthily and constructively, leading to a more fulfilling and supportive relationship.
For example, an individual may fear vulnerability due to past experiences of rejection or abandonment.
But they can learn to identify and address these past emotional wounds, improving their communication ability and building a stronger emotional connection with their partner.
What you should do
After understanding the essence of premarital counseling and are engaged or planning to get married, it is highly recommended that you consider it to prepare for a healthy and successful marriage.
You can start by researching qualified premarital counselors and scheduling an appointment. During your sessions, be open and honest with your counselor. Use the time to ask questions, share your thoughts and concerns, and work together to develop a healthier relationship.
Remember, premarital counseling is not just for couples experiencing problems or conflicts. It is a proactive step that can help you develop the tools and skills necessary to build a lasting marriage.
Contact Jousline Savra today
As a certified marriage counselor, Jousline Savra believes that every couple deserves the opportunity to develop a strong and fulfilling relationship. That’s why she is committed to helping you achieve that goal.
Through premarital counseling, Jousline will help couples prepare for marriage by asking the right questions and solving possible problems before they arise in marriage. Give Jousline a call today and get started on your journey together.