Premarital counseling is a form of therapy for couples of any age to prepare for marriage. Contrary to popular belief proposing to a partner is actually one of the least challenging steps when it comes to marriage.
Sure, for some proposing is a stressful event due to the fear of being rejected (or fear of commitment), but if the relationship has been healthy this really is not something to stress about too much. After all, when you decide to propose you are supposed to know your partner very well and thus also know what the answer will be. If not you might be going into it too soon or for wrong reasons. The challenging and most tricky part actually is to keep the marriage healthy and fulfilling for the years to come.
It is in fact harder than it sounds and there is proof in statistics – less people are getting married each year in the US but the rate of divorces does not follow this pattern. In fact, the rate of divorces per year is dropping slower than the rate of marriages which tells us that there is an increasing rate of divorces per year (source CDC).
So how can Premarital counseling help with marriage?
Premarital counseling is usually provided by therapists that have a license for marriage and family therapy. These therapies focus on identifying and dealing with weaknesses and early problems of relationships that could arise into major issues during marriage. As we all know problems that are not dealt with tend to become more unresolvable as the years go on, especially if communication is poor.
Why is Premarital counseling a good option to consider?
During these sessions you will be encouraged to discuss several very important aspects of a relationship and life in general.
- personal and joint finances
- life plans in general
- beliefs and personal values
- family or the desire to have children
- dealing with the other’s personality such as anger or stubbornness
- open communication
How can you prepare for premarital counseling
There are no prerequisites. In fact, the more honest you are about yourself the better the outcome of these therapies. The only preparation would be to find a good and reliable licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).
What are the costs involved
As with any therapy there are costs involved. A licensed marriage and family therapist’s hourly rate can vary greatly (from 45$ to 250$) where the average rate is about 100$ per hour.
Is it worth it?
If you truly believe that you and your partner can work things out on your own then such therapy can be omitted. With great communication, openness and honesty a marriage can work without therapy. But often times people change over the years, forgetting their vows and become a different person – this is where trouble begins. It is a good idea for any couple, young or older, to have counseling prior to marriage.