No relationship is perfect and that is just life. No need to stress about it too much as long as it works. The main thing is to deal with problems when they arise. As we all know problems come and go but real couples stay together and even move further – they eventually marry.
Usually, before marriage there is engagement (at least that is a tradition in many countries around the world) and engagement is a serious commitment. Of course, it is not such a big a commitment as marriage, but nevertheless it should not be taken lightly and one must be certain about their intent before actually proposing.
Pre-Engagement counseling – is it weird or wise?
It is definitely not weird to get professional counseling. In fact pre-engagement counseling is a factor in a decreasing rate of divorces per year (source iastate.edu). People who think counseling is weird are often times the ones that benefit from it the most.
What are the benefits of Pre-Engagement counseling?
There are many. While in early stages of relationship everything might look perfect the reality of marriage is often times not so exemplary. If a person does not have much experience with dating, they may mistakenly take engagement or marriage too easily. In reality, engagement and marriage are serious commitments for which oftentimes personal sacrifices must be made. Pre-engagement counseling focuses on these very aspects of life and can provide couples with knowledge they lack but might require later in life.
Read more about why pre-engagement counseling may be right for your relationship here: https://www.regain.us/advice/engagement/why-pre-engagement-counseling-might-be-right-for-you-and-your-partner/
Does it work?
The majority of Americans highly value a successful marriage, however there is an increasing rate of divorces observed in the US in the past years.
It has been proven that pre-engagement counseling increases your chances of having a successful marriage. In fact, the improvement is significant where 30% of couples report that they feel more confident about themselves and their relationship after seeing a professional. “After participating in these programs, couples reported or were observed to be better at resolving problems using effective communication styles, and on average, they reported higher levels of relationship quality,” says researcher Jason S. Carroll, assistant professor of marriage, family, and human development at Brigham Young University (source WebMD.com).
What does a typical session look like?
Pre-engagement counseling sessions will consist of a series of questions where you along with your partner and the therapist will ask and answer questions regarding the relationship in a joint session. . These sessions can either be virtual (over the phone or over the internet) or personal.
In order to benefit the most from these sessions both participants must be honest and open about their fears, doubts and expectations.
Counseling will mostly focus on:
- how to build and maintain a strong and fulfilling partnership
- how to identify issues that could later in life cause problems
- how to constructively address the challenges introduced by marriage
How to Receive Pre-Engagement counseling
In many countries such counseling is offered by church, usually for a small fee. While it might be a common practice to receive such counseling from a priest (especially if a couple wants to get married in the church) some people still believe that such counseling may only be provided by a trained professional with a license.