Premarital Counselling

premarital counselling advice

Premarital Counselling - Preparing for Marriage

Premarital counselling is a great way to prepare for getting married whether you are getting married for the first time or making a new start. Premarital counselling is a form of relationship counselling looking at hopes, fears, expectations around getting married.

Give yourself the chance to :

  • Create a firm foundation for dealing with arguments and differences
  • Understand what each other is bringing to the relationship
  • Understand each other’s needs more clearly
  • Appreciate what you bring to the relationship as a man and as a woman
  • Have a safe space to explore your expectations of each other
  • In  step families learn how to deal with the pull of different loyalties and demands of forming a new family with step-children

Premarital Counselling: The Benefits

Planning to get married can be an intense process of not only arranging your wedding but also building a firm foundation together where you clarify your values as a couple, build relationship skills, and anticipate potential problems in your relationship.

Premarital counselling  can help in the following ways:

Feel Safe To Be More Real With Each Other.

When you feel safe to include all of who you are in your relationship and your partner feels the same, there is a freedom and love in being accepted for who you are.  Building the ground for a deeper honesty allows you to know where you are with each other and to feel emotionally bonded. Things can be talked about and worked through.  A committed relationship should be based on a real knowledge of your partner .  You're pledging a lifelong commitment to this person, and maybe you're asking him or her to start a family. Premarital counselling can help you understand your partner better; their values, expectations and personality quirks ; and consequently know how you can best love  them.

Discuss the  Major Decisions as a Couple.

Many engaged couples, caught in the romance of the moment, don't anticipate the many decisions they have to make as a couple. Decisions about where to live, who will make the money, how many kids to have and how to raise children are worth discussing now before saying  "I do". Seeing a relationship counsellor can help you navigate through differences and help you hear what is important to each other.

Develop Realistic Expectations of  Married Life

 Getting married is exciting and it can be stressful too. Just as you are about to make a commitment, what  hasn’t yet been addressed in your relationship  is likely to  come to the surface. There are many myths about relationship. Ask couples "what made you decide to marry?" and you'll be surprised at the variation in the answers they'll come up with.
     There are many myths about love too. For instance, have you heard that "as long as two people love each other, everything should be smooth sailing"? Relationships go through stages. It helps to have a larger perspective and some signposts so when conflicts occur you can  see the bigger picture. Conflicts when dealt with in a constructive way, bring energy into your relationship. They help you keep your boundaries and honour  what’s important to you.  Resolving  conflict is part of learning to love yourself and your partner in a mature way. Conflicts are inevitable on the road to a deeper intimacy. If you find that you never argue, then it’s worth taking a look at what you learnt from your family about conflict. Sacrificing what matters to you to keep the peace or out of a misguided idea of love doesn’t help your relationship.

 Illusions about relationship and love can cost a couple. While it's true that love has a powerful and magical element to it, love isn't all you need. Our culture gives us idealised messages about how relationships should be which can leave us wondering why our experience doesn’t live up to the ideal.
     The  truth is that our early life experiences of relationship get played out in our adult relationships. The love you feel at the beginning needs to mature into a more mature enduring kind of love. Good relationships take work sooner or later. They require being with your feelings and talk honestly with each other.  

Learn About the Stages that Relationships Go Through

The feelings you have about your partner develop and mature over time. Having an understanding of the stages relationships go through can really help and support you. You learn the importance of being up-front about how you feel so you can deal with conflicts as they arise and avoid hurts and resentments building.

Create a Shared Vision

Relationship counselling can help you define and nurture a shared vision.  You can explore what’s important to you about being together. Discover that as well as your relationship being about having fun, being loving and being loved it is also about something deeper - a powerful guiding force that calls you to fully express who you are and to open to love. When you realise that your relationship is bigger than you both, you can trust  you can meet challenging times as well as good. What would it be like to have a overall perspective that gives meaning and nourishment to your relationship? Create  a shared vision that meets both your needs and helps you bond.

Premarital Counselling Sessions

Sessions are the same price and length as for relationship counselling sessions. I ask you questions about each other to help explore hopes, fears, concerns about your relationship and your expectations of marriage.

I don't offer a structured programme lasting a set number of sessions.  Instead we explore what comes up and see where it takes us. Usually the first session is a useful exploration of how things are going, a chance to express the stress of arranging a wedding and to get some reassurance - is it normal we are arguing so much over the wedding or other things! Is it Ok that we don't argue at all? In the first session we get clear what areas to focus on  and what you both need. Typically couples come for 1-4 sessions sometimes longer.

Premarital counselling let's you make sense of what is already in your relationship. If there are issues - they are already there and it helps to make sense of them now rather than pushing them down. Some couples  come for "healthcheck" as part of preparing for marriage - that's ok too.

Here is an article on marriage by Alain De Botton Revisting Marriage vows

Here is the relationship roadmap to give you a context.

Click here to goto Relationship Counselling/ Couples Counselling -Why It's a Good Idea Article

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