You may already know the benefits of premarital counseling. There are many of them. These include stronger communication skills and a deeper understanding of each other as well as yourself.
Premarital counseling can help you steer toward a common goal and vision for your future. It brings up tough issues that you may have never considered and enables you to work through them. And many wedding officiants require that couples go through premarital counseling sessions before the big day.
So if you’re going to be putting in the time and effort to attend these sessions, what can you do to get the most out of them? Here are a few tips.
Show Up, For Real
It’s one thing to schedule something on your calendar but another to genuinely participate wholly in that meeting or appointment. Even if you show up physically (or virtually) for your premarital counseling sessions, you may tune out or be preoccupied with who’s going to win the big game or what you want to eat for dinner. It sounds silly, but it’s true!
Like anything else, if you’re going to do it, put your heart into it. Don’t just sit through it and nod your head. Honestly be there fully, in the present moment. Engage in the conversation and take the process to heart. Both you and your fiancé will be better for it!
Let It Deepen Your Relationship
Premarital counseling often offers you a great opportunity to learn more about yourself as well as your fiancé. Perhaps you’ll take personality assessments that help you understand how each of you best expresses and receives love and affection. Maybe you’ll uncover family of origin issues that may create relationship blocks in the future.
You could learn things about yourself that indicate improving your stress management skills is a necessity. Likewise, your fiancé might discover that they need to be more assertive in stating what they need and want when conflicts come up. These and many other lessons can arise from premarital counseling. Look at it as an excellent opportunity to lay a strong foundation for your marriage.
Put It Into Practice
Like being wholly present during your sessions, you’ll get the most out of premarital work if you put what you learn into practice. This approach can look like using the active listening skills you may be taught when you encounter a disagreement in your everyday lives. It can look like using what you learn about your fiancé’s love languages to good work. Practicing what you’ve learned can occur in big and small steps.
Let It Guide Your Future Choices
Big decisions about your future together often come up in sessions. These can include saving for retirement, having children, and how many, and what each other’s expectations are for the division of household chores and earnings.
It’s crucial to go through these topics before you’ve walked down the aisle. Again, as you work through these issues, listen to your gut. If things come up about your partner’s expectations that surprise you or make you uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to discuss them. Better to clear up misconceptions about family life and retirement security sooner rather than later!
After you’ve finished your premarital counseling, work together to identify what meant the most to you from your sessions. You might even take the time to create a family motto or mission statement based upon what you learned. Essentially, take what you’ve learned and make a game plan. The time with a qualified premarital counselor is a gift for both of you.
Our therapists and counselors have worked with many couples over the years as they prepare for marriage. If you’re ready to take this step, please reach out to to learn more. We have an office potentially near you including Phoenix, Anthem, Biltmore, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale.
Contact us at 623-680-3486, text 623-688-5115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to speak with one of our counselor’s about Premarital Counseling. We offer a 20 minute complementary phone call. You can ask all the questions you have and see if Premarital Counseling at Crossroads is the right fit for you.