Wedding date? Check. The right venue? Check. Your dream wedding dress? Check.
Great! Your wedding bells are almost ringing. You and your fiancé are putting a lot of effort into your wedding planning. So, it’s sure to result in the wedding of your dreams.
But beyond the wedding day, you need to prepare for the life you and your fiancé are looking to shape together. One of the best ways to do this is by engaging in premarital counseling. We know how easy it is to skip this because it sounds like it’s only for those with relationship issues. But just like a coach helps prepare players to win as a team, a marriage counselor is your coach preparing you to win as a couple.
So, here are ways premarital counseling can be an effective tool for building a successful marriage even before it begins.
[Photo by Kristina Litvjak]
1: Learning to Work Together as a Team.
Going into marriage with a ‘team’ mindset helps you and your fiancé handle the issues that come up along the way. Premarital counseling is a good starting point for setting a secure foundation for the team you’re building. Because you’ll get to have those tough conversations and develop the skills needed for this beautiful life-long journey.
[Photo by Pablo Heimplatz]
2: Creating Common Goals.
You and your fiancé likely have different ideas of what will make a happy marriage. Hence, you’ll need to discuss what you’re both looking forward to and find the common goals you both want. With premarital counseling, you can get better at knowing when you need to compromise.
[Photo by Taylor Hernandez]
3: Improving Your Communication Styles.
When it comes to communication, your fiancé – like you – has their own strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t learn to adapt to each other’s communication needs, it would feel like living under the same roof with someone who doesn’t get you. So, premarital counseling is a great opportunity for you to adapt to each other’s communication needs. You’ll also know how to manage stress, talk through issues, and be clear on how you want to feel loved.
[Photo by Gabby Orcutt]
4: Keeping Marriage Anxiety Away.
Sometimes, the thought of a lifelong commitment with the love of your life can give room for some anxiety. But during your premarital counseling sessions, you can deal with anything that could cause anxiety later. It’s also a great way to keep you and your fiancé reassured that marriage is the next positive, healthy step for your relationship.
[Photo by Yanalya]
5: Identifying and Addressing Potential Conflicts.
Marriage magnifies [not solves] what you ignored before getting married. So, if you or your fiancé find it difficult to save money, this won’t change in marriage. If this irritates either of you, it’s sure to cause conflicts down the road. But with premarital counseling, you both can learn how to address these issues before you say “I do” so you are better equipped to deal potential problems before they become detrimental to your marriage relationship.
[Photo By Matheus Ferrero]
If you and your fiancé have decided to give premarital counseling a go, here are the ways you can get the most out of it:
- Embrace the Challenge. You’ll need to face and discuss issues head-on even if you’d rather avoid them and only talk about the number of kids you want to have. Because it’s the ideal way for you to strengthen your bond.
- Keep an Open Mind. Keep your mind open to changing anything that isn’t going to work for you and your fiancé.
- Be Private. Keep your counseling sessions private. You don’t have to talk about your sessions with Jane because she’s your maid of honor or even anyone else.
- Say ‘Thank You’. Say thank you to your fiancé for attending the sessions with you and also for their commitment to it. You’re doing great work for your future together and you always want to keep this in mind.
- Remain Sensitive. Remember that everything you discuss with your counselor is for things to work between you and your fiancé. You’re not in it ‘to win’ or to have a reservoir of “See, I told you so” to pull from for future misunderstandings.
No matter who counsels you and your fiancé – from counselors to therapists – the goal of premarital counseling is the same. And it’s for you and your fiancé to learn how to grow the skills you need for a beautiful life-long journey.
As you’re about to begin your life together, premarital counseling can help you create a realistic view of an ideal marriage. After all, marriage is about oneness. Being one with another person in all areas of life does not come naturally and a good coach (i.e. counselor) can really help you as you learn to win together as one.