Importance of Premarital Counseling
If you were to look at divorces 30 years ago to where they are today, you would be shocked. At one time, the word "divorce" was taboo, something you just seldom heard. However, the facts about marriage and divorce are now showing that 50% of all first time marriages end in divorce, with the number of divorces increasing with each subsequent marriage. Of the 50% divorces, more end within the first seven years.
Although not everyone agrees as to the cause of the high divorce rate, most experts believe it has to do with being unprepared, not knowing what to expect prior to getting married. In other words, if more couples were to spend time in premarital counseling, learning, all they need to know before they exchange I dos, the chance of the marriage lasting would be better. Unfortunately, the first fight or the first obstacle faced in the marriage leads to disappointment, which then leads to the feeling of failure and just giving up.
If you are planning to get married, one of the first and most important things the two of you can do to help your marriage last is to undergo premarital counseling. With this, you would know more about each other, more about marriage and what all it brings, and tools for handling difficulties when they arise. Since the two of you love each other so much, you owe it to each other and to the marriage to do everything possible to make it work. After all, a marriage that can withstand the challenges is a beautiful, lifelong experience.
Premarital counseling is an excellent tool for strengthening the relationship between two people so that when they are married and faced with tough times, they are confident and comfortable enough to work them out together, as a team. Again, many times couples get married based on assumptions, not just about the marriage but also about each other.
Then when reality hits, they find many things overlooked, understood, or simply wrong. To make matters worse, some things are not up for negotiation. For example, you would be amazed at how many couples get married without even discussing children. Then after marriage, one of them wants kids and the other is adamant about not having them - the war begins.
When choosing a counselor to work with you prior to marriage, you want someone who believes in marriage and will use his or her training and education to guide you along the process to success. While there will be a number of things discussed, you definitely want to talk about things such as children, religion, philosophy, interests, activities, expectations in the roles of husband and wife, communication, family issues, and so on. The more you learn the more chance you have at a healthy and happy marriage.
One of the things you want to remember is to be proactive, not reactive. That means instead of seeking counseling after the marriage, seek it before. Now, that does not mean that you cannot or should not go to counseling after becoming husband and wife if need be but it means learning tools and resources beforehand so you have the advantage on your side. In fact, many experts believe the quality of the premarital relationship will tell a lot about the quality of the marriage. Therefore, if you can work out some of the major issues first, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the marriage more.
You will find just about any church of any denomination offering premarital classes by professionals in the field. With this, you would be working with a therapist or educator to better prepare you for marriage and the joys and pitfalls it brings. Look for a class that is designed to help you develop and even healthier relationship before marriage to enrich and enhance your years spent as a married couple.
Just remember, marriage is a beautiful thing but it requires work, patience, dedication, commitment, and teamwork. If you go into marriage blindly, it will likely fail, according to statistics, not opinions. Therefore, encourage your partner to join you in a couple's program prior to the wedding. When you look back 30 years later and realize you were one of the lucky ones to survive and enjoy a life with the person you love, you will be glad you made the decision, giving your marriage the best gift possible.
Without expectations or assumptions, you go into the marriage with your eyes wide open, expecting things before they even happen. Then together, you can create a game plan for resolving the crises, moving on to better times. If you were to ask any couple that has been married for years and years, they would tell you that the two most important aspects of a successful marriage include love and forgiveness, just two of the things you can learn during premarital counseling.