It’s hard to think about couples counseling when you’re engaged, anticipating your wedding and getting excited for a lifetime of love. But the truth is, premarital counseling is a must to help couples get on the same page when it comes to important life decisions such as finances, raising children and creating shared family values. Couples need a foundation of solidarity to safeguard their relationship from future differences of opinion, and couples counseling can help identify opposing viewpoints in order to work through them together.
Premarital counseling covers the most important topics that couples tend to argue about in marriage. Money, parenting and household responsibilities are some of the more difficult ones to encounter as your marriage evolves.
Seeking counseling before the big day is helpful in order to plan ahead for difficult circumstances or life events that can put additional strain on the relationship. When hard times arise, you want to be able to lean on your partner and count on them. Things like death, job loss or difficult extended family members can easily take a toll on your marriage. Through premarital counseling, couples learn how to effectively solve problems with healthy conflict management and be able to support one another in times of need.
You may or may not have tapped into your future spouse’s childhood and family of origin, but our deepest beliefs, values and personal convictions develop early on. If “surface talk” is all you’ve engaged in thus far, you haven’t fully grasped the identity of the person you’re going to marry. Our personalities don’t change once we get married, and many couples get into the habit of wanting to change them instead of embracing the true nature of who they are. Couples counseling gets to the heart of how our upbringing has shaped us into whom we’ve become. Our greatest desire is to feel appreciated and accepted by the ones we love, and premarital counseling helps couples accept the differences between them.
It’s great to feel like you’re on the same page with your future life partner. But who we are before we marry is not the same person we will be 5 years from now, 10 years from now or 15 years down the road. To stay on course with your soulmate while also keeping a semblance of yourself is key. We need an appreciation for our own individuality in the marriage, and who we become together. Being too enmeshed with one another and forgetting about our own selves in the process leads to growing bitterness and resentment. As human beings, we yearn to feel wanted and needed, yet protect our own independence from the ones we love. If they aren’t collectively honored, we run the risk of discontentment and disconnect. Being malleable to the shifts in identity that will inevitably occur as we grow in marriage is paramount to a happy and prosperous future.
It might be difficult to comprehend during the honeymoon period, but most relationships aren’t prepared for the tough moments of life. Sticking together when things get difficult gives a sense of security that you can tackle everything, you can overcome anything, and you’ll be doing it alongside your most trusted confidant, best friend and safest ally.