Everything That You Need to Know about Premarital Counseling Part 2
Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. offers counseling and therapy in Reston, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland.
Getting married is an exciting time, you’ve found the one person who makes you indescribably happy, and that you want to spend the rest of your life with. While going through the process of planning the perfect wedding, most couples are experiencing what most people refer to as the “honeymoon phase” of their relationship. But what happens after the honeymoon phase wears off? Are you prepared for what challenges that life can throw at your marriage?
Attending some form of premarital counseling prior to walking down the aisle and saying, “I do”, can be beneficial in learning how to effectively communicate with each other as well as how to handle all that life could potentially throw your way. Some couples might find excuses, such as the expensive cost of counseling, the time commitment, and other to avoid counseling.
Along with the cost associated with counseling and the time commitments, there are other potential concerns that couples might have about signing up for some counseling sessions. Below we address some of the most common concerns that couples have regarding pre-marriage counseling.
Time. Attending counseling sessions will take a chunk of time out of your already jam-packed schedule. You both work long hours, and your weekends are filled up with wedding planning and festivities; therefore, it can be challenging to find the time to dedicate to attending counseling sessions with your soon-to-be spouse. Despite the challenge to find the time, it will be well worth it to make the sacrifices to find the time for pre-marriage counseling.
Fear of revealing problems or issues. Many couples are apprehensive about attending any time of pre-marriage counseling due to the fact that their relationship will be under the microscope of an outsider. Some couples worry that having their relationship examined will lead to more stress and issues between each other. In some instances, this may be true in the short term, in the long term it will be very beneficial to address any underlying issues now, rather than later on.
Being humbled. It is never fun nor easy to learn that your communication skills need some work, or that your soon to be spouse isn’t satisfied with aspects of your relationship. In some relationships, hearing that your partner needs some down time when they first get home from work, or that they need you to help with the household chores more may feel like you have been scolded. During counseling, you’ll need to prepare yourself for some tough truths that are potentially going to come out. During the process, it is important for you and your partner to set your egos aside, and set yourself up for constructive criticism. Allowing yourself to be open to hearing what your partner is saying without taking offense will allow you to become a better married couple.
As challenging as it can be to find the time, and be open to the constructive criticism that will come out during counseling, it is important to remember that premarital counseling is for the best. All the effort that you and your partner will be putting into counseling will teach you the necessary skills required to make your marriage work!