Statistically speaking couples who receive premarital counseling had a 30% higher marital success rate than those who did not. Premarital counseling is more educational in nature and last about 8 sessions on average. The top 5 sources of conflict once married are finances, chores, work, sex, and communication. Premarital counseling is helpful in educating couples about these sources of possible conflict and being proactive in solving the problem. In my premarital counseling sessions we will take a look into your mindset regarding marriage, individual mental health couple compatibility.
I use an assesment to guide the process of premarital counseling. Each partner takes the assessment separately and it will create a 14 page couples report. The assessment is a test that 1) flags and lowers your risk factors, and 2) optimizes your combined strengths as a couple. The report will cover a wide range of topics:
Sex: This can become a source of frustration later in marriage. In premarital counseling desire, who is expected to initiate, and frequency will be discussed.
Finances: In relationships there tends to be a spender and a saver. Debt can be problematic and should be discussed before entering into marriage. Discussing inancial fears and the way one interacts with money is important. Being able to set a budget as a coupe and stick to it is critical.
Communication: We will look at how your partner perceives you when you are partner under stress. Fuethermore, we will discuss ways in which your partner would like to be communicated with. Improving communication skills is of utmost importance. Intimate connections happen when each partner is able to communicate affectively, get their needs met, and feel heard. We also will talk about perpetual issues and conflict topics.
Individual wellbeing: Everyone brings scars into a relationship. In dealing with past issues you will be able to better relate with your spouse. We will also go over individual “red flags” that need to be discussed.
Social support: How do your friends, family, and faith community view your relationship? In laws and peers being on board helps to smooth the transition into marriage.
Spiritual life: We will talk about the way each person feels close to god and how that can make the coupe grow together. Do you have a shared faith and how does that play a role in your relationship? Being in sync spiritually is helpful.
Marriage momentum: An overview of the momentum you bring towards marriage.
Dynamics: Personality differences can be a source of attraction in the beginning of the relationship and a source of contention later on in marriage. Each person brings strengths into relationships and can help sharpen the other. Being able to know the intricate details of your partner’s personality will help you understand the inner workings, and thoughts of your partner.
Expectations: Unmet expectations are called a “relationship killer.” Knowing what is expected of each spouse in regard to house work, and roles will alleviate anger and resentment that comes from unmet expectations.
Mindset: We will also take a look into your attitude towards marriage. Do you think marriage is “just a piece of paper” or do you believe it’s “for a lifetime”? The way you view marriage has a great influence on your relationship.
In the excitement of being engaged some people get caught up in planning the wedding and forget about the ever after. Premarital counseling helps you to see strength and growth areas you have as a couple and ways in which to work towards having a successful marriage. On average, couples don’t receive marriage counseling until 7 years after the presenting problem has appeared. Being aware of the red flags before coming together in marriage will make it easier to have tools to resolve issues later down the road.