Things you should know about premarital counselling

Things you should know about premarital counselling

In the past, premarital counselling was mainly carried out in religious institutions. These days, however, it has become more popular with non-religious couples too. Couples go to seek guidance and advice in the hopes of preventing divorce.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Premarital counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling can help ensure that you and your partner have a strong, healthy relationship — giving you a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage”. They add that the sessions will assist you in identifying weaknesses that could result in trouble for you as a couple further down the road.

What to expect from premarital counselling: 

The counselling is usually carried out by a licenced therapist. You’ll sit in the therapists office with your partner by your side discussing a variety of topics related to marriage. Some of these topics include: Money, quality time together, sex, roles in marriage, children, extended family, beliefs and values, and goals.

Some therapists may have you fill out questionnaires separately. The questionnaire will have you answer questions about each other. Thereafter, the therapist will help you to work through the results together.

Benefits of premarital counselling: 

– Helps guide the conversation 

Discussing heavy topics such as religion, sex, or kids, can result in both partners getting emotional and therefore losing focus of the topic at hand. A counsellor will help to guide the conversation. They also ensure you don’t get angry or misinterpret each other.

– Teaches communication 

An important thing to know is that different people respond in different ways to tones and speech patterns. You must be aware of how your partner needs to be spoken to, in order to feel understood, supported, and heard. Premarital counselling also teaches you how to communicate in a healthy and productive way.

– Helps you prepare for your future together 

You will be made aware of which expectations are realistic and which are not.  You will also get an idea of your timing and goals as a couple, for example when you both want to have kids, or when you want to move to a bigger house. Additionally, your anxieties and fears will be lessened as a result of how well counselling demystifies marriage. It also ensure’s that you avoid many potential conflicts in the future.

– You’ll learn more about yourself and your partner 

Often, counselling is an eye opening experience. You discover things about yourself you’ve never known because the mental health professional is guiding you towards these realisations. When you and your partner have these experiences together, it also becomes a sort of bonding experience.

Tips for successful premarital counselling: 

– Know that it will be tough 

You’ll be dealing with very touchy subjects. Be sure to be as open as you can and don’t be scared to be vulnerable. Most importantly, don’t give up because it’s uncomfortable! Remember that in the end, this will only grow and strengthen your relationship.

– Don’t say what you think they want to hear 

Avoid saying things that downplay your emotions or opinions, don’t answer in a way that you think is correct (there are no right or wrong answers). You should also avoid saying things just because it makes you seem more compatible with your significant other. If you do that, there will be no real progress.

– It’s not a competition 

There is no winner or loser, and there should be no “I told you so” at the end of the session.

Be open to listening and accepting that you are both capable of being better.

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