The 7 Different Premarital Counseling Topics People Seek Out
Updated January 03, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown
Premarital counseling is a practice that is often done in religious institutions. However, more couples who are not so religious realize its benefits. So, what is premarital counseling?
Premarital counseling is a counseling service for future married couples who want to discuss certain topics and issues before they tie the knot. It used to be an exclusive religious practice, where churches and other religious leaders would offer counseling services for couples in the church. Since then, more couples who are not that religious realize its benefits.
See, marriage is something no one should rush. Your partner needs to be someone who you can live with for the rest of your life, and that's quite a commitment! Most believe they can make that commitment until there is a challenge that happens, or until something bad happens. For example, what happens you're dealing with financial issues? Someone who has had premarital counseling may be prepared for the rainy day, while someone who hasn't will find it more difficult.
People who go to premarital counseling seek out various topics to discuss and to overcome. Here are a few topics of the sort.
Being a couple who is always married, you may believe that you two understand each other fairly well. However, this may not be the case. Even if the two of you are joined at the hip, miscommunication can still strike and cause arguments in the relationship, and even breakup.
This is because miscommunication is easy thanks to human nature. We communicate using words, body language, and thinking people will "get the hint," and there is naturally going to be miscommunication that comes from it.
Examples of miscommunication are many. Say you want your partner to wash the dishes right away, and you tell them this. Your partner thinks you mean to wash the dishes eventually and puts them off. Once you see that the dishes have not been washed, you get upset with your partner and your partner gets defensive.
A premarital counselor would fix this problem by having the couple bring up examples of miscommunication, and then learning how they can be able to fix them. A good couple should have reliable communication.
Clearing The Air
Another topic people try to accomplish when they go to premarital counseling is clearing the air of issues that have been bothering them. Many couples go to marriage with a few grievances. They write them off as minor; after all, no one is perfect, and you're going to have disagreements with anyone. However, if left untreated, these disagreements can turn into arguments, which can turn into destroying your relationship.
Disagreements can involve quirks that one partner doesn't like. For example, let's say one person is messy, always leaving their clothes around, and the other is cleaner. The cleaner person rolls their eyes at, the messier person but writes it off as something they'll have to deal with. But they don't deal with it, and instead, their annoyance grows until they snap.
Sometimes, the issue may be something that's more major. For example, the want for children. If you want children, and your partner doesn't, don't assume they'll change their mind. Sometimes, they don't, and you will get into fights over that.
A premarital counselor fixes issues by offering compromise and solutions.
Planning For The Future
Another topic that people address in premarital counseling is planning for the future. When it comes to planning, life never works just the way you've planned it, but that does not mean you shouldn't come up with a plan. Having an ideal plan for your future can make it easier for you to survive in this world. A premarital counselor can look at your goals and aspirations and help you come up with a plan that is easy for you to keep up with. Not all plans have to be major life decisions, either. You can plan for a vacation, or how to save up for a rainy day.
Another topic people explore when they go see a premarital counselor is an experience. A counselor who specializes in premarital counseling is usually married themselves. An older counselor is especially good, as they have experience. Yes, no two couples are alike, but the secrets a long-time couple can share with you can help you whenever you're dealing with a problem. Your counselor has gone through hurdles and challenges in the marriage. They can tell you how to overcome them.
Learning More About Each Other
Another reason why people seek counseling is to learn more about each other. You and your future spouse may think you know every secret, belief, or quirk there is to know, but the learning experience never stops. You may soon realize that there is a lot more to know about your future spouse than you realize.
This is because the counselor is the master at asking questions. Whenever they ask a question, they do it in a way that is casual and easy to do.
These questions can be fun little "Get to know you questions," or they can be serious questions about their opinions on life. These questions can deal with issues that you never feel like discussing. For example, your past relationships. No one wants to talk about their ex but learning about your past relationships can help you figure out how to learn from your mistakes.
Marriage can be the best time of your life, but it can also be the most anxious time as well. If you're having a ceremony, the ceremony itself can be a source of your anxiety, as you want everything to go right. You may just be worried about tying the knot in general. This is because marriage comes with a lot of stigmas. People think they'll no longer be free after they marry, but this is simply not true. Marriage is a new chapter and one that can bring a whole new world to you. It doesn't have to be a period of anxiety.
How To Have A Good Session
If you're going to a premarital counseling session, here are a few things that you should and shouldn't do.
- Don't ignore any problems you have with your spouse or the relationship in general. You don't need to be someone who tries to portray their future marriage in the strongest light. Your counselor will not judge you if you have problems; they have seen many clients, and many issues. Remember to bring up any question and concern you may have.
- Remember to come to the marriage with an open mind. No one is on the right in the issue of discussing problems. Too many people believe they are the hero in their tale but in reality, they may be in the wrong as well. A good marriage involves sometimes admitting you were wrong and made a compromise to improve your life. You need to learn all sides of an argument before you take a side, and counseling can help.
- When you talk to a counselor, it should be between you, your spouse, and the counselor. We don't recommend talking to anyone else outside the session. Even if they are close to you.
- Make sure you feel comfortable while you're doing the session. If the counselor makes you feel uncomfortable or makes you feel like you're being ganged on, do not be silent. Talk to your counselor about your feelings.
- Listen to your therapist. If you believe the advice is worth trying, then do it. Even if you don't feel like the advice is good, still give it a try. You may be surprised at how good a counselor's advice is.
- Always attend marriage counseling now and then. Even if there is nothing majorly wrong with your marriage, counseling can help find small issues before they get worse. By going to regular therapy, you can maintain your marriage. Your marriage is like a machine, and by ignoring the small problems, it can break down and end up costing you some money. Both literally and figuratively in this case.
Find A Therapist!
Your marriage should be as good as it possibly can be, and for that to happen, you need to seek the help of a therapist. A good premarital therapist can help you with any potential problems you have with your future marriage.
Look, marriage can be a beautiful thing, but if left unchecked, it can end up burning you in the end. By going to therapy regularly, you can increase the chances of having a marriage that is successful and right for you. Don't write off premarital counseling as something that only troubled people go through. Happy, healthy couples go to counseling just like a fit person still exercises: to maintain their strength and prevent them from slipping. So if you're ready, talk to a therapist today and see what they can do.