Many people think that premarital counseling is for couples who may be having issues in their relationship or are required to by the church where they are being married. However, counseling benefits all couples including engaged, recently married, or married for several years.
Research shows that 93 percent of Americans want to be happily married. Sadly, 40-50 percent of those marriages will end in divorce. Could premarital counseling have helped those marriages remain intact? Maybe. According to statistics provided by HealthResearchFunding.org, couples who participated in premarital counseling before walking down the aisle had a 30 percent higher chance of staying married than those who did not.
It’s important to understand that all marriages go through seasons that can be difficult and challenging. Taking advance preventive measures can give you a much better chance for a long-term healthy relationship and a stable marriage.
Premarital counseling helps couples identify the importance of marriage and what direction they want their lives to take together. This includes navigating around sensitive issues and discussing hot button topics such as sex, money, parenting, in-laws, and religion. It teaches couples how to validate one another and create an environment of love and understanding. Other benefits include:
- Giving each partner foresight and wisdom by helping them to better understand one another
- Avoiding communication meltdowns and improving conflict resolution skills
- Preventing financial discord by learning how to set goals and stay on target
- Facilitates solving interfaith issues so that you can worship and grow together
- Overcomes challenges that may involve extended family members or children from previous marriages
- Helps to voice and manage expectations so they are realistic and understood
Many couples decide to skip premarital counseling for a variety of reasons. Fear is probably the biggest obstacle because people are concerned these sessions may trigger serious conflict, or force them to talk about uncomfortable topics. However, talking about tough issues now will prevent bigger problems later. Plus, the professional can help you make sense of these issues and work through them together.
Another reason couples take a pass on counseling is because of money or lack of time. However, consider that the average wedding costs around $25,000 and it’s just for one day. Counseling sessions are a much smaller percentage and may help your marriage last a lifetime. Definitely worth the investment of time and money.
Before promising to love, honor and obey, till death do us part, talk to a qualified therapist who can teach you important relationship skills that will be useful at any stage of your marriage. Your happily ever after depends on it!