As you take this next step in your life you may want to Enroll in Marriage Preparation. You are in love and getting ready to head down the aisle to your happily ever after. The concept that you would need marriage preparation is the last thing on your mind. “If we love each other we should be able to work through everything!” That’s a common misconception many couples hold. Unfortunately, divorce rates in the United States seem to grow every year. One way to help divorce-proof your marriage is premarital counseling.
When considering premarital counseling, you should communicate with your partner as well as wedding counseling preparation professionals to find your best match. With different styles available, how do you find the one that works for you? We have come up with some reasons to consider couples marriage preparation and types that can be helpful.
Reasons to Enroll in Marriage Preparation
1. The Toolbox
Marriage preparation is a form of training for the couple. It gives them tools like the best ways to communicate, manage conflict, solve differences, and compromise. It allows couples to strengthen their relationship and acquire skills to make their marital life easier. Counseling usually addresses many situations they may encounter in their married life. Couples learn skills to handle disagreements over issues including finances, children, decision making and role expectations.
2. Planning a Life Together
Attending wedding counseling not only allows couples to prepare for marriage, but also helps gauge each partner’s readiness for marriage. Many times a couple focuses more on planning the wedding than preparing for the marriage itself. This type of planning allows couples to assess the pros and cons of their relationship and work out some of the kinks before they start their new life together.
3. Resolving Conflict
Premarital counseling provides couples with a chance to explore any unresolved insecurities or feelings. Once the feelings are out in the open, the professional can help the couple resolve any challenges in a healthy way. This process also provides the opportunity for a couple to go their separate ways if one member of the couple is unwilling to resolve the conflict.
4. A New Appreciation
One unexpected benefit is often a new appreciation for the differences partners innately have. This will only serve to improve the relationship and help prepare the couple for the stressful times that happen in all relationships. This is especially beneficial for the couple as they enter into the pressures of wedding planning, learning to live together and married life in general.
5. Words Spoken Without Anger
One of the most important components of marital preparation sessions is couples can learn to communicate with one another without using anger as a weapon. Anger is going to happen in any relationship–if you didn’t care about the person, you wouldn’t care enough to get mad. With marriage prep classes, couples often learn to communicate their needs to their spouse without being aggressive or upsetting. This allows for problems to be expressed and worked on more easily.
6. Trusted Counsel
By starting your marriage with premarital counseling, you create a resource for yourselves. When life throws its inevitable curve balls into your marriage, having a trusted counselor ready to contact can be a big help.
7. What to Expect
Premarital counseling can take many forms. It can be live meetings with a professional counselor or a clergyperson. It can be online classes or even video based. The important factor is that it allows you as a couple to explore the concepts of marriage in a way you hadn’t thought of before. Counseling not only prepares couples for situations they may experience during marriage but also may instill in them a newfound confidence in their upcoming marriage.
8. Required by Faith
Many religious groups require couples to attend premarital counseling in order to be married by a clergy of their faith. This can involve anywhere from six months of sessions with a premarital counselor to one meeting with their clergyman. Be sure to ask if they have experience doing premarital counseling and if they have a good track record of couples who have stayed married after the counseling. Not all clergy are equal when it comes to handling this type of situation.
9. Statistics Don’t Lie
Research has shown that participating in marital counseling increases the chance of marital success by 30%. Couples who attended marriage preparation found that their dedication to each other was higher, they focused more on the positive sides of their relationship, and that their relationship improved overall. Preparation can also alert couples to more severe problems in their relationship that may keep them from continuing with the marriage if they believe they cannot resolve the issue.
Premarital counseling is different for each couple. It can be a very positive experience or may indicate that you aren’t compatible and need to separate. Figuring out ways to resolve differences in expectations and coping mechanisms will help make your marriage run more smoothly. That can help prevent a divorce later in the marriage. Ultimately, it’s up to the couple to decide what is right for them.