Once the rings have been bought, the YES was heard and the invitations are made, a common next step will be to ask:
“How can I help my marriage get off on the right foot?“
What Exactly is Premarital Counseling?
Traditional “Premarital counseling” is a structured form of counseling for couples that are soon-to-be-married. Each session may be set with a specific topic to discuss such as communication skills, conflict resolution, finances, intimacy, future parenting skills, etc. Sessions are usually brief, between 3-5 sessions, and are didactic/educational in nature. Couples will seek premarital counseling in efforts to prevent future distress rather than discuss current distress occurring in their relationship.
Couples that are dating or engaged may feel uncomfortable discussing certain topics prior to marriage. Premarital counseling helps by providing safety, structure, and information to best navigate topics of most concern, often being: skills, conflict resolution, finances, intimacy, future parenting skills, etc.
Many couples go into premarital counseling with the hope of preventing future issues by discussing those “difficult” conversations. The research indicates that couples that are better able to understand their emotions, attachment needs and communication style when distressed are better able to heal injuries to their relationship and utilize effective repair techniques. As such, they are better able to address distress early and more effectively, leading to less long-term distress more associated with divorce.