Things to Discuss Before Marriage
“I do.” Two simple enough words. And when you say them on your wedding day, you really mean them. But “I do” can quickly turn into, “I thought I could” when conflict begins and you don’t know exactly who or what you are committing to.
Let’s face it, relationships are tricky and it’s important that you and your partner are 100% open and honest with one another before tying the knot. And that’s exactly why premarital counseling is so beneficial.
Premarital counseling helps couples identify and address potential areas of conflict before those issues have a chance to turn into serious problems. Couples also learn effective communication skills and conflict resolution strategies.
Here are some specific benefits of premarital counseling:
Learn More About Each Other
We always think we know our partner until they do or say something that surprises (and irks) us. Premarital counseling is an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper, more intimate level.
Confront Challenges Head-On
Couples don’t always discuss potential areas of friction at the beginning. In fact, most couples intentionally avoid discussing the big issues like physical intimacy and sex, finances, expectations around household roles/duties, starting a family, and dealing with their in-laws. After all, bringing up these issues could cause conflict and possibly end the relationship. Many couples silently agree avoid these topics, not rock the boat, and instead put off trying to work through this until after the wedding.
But what happens when realize each one of you has a different opinion about how finances should be handled? How often should you have sex? Whose career should take precedence? If alcohol, porn, gaming, or another behavior is starting to be a 3rd person in the relationship? If one of you wants to wait to start a family and the other is ready now?
Premarital counseling offers couples a space to identify potential challenges head-on and talk about them in away that can bring about understanding and compromise.
Make Plans for the Future
The brightest futures are the ones with the best-laid plans. Couples counseling can help you create a clear vision of what you want your future to be. A Gottman trained counselor can help you both discuss your individual goals and dreams and how you can combine these to create a future where both of you reach your potential as individuals, as a couple, and eventually as a family unit. Using the Gottman Method to learn how to deepen emotional connection and create a foundation of healthy conflict management/communication skills is step in a the right direction.
If you and your partner would be interested in exploring premarital counseling, please reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.