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Should we go through pre-marriage counseling?

Is pre-marriage counseling something only religious couples do?

By: Brooke Sellhorn, MA, LMFT

pre-marriage counseling

No, all couples are encouraged to participate in pre-marriage counseling.  The need for understanding and cooperating with one’s partner is universal and not dependent on religious beliefs. Understanding one another’s beliefs, values, priorities, and faith or lack of faith is important in building life-long love. 

Premarital counseling can prepare a couple for real life.  It is better to understand one’s goals and expectations and hopes for the marriage.  Including, each other’s mindset, personality, tendencies, and proverbial baggage that inevitably is brought into the marriage.

Couples who complete premarital counseling reduce their divorce rate by 31%.  Churches often require premarital counseling to utilize their facility.  A couple who does not have a religious affiliation or is not getting married in a church should seek out a marriage counselor or coach.  A premarital counselor or coach will be able to address any potential caution flags, emotional health issues, or interpersonal weaknesses that could impact marital satisfaction.

Premarital counseling reveals expectations, helps couples to learn how to speak each other’s languages, and assists in healthy developing interpersonal skills.  Couples will better understand each other’s tendencies regarding conflict and stress.  Difficult topics are discussed like intimacy, past wounds, unresolved childhood issues, and unhealthy habits.  Each person will learn how to become a life partner, including how to build a household, manage finances, plan for children, and set long term goals.

A shared faith and shared belief system can be an asset to a marriage, it is not required for a couple to benefit from pre-marriage counseling.  All individuals and couples can benefit from removing masks, revealing expectations, learning to communicate, connecting with authenticity, preparing for conflict, and planning for a future life together.

If you’d like to speak to one of our counselors before your big day, contact Crosswinds today.