Premarital counseling is designed to tackle marital struggles or issues even before it surfaces. It’s like a special therapy for couples to help them prepare for married life. Premarital counseling helps to lay a healthy foundation, and build a strong relationship. It gives a better chance for a satisfying and stable marriage. It is aimed at identifying weaknesses that could be problems in your marriage. In this article, you’ll learn more about premarital counseling.
Choosing the right person for this counseling is very important; such as a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). Ask questions about this therapist like educational qualification, experience, treatment plan, fees, and insurance too for each session. It will help to ensure you are going for a professional for effective results.
Types of premarital counseling
Premarital counseling has different types you can opt for, but no matter your preference, go for a professional.
- Online premarital counseling
- Religious premarital counseling
- One-to-one premarital counseling
- Group courses and discussions
- Compatibility test and questionnaires
Benefits, goals, and objectives
- Eliminating dysfunctional behavior by identifying and correcting them
- Create mutual goals and resolution for your marriage
- Changing the view of the relationship
- Understanding how cultural issues affect marriage
- Identifying strengths
- Reduced emotional isolation and avoidance
Topics To Be Discussed During Premarital Counselling
During premarital counseling, there are several topics you must discuss to ensure you make sure you are in the right relationship. Here, we’ve gathered the nine essential topics for you, and it’s advisable that you won’t overlook them.
Topic #1: Conflict/dispute resolution
This is the most significant topic that should be discussed first in every premarital counseling service. How to handle disputes or disagreements each time they arise in your relationship? Your counselor needs to enlighten you on how to improve your dispute resolution skills.
The experience you probably had about this was when you were single; it’s not the same now; this is marriage. Your partner can sometimes get on your nerves, you just lose control, and the unimaginable begins to happen.
That’s why counseling is important, questions like, how does each of you resolve conflicts? The perceptions towards this dispute, does it correspond? How can they improve on their ability to agree on things they disagree? Will be asked to know your opinions, and give you tips on how to handle conflicts between your selves.
Topic #2: Communication
How do you communicate with your spouse? And how to have effective communication with your partner? How do you communicate when important issues are being discussed? Ways to improve this communication skills? The counselor addresses these issues of communication, is essential to help, keep a long-lasting and happy relationship.
Topic #3: Finances
This is another major topic of discussion during the premarital counseling session, issues of spending and budgeting cause a lot of problem in marriages. This couple in question, do they feel comfortable talking about their finances with each other?
Will your incomes be combined or separated? What will your monthly budget look like? Who is responsible for paying the bills or will it be divided, how much will be put aside for emergency funds, personal savings?
These are the type of questions you should be expecting from your counselor when this topic is under discussion. Don’t let money kill your relationship! Therefore, it’s critical to learn how to deal with money issues in a relationship.
Topic #5: Intimacy and sex
As a couple, you are expected to speak openly and honestly about sex, even if you people have chosen celibacy until marriage. Ability to discuss this issue without withholding is key to a successful marriage.
What does each partner expect in terms of intimacy and sexual relationship? What can you do to keep the romance alive? is there enough romance in your current relationship? Are you happy with the amount of intimacy now, or you want more when you get married? On an intimate level, how well do you connect?
These are the kind of questions you should discuss during premarital counseling; it might be a difficult topic for some couples to talk about, especially the ones who aren’t sexually active prior to marriage. However, it’s vital to learn how to grow intimacy in a marriage!
Topic #6: Family planning
Having the same family goals is very important, always discuss the future with your spouse, will you like to have children in the future? How long will it take? How many children will you like to have?
What core values will you instill in your children? If you don’t want children, what will you do to prevent pregnancy? If you can’t have children, do you plan to adopt or pursue fertility treatments? How will having kids influence your careers?
These questions are necessary during premarital counseling, to make them open up to themselves about how they feel towards this issue; then it’s the duty of the counselor to make amends where necessary to avoid any sort of divorce as a result of this in the future.
Topic #7: The existing family
Your in-laws, you also need to talk about how the relationship between you and them will be, how often will you visit your families? Are there any unspoken issues with each others family? Sometimes, things can be challenging when it comes to deal with month-in-law for example. So it’s essential you discuss this topic with your partner during premarital counseling.
Do you plan on family vacations? How can you split up your time during the holidays? All complications about both families should be resolved and understood during counseling to avoid them arising in the future.
Topic #8: Social life
This topic must not be left out during premarital counseling. So many cases of divorce we have today is as a result of misunderstanding the social life of your partner. There might be friendships that have been around much longer before you met your spouse. Therefore, do not let it get in the way of your marital life, especially if it concerns the opposite sex.
How will you cope if you don’t like each other’s friends? And how often will you spend time with friends, as a couple? How often will we spend time with them separately? Are there friends in your lives that might be a bad influence on your marriage? Will you make new friends?
These are questions you should take your time to think about and give honest answers to them, remember keeping a healthy relationship with peace of mind is the real deal!.
Topic #9: Personal values
Researches have shown that shared values are more vital than common interests. When you have the same values; you have a better chance of staying together. What are your core values?
Where do your core values emanate from? Which values are most important to uphold as a couple? Do you have the same personal values? Genuinely giving the right answers to these questions will not only help the counselor in addressing your issues, but it will also make you live a healthy lifestyle in your matrimonial home.
Premarital counseling is important, as it will give couples a fair chance to share their opinions. We highly recommend you to discuss the above topics during a premarital counseling session.
However, if you plan not having a premarital counseling session, it’s also fine. Don’t worry about it. But, you must take some time to think and discuss the above topics openly and honestly with your partner.
I know many couples don’t want to discuss further due to different reasons. However, regardless of your intention; in my opinion, you will never excuse from those topics. Either you discuss them now with manageable frictions, or you have to deal with them when they become hurdles in your marriage.
It’s crucial to keep your partner and you aware of what you are just about to face, and ask yourself the question, are you ready?!!
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