Getting married is a big change; even for couples who currently live together or have known each other for a long time. Pre-marriage counseling aims to ensure that you and your partner maintain a strong, healthy relationship through life’s challenges.
Pre-marriage Counselling : An Overview
Side by Side’s specially designed, thought-provoking marriage preparation counselling programs will equip you and your partner with insights and know-how, clarity and confidence to avoid the pitfalls and build the best possible future together.
A wide variety of topics can be covered in premarital counselling from finances, decision making and parenting ideas, to communication, anger management and belief and value systems.
Some of the aims and issues covered :
- To communicate about challenging issues proactively and effectively
- To resolve conflict successfully and respectfully
- To create and stick to a financial plan
- To agree on role responsibilities and expectations
- To maintain appropriate boundaries with extended family and friends
- To envision and accomplish your individual and shared dreams
- To find a healthy and happy balance between marriage/family, work, and self
- To define your specific goals and the vision of your dream future in detail
- To assess and enhance your communication skills. Couples that communicate effectively can resolve conflicts more effectively. This will allow you to spend less time arguing and more time understanding.
- To explore what sustains and strengthens ‘loving attachment’
- To explore role expectations. Discussing roles early on will clarify expectations for the future.
- To discover if there are past problems that could affect the relationship in the future. These could be problems from childhood, past relationships, traumatic events, medical conditions.
- To explore cross cultural issues and different family dynamics. Much of what we learn about relationships comes from our parents and other family members. Identifying our early influences and discussing our learned behaviours will help us understand how this might play out in marriage.
- To discover potential external factors that could negatively influence the relationship such as concerns about career, parents or religion.
Preventative Therapy – don’t wait until there’s a problem
Couples often wait until they are in despair to seek help and address their issues. Preventative Therapy is such a healthy option for all couples to proactively approach their relationship and not wait for something to go wrong.
Don’t let the stigma of counselling get in the way of you nurturing your relationship.
It is a sign of maturity and commitment to seek help in addressing important topics that all couples should talk about and explore together.
Preventative Therapy is a great option for you if you feel you have a strong, solid relationship, a strong sense of “we” and see yourselves as a unit that is able to communicate effectively. Your strong communication will allow you to address topics effectively and set yourselves up for a healthier future together.
Your contribution to pre-marriage counselling
A full commitment from the individuals to work with the therapist and each other is essential. You need to be willing and open to learning, growing, and receiving feedback that will relate directly to your role in the relationship.
You must be willing to notice when you becoming defensive and have the courage to open up to the feedback. The next step is to commit to altering any behaviors that may be damaging to the relationship.
When these conditions are met, the opportunity is created for the relationship to become stronger, healthier and even separation-proof.
Contact us to learn more information on our pre-marriage counseling programs, we are happy to answer any questions you have.