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Premarital Counseling: Is it for You?

Counseling often has a negative stigma attached to it prompting some couples to shy away from premarital counseling, but how do you know if it’s right for you? Attending premarital counseling seems like it is an admission of relationship issues, but in reality, it can help perfectly happy couples build even stronger marriages. With high divorce rates, many couples don’t have healthy role models to look to for guidance. Premarital counseling sessions can equip couples with the tools and knowledge to safeguard their marriages against stress, division, and disappointment. Here are four areas that can be improved by meeting with a counselor before the wedding….

Communication: The key to any healthy relationship is open and honest communication. Premarital counseling gives you the opportunity to express your fears, expectations, and anticipation about the upcoming wedding and marriage in a safe environment. By doing so, you and your soon-to-be spouse will learn how to effectively communicate with one another, an invaluable tool that will be needed throughout your lifetime together.

Expectations: Everyone has expectations about marriage, however common or unique, that have been picked up through the years from witnessing healthy and unhealthy relationships around them. Premarital counseling is the ideal place to discuss these expectations with your partner and eliminate future disappointment. Learning your mate’s expectations and sharing your own will equip you to build a marriage that’s equally satisfying to both of you.

Responsibilities: Each partner plays a significant role in the marriage, but how do you know what responsibilities your spouse is expecting you to take? Engaging in open dialog about the roles and responsibilities you’ll each take on will save you unnecessary frustration and disappointment down the road. Premarital counseling opens the door for you both to discuss and decide how you’ll divide the load, whether it’s with finances, cleaning, career, or child-rearing.

Values: By now, you probably have a very strong idea of where your partner stands on most issues, but what about things that may arise in the future? How do you want to raise children? Will you be dedicated to one religion? What are your views on family? These are huge issues that, when undecided, can place a huge strain on any relationship. A premarital counselor can open your eyes to the ideals that matter most to you as individuals and as husband and wife.

Is He The One?

You’ve dated, fallen in love, and accepted his proposal, but now you find yourself second-guessing the decision. How do you know he’s The One? It’s an age-old question that women have struggled with since the dawn of time. Well maybe every woman except for Eve. Adam was pretty much her only option. Some girls have all the luck!

If you’re having second thoughts about marrying him, don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re about to make one of—if not the—biggest decisions of your life. Getting married is definitely something you shouldn’t take lightly and if there are any doubts, it’s worth looking into your relationship.

If you have concerns about your fiancé or what marriage will be like, consider some premarital counseling. This is actually a great, healthy option whether you’re having doubts or not. Premarital counseling allows you to improve your communication, manage expectations, and share your fears/worries/grievances/desires before becoming a Mr. and Mrs. If you’re unsure about the future of your relationship, talking through your concerns and issues with a trained professional will help you make a better, more educated decision. It also might reveal that your fears have more to do with your personal baggage than with your man.

If you still find yourself wondering if he’s The One, talk it over with those closest to you. What do your friends and family think about the relationship? Often, outsiders are more privy to details that you might overlook or view as insignificant. If the people who know you best have major reservations about the marriage, it might be a good idea to take a step back and reassess the situation.

Ask yourself what your true concerns are. What it is about your fiancé or relationship that’s causing you to doubt? Talk to your fiancé about your fears and concerns and try to work through them as a couple. If your biggest issue with your guy is the way he folds his laundry, realize that’s something that can change. But if you’re facing something you consider a “deal breaker” like a different religion or stance on family, it might be wisest to call it quits now.

Everyone says that when you find The One, you’ll just “know,” but what does that really mean? Typically, it means you need to trust your instincts. If you are sensing major red flags in your relationship, maybe it’s best to call things off or, at the very least, postpone the wedding.  Regardless of whether or not you’ve booked the reception site or paid the photographer, it’s never too late to take a step back. A marriage should last a lifetime and if you need an extra few months to make the decision confidently, take it!