Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling
They’re excited. They’re in love and the day is quickly approaching when they marry the man/woman of their dreams. The next phase in life looks great. Most soon-to-be couples ask ‘What can possibly go wrong when you finally get to spend the rest of your days with your special someone?’
Why Few People Seek Pre-Marital Counseling
Marriage is a big commitment, yet few engaged couples outside of religious communities go to pre-marital counseling. While most faith communities require couples to attend pre-marital counseling, couples with no faith background shy away from counseling. This has to do with fear. They don’t want to put a kink in a blossoming relationship. Engaged couples can be naïve and believe they can properly sort out their differences later.
How Pre-Marital Counseling Can Help
The benefits of pre-marital counseling, however, far outweigh the risks of addressing potential conflict before marriage. As a marriage and family therapist (MFT), you can offer engaged couples valuable advice. You can give them an unbiased, honest, outsider’s perspective on each partner’s shortcomings and bring up issues that need to be discussed before marriage.
No marriage, after all, will be without disagreements and conflict. Pre-marital counseling is a key component in ensuring that couples will have marriages that last. You can address the communication and conflict resolution issues that lead to divorce and prepare them with a plan and solution for dealing with these inevitabilities.
Here are the key benefits that you, as an MFT, can offer couples through pre-marital counseling.
- Lack of communication and inappropriate communication are the biggest contributors to disintegrating marriages. Many couples don’t engage in proper, open communication until a big problem arises – and by then it’s too late to work on communication skills. Some couples won’t even communicate during a major conflict, which leads to further misunderstandings.
Successful marriages require strong communication skills. Pre-marital counseling can provide the opportunity to develop effective communication skills for both partners. Negative communication habits can also be addressed during these sessions. When both partners go into the marriage with strong and effective communication skills, future conflicts can be addressed quicker and in a healthier way.
- Conflict resolution. The strength of one’s marriage is tested when conflict comes. No marriage is immune from disagreements and arguments and those that persevere with appropriate conflict resolution are the ones that will most likely to succeed. Conflict, like unhealthy communication skills, can destroy a marriage. Sessions with a counselor can guide soon-to-be couples on how to handle inevitable disagreements in a healthy and safe way. This knowledge will make future marital struggles easier to handle and discuss.
- Outside perspective. When people are in love, they tend to only see the best in their fiancé. Sooner or later, the honeymoon phase will end and they’ll see each other’s true colors. As a marriage counselor, you’ll will be able to offer an outside, objective perspective on their relationship and the strengths and weaknesses both partners bring to the marriage. As an outside observer, you will be able to offer the best wisdom, advice and correction.
- Lower chance for divorce. The biggest benefit of pre-marital counseling is that it equips both partners with the tools and knowledge needed to communicate effectively and clearly with one another and handle and resolve conflict. This, in turn, will lower the couple’s chance of their marriage ending in divorce.
Pre-marital counseling is highly recommended for any engaged couple. It is the best way couples can effectively communicate and handle future conflicts in their marriage. Couples who attend counseling have a higher chance their marriage will last and not end in divorce.
As a marriage and family therapist, you’ll have the opportunity to ensure that a couple’s marriage starts off on the right foot. For more information about becoming an MFT or preparing for the licensing exam, you can visit our resources and study guides.
Thanks for pointing out that sessions with a counselor can guide soon-to-be couples on how to handle inevitable disagreements in a healthy and safe way. My fiance and I are thinking about going to a professional counseling service to help strengthen our relationship before we get married. I think it would be good to do it now instead of waiting until we're in dire straits or having a really tough time so that we can get ahead of our problems.
I liked that you said that pre-marital counseling lowers the chance for divorce. I would imagine that going to a counselor would help a couple to work out their problems I a healthy manner. I would consider going to a counselor to help give my relationship the best shot at a lasting marriage.
I totally agree when you said that no married is immune to arguments and disagreements, but those who persevere will succeed. I should suggest that my husband and I look for a long-distance Christian premarital counseling service to help us out. We just started getting more conflicts these days ever since he has been assigned to another location for three months, and I worry if it is starting to affect our relationship.